Week 21

We’re on holiday! This is my view as I type

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but I’ll tell you more about this beautiful view later.

The week started with a school residential trip from Monday to Wednesday. I was hoping to make it to the plot on Monday morning on my way to school but I just wasn’t organised enough.

The school trip was great fun. We stayed on a farm so lots of animal grooming and feeding, wall climbing, indoor archery (no,  I didn’t know either!), caving and a trip to the zoo. We had a brilliant few days and I even managed some gardening. There were a few kids (and adults) who didn’t want to go caving – I tried it a few years ago on guide camp and I only managed to stay down there for about 30 seconds before my claustrophobia got the better of me and I had to come out. The farm had an allotment (YAY!) so those of us who weren’t caving worked on the allotment. We dug up some potatoes and radishes and watered the beds. I felt right at home!

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We arrived back at school at 3pm Wednesday and I was back on my plot by 4.30pm – not bad going I’d say! Dan was there when I arrived, keen to show me how much everything had grown  – surprisingly noticeable growth in just 2 days but I guess that’s what happens with so much sunshine.

I planted the 8 pepper plants into the original parsnip bed (where I planted the parsnip seeds and nothing happened – hoping I’ll have more luck in this bed with the peppers) To be fair, 2 of them looked pretty sorry for themselves and I have to admit I think they’re goners but the other 6 look really healthy. The bed hasn’t been touched for a little while and it’s had a load of chicken poo dug into it so here’s hoping the soil’s in good enough condition for the peppers to prosper.

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Wednesday also saw me harvest my first produce. It was only a single courgette but it still felt good. It was pretty tricky spotting the courgette because of the size of the leaves (pretty bloody enormous) Dan pointed it out to me because, as we all know even though I planted courgette plants I never actually expected to grow any courgettes!

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I haven’t actually eaten the fruits of my labour – I took it to my Slimming World group and put it in the fruit and veg bowl for the person who lost the most weight that week. The lady who won it said she hadn’t grown any courgettes this year (are you even allowed to call yourself a gardener if you don’t grow courgettes?!) so she was very pleased with it.

Rhubi is doing remarkably well despite, what seems like every bug in the local vicinity taking up residence on her leaves.

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Onions are continuing to grow well as are the potatoes – no flowers yet, though.

The carrots and parsnips all look great.

Due to packing and preparing for our holiday I didn’t make it down to the plot again until Saturday morning. I walked down in glorious sunshine and stayed for about an hour. I gave everything a good water and removed as many weeds as I could. Michelle arrived at about 8.30am and picked a whole lettuce and some peas from her plot for me. I also picked 2 courgettes. I brought them all on holiday with us and I’m slowly eating my way through the lettuce (there was quite a lot of it!) and planning on making a veggie curry with the courgettes and peas.

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The courgettes on the sunny side are absolutely enormous. The 2 courgette plants on the shady side of the shed aren’t doing so well. One of them has mildew on its leaves. Michelle and I discussed what the best course of action would be and we decided it was probably best to remove the leaves so that’s what I did. No idea if that’s what I should have done but it felt like the right thing to do – we’ll see.

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Weirdly it was quite difficult to leave my little plot knowing I wouldn’t see it for 2 weeks. I know I’m leaving it in really good hands – Dan and Michelle have promised to keep and eye on it and water it (thankyou Dan and Michelle!) They’ve also said they’ll take photos to let me see how it’s doing without me – I considered suggesting face timing but I suspect that may be taking it a little far! Is this what it’s like leaving a pet?!

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So, to get back to that view. We’re in Cornwall – near Looe. We drove down here yesterday and we’re here for 2 weeks. We’ve had absolutely amazing weather today – seriously we could have been abroad it’s been so nice. Louis spent the whole afternoon in the sea on his body board and I sunbathed and read my book.

The apartment we’re staying in has 44 steps to it (I count them every time I climb them!) I climbed them 4 times yesterday when we arrived due to bringing a ridiculous amount of luggage with us. It’s a massive climb but it’s worth it for the view. And, yes I felt I had to have a glass (or 2!) of wine after I’d lugged all the bags up those steps yesterday (thankyou to one of the mums from the school trip for the generous gift of the bottle of wine)

Obviously, I won’t be on the allotment for the next fortnight but I’m hoping to still write this blog while I’m here. As I say, Dan and Michelle have said they may send photos and I’m hoping we’ll visit some garden centres and/or gardens while we’re down here (I won’t spend all my time on the beach or at the pub!) I know we’re very close to the Eden Project – we visited it last year and I wasn’t impressed with it but maybe I’ll give it another go with a gardener’s head on.

So, this is how I left the plot on Saturday morning – I wonder what it will look like when I get back?

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2 thoughts on “Week 21

  1. Rhubi sort of looks the same. Are the new inner leaves without holes? Mine always starts out with a few holes too, but I do not care, even if the holes continue late into the season. All I want are the petioles. The holes do not take too much away from the surface area of the leaves.

    Hi Tony,
    Yeah, the new leaves get holes in them pretty quickly but, as you say it’s not the leaves you want. I can’t harvest any stalks this year anyway so I’m just happy she’s finally growing.

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  2. Hi Nici,

    Just to say I hope you have a magnificent holiday. Sounds like that’s happening aready. Weather is just right for being in Cornwall, I envy you.

    I read all the allotment blogs, still think you should get in touch with Monty Don, you seem to have learned – and achieved – so much.

    I hope to be back at Food Bank in August, hope to see you then. Love, Betty x

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