Sunday, 18 November 2007

Plum tree and raspberries planted

On Friday evening I arrived home to find the plum tree and raspberry canes had arrived from Ken Muir, along with Ken's rather fantastic book on how to grow fruit (made even better by being free with your first order!). On Saturday after a visit to the garden centre to buy tree stakes I managed to get the plum tree planted before dark, luckily I had already chosen a suitable spot and done most of the preparation so it was just a case of digging a hole and popping it in.

This morning I returned to the plot and spent 2 hours planting the 10 raspberry canes into 2 rather wobbly lines, they look a little sad at the moment but hopefully in spring will be the picture of health (well just alive would be good). I decided to leave the complexities of constructing a fruit cage until another, hopefully warmer, day.

So after nearly 5 months of having an allotment there is finally something planted, after all those nettles this feels like the real beginning of the journey.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

This weekend if has been wet and windy, not exactly the weather to make you want to go to the plot, so I have stayed closer to home and cooked up some fantastic Leek, Carrot and Ginger Soup:

Serves 4
1 red onion, skinned and chopped
2 large leeks, chopped
1 kg carrots , peeled (unless organic) and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, skinned and chopped
1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1.2 litres of vegetable stock

Heat the olive oil in a large pan until hot, then add the onion, garlic, leek and onion and sweat gently for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and mix together then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Smooth in a blender and enjoy.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Perfect digging conditions...

After all the rain last week and Saturday being a beautiful crisp autumn day yesterday was a perfect digging day, made good progress preparing the soon to be plum tree area and cleared a good few nettles in the progress. Hopefully the number of jumbo worms I stumbled across is also a good omen for the future.

Suttons seed catalogue has arrived so I have been drawing up wish lists of everything I want to grow next year. Squash and pumpkins are featuring heavily (hopefully next year won't bring quite so much rain) but I am also hoping to try asparagus alongside the more staple cabbage, potatoes and lots of carrots. Now I just need to choose the varieties and then I can create a planting plan. Hopefully with a few more of these sunny days I can actually clear some ground to plant the seeds.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

The plot

My allotment, number 19 is huge (after numerous failed attempts to measure it I am still none the wiser about exact dimensions) and rammed full of nettles. After spending the last 3 months desperately trying to find the soil, and getting stung in the process, I am now finally at a stage where some digging has started.

Today was a significant day because I have just ordered my raspberry canes (5 Autumn Bliss and 5 Glen Ample), a plum tree (Victoria of course) and 10 Asparagus crowns (Gijnlim) I just need to finish preparing the planting positions :)

I will be documenting my struggles to turn this nettle patch into a lovely patch of food bliss and as my usual approach to dealing with large volumes of veg is to make soup I think it is safe to expect some recipes along the way.