Week 38 – Slow and Steady

Slow progress this week but progress nonetheless. It was half term this week so no college for Louis. He only came down to the allotment with me a couple of times and,  despite me trying to entice him with promises of the special fork he was having none of it (who knew he wouldn’t be convinced by a shiny fork? Haha!) and he just sat in the shed with his cardigan over his head (best way to see his DS screen apparently!) Apologies but I totally forgot to take a photo of Louis hiding under his cardi!

Yet again, I’ve concentrated on digging the extension area. Joy of joys I came across a rat. Luckliy for me (not so much for the rat) it was dead. Based on looks it had been there a while but I still wasn’t planning on putting my hands anywhere near it so I scooped it up with the fork and chucked it in the rubbish bag, What fun! (Please don’t scour the photo for the dead rat – of course I didn’t take a photo of it. What are you like?!)

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No shoes this week, (I know! Can this really be my plot?) just the normal bits of rubbish and weeds and, apart from the aforementioned rat nothing even remotely exciting (not that I find rats exciting!)

I had planned to pop down to the plot most mornings this week but on Tuesday morning I received a message from my friend, J. (the lady who runs the food waste cafe) We’d been asked to cater a lunch at a local canal centre but J. wasn’t well and messaged me first thing asking if we should cancel. After various messages and a phonecall we decided that we could do it without her. I would do all the cooking and we would ask some of our regular volunteers if they would come along to help serve and tidy up. So, I spent all day Tuesday in the kitchen making soup  and vegetable pasta bake. Very pleased to say all the vegetables, in both dishes came from the allotment. I also made apple crumbles using apples from a local allotment. The lunch went very well. We fed 20 very appreciative volunteers who had all been working outside in the cold for the canal centre’s annual maintenance day. If you live anywhere near Watford and want a great day out on the canal take a look at Waterways Experiences (www.wexp.org.uk) We also had this beautiful view over the canal as we worked in the kitchen.

We stopped at the pub afterwards (of course we did!) and, by the time we made it home it was too late to go to the allotment.

I’ve had to dig up the pepper plants. We had quite a hard frost on Friday morning and the peppers looked decidedly lacklustre (actually, to be fair they looked dead) so I dug them all up and harvested as many peppers that looked edible. They’re all really small and I was worried they were too small to do anything with, but I was in Marks and Spencer the other day and they sell bags of mini peppers so they’re definitely a thing! I just need to work out what I can do with them.

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Michelle, bless her made a special journey to the allotment on Saturday morning just to give me some strawberry plants – which I totally didn’t manage to get in the ground – sorry Michelle! I promise I’ll plant them this week. Michelle, lovely lady that she is even gave me some straw to put down around the strawberry plants to keep them warm – the straw is still in the shed along with the strawberry plants. The plan is to put the strawberries in the bed the peppers have just vacated. If I stick to the middle of the bed I’m hoping to avoid any rogue alliums planted by Louis!

I stayed for a couple of hours on Saturday morning after Michelle left. Random Cafe was cancelled due to illness and lots of our volunteers being unavailable. So, instead myself J. and C. visited a 2nd hand clothes warehouse. The warehouse was about an hour away but totally worth it (thankyou C. for driving) It was in, what looked like old farm buildings. Inside there were just racks and racks of clothes. I picked up a few pieces for Louis and I to wear for running club – we both need warmer clothes to run/walk in now we’re nearing winter.We all managed to find some really great items. I think we all bought shoes and I tried on 4 different dresses – I bought one which I’m planning on wearing to Louis’ 18th birthday party in 2 weeks. A really great afternoon and a well deserved day off from the cafe.

Today I really wasn’t feeling it and I had to almost trick myself into going to the plot. I spent the morning at home pottering and listening to The Archers. When The Archers had finished I drove to Morrisons to pick up some lunch. On the drive home I had an internal debate about whether I should drive home or stop at the allotment. The thinking went something along the lines of ‘if you go home you can lay on the sofa and watch telly all afternoon’ versus ‘just do 2 hours work on the extension and then you can lay on the sofa and watch telly for the rest of the afternoon’ So I did 2 hours work on the extension. As much as I didn’t really want to do it, I’m glad I made myself go. I spent about 2 hours digging up rubbish, and as much as it’s starting to do my head in, digging up ridiculous amounts of other people’s rubbish, as I keep saying it just has to be done and I should just stop moaning about it!

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The plot is looking pretty empty. Rhubi is still looking good. I’m going to have to cut her back before the temperature really starts to drop but I’m really struggling with the idea of this – it just feels wrong somehow.

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The brussel sprouts have flippin white fly on them again. I’ve sprayed them again – hopefully the spray will work this time. Not sure if it was the spray that didn’t work last time or if it was the way I sprayed it – either way it didn’t work and the little buggers are back and eating my brussel sprouts.

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The chrysanthemum is looking beautiful. I’m so pleased with this little plant.

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This is how I left the plot this week. As I said, not a massive amount of progress but slow and steady wins the race.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Week 38 – Slow and Steady

    1. Hi Tony. From what I’ve read I can’t/shouldn’t use the rhubarb from the first year. There isn’t a problem with cutting her back – it’s just me, it feels a bit strange to cut back all that growth that I’ve spent so long cultivating. I’ll cut her back this week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, of course. (Actually, I do not even like taking rhubarb from old established colonies. It really does seem wrong.) I did not consider that this was the first year. When I moved mine, I actually let the foliage die back naturally. However, the plants did not grow much at all, so there was not enough for even one pie anyway.

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