Monday, March 8

A new bird on the plot

Last week was a bit of a teaser. One minute it was bright and sunny and it felt as though spring was knocking on the door. Then, when you were ready to let it in, it backed off and hid behind the clouds.
Some of our top up seeds arrived so we are more than ready to make a start on the new growing season.

Not to be put off by the fickle weather patterns, plants in the garden are coming into bloom in ever increasing numbers.
The hellebores seem to be late to flower this year and are vying with the mini daffodils, shrubs and crocuses for attention.

Ruby's walks saw us back to trying to get her to dodge the mud, something that she is not good at. We paid a visit to Nostell Priory which is almost becoming a weekly event. I didn't take any photos as we were accompanied by drizzle which started to threaten to become heavier rain. Our visit was shorter than usual and Ruby ended up needing a date with the shampoo bottle.
Earlier in the year, I bought a couple of garlic bulbs which were advertised as suitable for spring planting. I didn't want to leave the planting until too late and the ground is still too soggy for planting out, so we decided to start the cloves off in pots.
Martyn also decided to sow a couple of salad leaves. These have been put in an upstairs room under a grow light. I guess this marks the real beginning of our growing season.

On the same day we did some tidying in the garden but there is still lots to do.

We managed an afternoon at the allotment which involved more tidying. Some of the beds are even ready to go when planting starts later this month.
As usual, we had a wander around the plot to take note of which plants are growing and which are struggling. It looks as though we may soon be able to enjoy our first rhubarb of the season.
The Early Timperley clumps have put on lots of new growth and just need a little more warmth to spur them into producing stems. The later varieties are just beginning to push fat leaf buds through the soil. They have all been given a top dressing of fish, blood and bone to give them  boost.

Cherry, blackcurrant and cobnut
Buds are swelling on the fruit trees and bushes and will also be bursting into leaf and flower as soon as they are certain that winter has been defeated.
Blueberry, pear and jostaberry
Despite having had lots of crops spoiled by the weather we managed to gather together a small harvest.
Mixed variety leeks, broccoli Rudolph and Sabrosa savoy
We harvested the first sprigs of our Rudolph broccoli, more leeks and a couple of small savoy cabbages. The savoys, although small, seem to have stood up to the weather better than the smooth leaved cabbages.

Back in the kitchen, I used some of our frozen tomato sauce with some bought in ravioli.
I'd ordered some Parmesan shavings but was disappointed that they came as small squares as I'd expected something shaped more like wood shavings.


Onions and carrot were used with French beans and peas from the freezer to make a vegetable paella.
Some of our leeks went into a chicken bean and leek bake which was accompanied  by hasselback potatoes
More leeks and carrot along with some freshly picked coriander were used in a vegetable and lentil casserole. This is the third harvest from a pot of coriander that has been kept all winter in the garden greenhouse. I can't find the link for this recipe but it was basically leeks, carrot, celery, courgette and garlic fried for a short time. Cumin seed, ground coriander, tumeric, black pepper and red lentils were added and then tinned chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and stock. This was cooked for about 30 minutes and chopped coriander was added before serving.
Finally, during most of the afternoon at the allotment a new bird joined in the chorus being provided by robins, blackbirds and tits. What the new chorister lacked in tune he made up for in enthusiasm. I wonder whether he will find himself a female.  I guess if he does we will have more than just wood pigeons to guard our crops against.

As always stay safe and well  - hopefully vaccination  our programmes will get us back to a near normal life soon.

I hope that my mini harvest qualifies me for joining Harvest Monday on Dave's Our Happy Acres blog so I have linked to him this week


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

27 comments:

  1. A lovely harvest, the cabbages look great, as does the broccoli. How brilliant to see a pheasant at the plots, although as you say, he might have an eye for the veg.

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    1. Unfortunately the cabbages did have some black bits in the middle, CJ but we did have enough for a helping. They weren't as badly affected as the smooth cabbages. Interestingly a cabbage that I bought was the same so it must have been something to do with the weather this year. Unless COVID affects cabbages :-)

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  2. Oh your purple broccoli and leeks look most beautiful Sue. I hope that your new visitor attractive as he is is just passing through. Wood pigeons are more than enough to cope with! It has only just dawned on me that although I have left the visiting bunnies behind at the allotment I may now have to ward off squirrels from my vegetable beds 😱

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    1. The broccoli was a treat, Anna. Yep wood pigeons are definitely more than enough. Good luck with the squirrel. Date I say we don't have a rabbit problem. The only one that I have seem on sire was an escaped pet.

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  3. I would faint if I found a pheasant in our garden. They are rare around here. They were pretty much hunted out of this area. We do have a very rare visit from Northern Bobwhites. It is our native Quail.

    Your allotment looks good in pictures. I hope it dries out for you soon so you can get some things planted.

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    1. Pheasants are quite common in the UK Lisa, When we went to Fountains Abbey there were literally dozens of them. They created a cacophony of sound.

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  4. The flowers are lovely. I'm fond of hellebores too and they come just when we need them.

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  5. Not the prettiest of songs, but oh! what a delight, even if you will have to be more diligent protecting growing crops, to have such a beautiful pheasant. I hear them all the time from my cottage with their raucous craking noise.

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    1. They are beautiful birds, Deborah. Like the peacock a beauty until it opens its bean

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  6. Seeing your rhubarb reminds me to look and see if mine is coming up. It's probably a bit early, but it shouldn't be long. The cabbage and broccoli should make a nice treat of fresh veggies this time of year.

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    1. It was a treat, Dave and I am hoping for more.

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  7. All my Rudolph finished before winter. I) still have hopes for two traditional variety plants. I still have the odd leek but otherwise it is all roots here (carrots, parsnip Jerusalem artichoke). The pigeons got the spring cabbages when the snow downed the netting.

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    1. If your cabbages were like ours, Mal the pigeons would have been welcome to them.

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  8. Beautiful pheasant, hope he finds a female. Lovely seeing all your spring blooms and buds and great the seeds are arriving and being sown. That rhubarb is looking good. Lovely meals as always, I'll be trying the veggie paella.xxx

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    1. The pheasant was definitely staking his claim, Dina

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  9. I find it amazing that your gardening never seems to end. We have a definite non-growing season. Thanks for sharing the hope.

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    1. I guess that there is always a little of something Bonnie but there's not much over winter

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  10. Your beds are ready and waiting like so many on our site... not too long now...
    Your casserole and paella look great, leek and carrots are so versatile!

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    1. I just hope that the rain doesn't spoil the soil condition. Belinda.

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  11. Your garden and kitchen are certainly keeping you busy and even busier in the weeks to come.

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    1. Hi Linda thanks for commenting - we are definitely heading for the busy season

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  12. I agree about spring teasing us, it felt like we'd been thrown back into winter today! Still, it's lovely to see things trying to burst into leaf. Can't be long now, surely? We used to have a male pheasant visit our garden many years ago, haven't seen one in the village for such a long time. They make such a noise when startled, gives me a fright too!

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    1. Today we have spells of lovely sunshine peppered by sudden showers, Karen That pheasant just made a noise continually.

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  13. That should have read thrown back to the beginning of winter!

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  14. Oh no, the first thing I thought when I saw the pheasant was that you're going to have to protect your crops even more so now. Is he hanging around? It looks like you're off to a good start to the growing season with beds ready and garlic planted up. I've started my tomato seeds off and they're just starting to poke through today.

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    1. The pheasant seems to come and go, Jo.

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