Sunday, 26 July 2009

Potato Harvest & Cashalton Lavender Weekend

Ok, so this is not a potato, but my first outdoor cucumber - a hairy, knobbly one, but a cucumber all the same!

Ah, now that looks more like it - these are my 1st Earlies (Charlottes) which I freshly dug out of the ground on Saturday morning. I forgot they were there until I found the little marker by the marker in front of the Kestrel 2nd Earlies!!
It was for once a beautiful sunny day & boy was it hot whilst digging, so much so that I had to stop half way through for a break and a nice cuppa.

These are the Kestrels. I thought it best to let them dry a little in the warm sun before putting them into the hessian sack bought especially for the job from the Trading Hut.

Now to the Lavender Weekend. I was on duty at the event from 10am to 12.30pm. I was there to get new people to sign up as members & to allow them to shop in the Trading Hut (see
I did quite well, signing up 6 members.
Whilst there, a red admiral butterfly landed on my foot and stayed there for quite some time.

The view from where I was, looking up towards the allotments with the Trading Hut in the distance (below the flats)

Some of the stalls selling lavender plants and products

And here is the local beekeepers stall, selling honey, honeycombe & much more

And finally - I managed to get a picture of the very same
Red Admiral Butterfly
This time without my foot!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Bicycle Harvest & Other photos

Today's Bicycle Harvest - A large courgette, A Jemmer Courgetter (yell0w) and a little pot of peas!

A lady bug on my Greenhouse Cucumber

A weird Lady bug on the hops leaf

The Aubergine in the Greenhouse

what am I going to do with all these mini cucumbers?!?

My pot of peas which will go in tonights dinner

And last by not least - my very first green pepper!
(with more to follow as you can see)

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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Harvesting in more ways than one!

Our neighbours, Carshalton Lavender are hosting their Harvest Weekend this 25th & 26th July, so come along between 10am and 4pm.

Extra attractions:

NEW Lavender Oil Distillation
Lavender arts & crafts
Local artists at work
Lavender beauty products
Lavender cookies
Speciality breads
Information display
Lavender plants for sale

PYO lavender
Small bunches, £1; large bunches, £2; buckets, from £6

Please bring scissors if you have them, a bag for your lavender and protection from the sun, if it’s sunny

By rail:
Frequent trains from London Victoria, West Croydon and Sutton to
Carshalton Beeches – 10 minute walk
By bus:

154 West Croydon – Morden: alight in Stanley Park Road
127 Purley – Tooting Broadway: alight in Woodcote Rd at the Junction of Stanley Park Road
157 Crystal Palace – Morden: alight in Stafford Road outside Sainsbury’s
Satuday only S4 - Roundshaw – St Helier: alight in Gaynesford Road
Please come by public transport or cycle if you can. Parking is very limited.

My own harvest, this morning, was of marrows - they have grown into huge monsters overnight! I am going to make Fritters with one to go with tonights dinner (see for the recipe) Stuff one tomorrow night Maltese Style and probably give the 3rd one to a neighbour!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Mid July on 144 & 121....

The weather here in Surrey was ultra dodgy this weekend, and 121 desperately needed a good weeding - brambles had sprouted up all over the place and were getting bigger by the minute, so drastic action was needed.
I "borrowed" my husbands dandelion weeder and got the buggers out by their roots. I was hard work but someone had to do it - ME!!
My Toms on 121 are enjoying a brief spell of sunshine.

Staying on plot 121, here are the sweetcorn that Joel helped me to plant a few weeks ago. They are all very healthy looking plants and I can't wait to munch into them with butter dripping down my chin - Mmmmm!

And still on 121 - this is my very very 1st Butternut Squash! I am so proud and there will be more to come because I planted about 8 plants and on average I think you get 10 fruits (or shoudl that be veg??) to a plant so I will be in Butternut Squash heaven soon.
This is the harvest I brought home, a Marrow which I will probably stuff as usual Maltese Style as its such a scrumptious meal, two Summber Ball courgettes, two "normall" courgettes, one of which we roasted and one I gave to a neighbour in a swap for some eggs, a snack cucumber which is in the fridge, french beans, half in the fridge and half for an egg swap and a Chilli!(it's there somewhere)

Pictured in the greenhouse are the summer ball courgettes, snack cucumber & french beans - my Happy Vegetables

And this was before the french beans were picked!
More news is that Arthur, the delivery boy, has unfortunately not been all that well this week, bless his cottton socks, so he is on orders to take it easy, but he still found time to make sure that the old greenhouse heater that I was given was in full working order - he even showed me how to adjust the wicks, light it and get it all going properly, so come the winter I have a snuggly greenhouse!
I was also honoured to be invited to the Trading Hut for Saturday morning coffee, even though I haven't been on shop duties for a while now, but a few are coming up in August.
I have also been busy collating recipes from our SRAGS members, some of which have been posted on the website - mainly courgette recipes, just in time for the courgette glut that is soon to come - go take a look, they are a great way to use variety for one of the same veg! You won't get bored eating courgettes!!
And don't forget to treat yourself and pop to my guest blog on this great website Fennel & Fern

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I have been PUBLISHED !!

My Twitter friends who run this great website / blog have published my top ten tips
"If I knew then what I knew now"
To have a read go to Fennel & Ferns Blog
I am chuffed to bits!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Mid July Update photo's

The courgettes are coming!!!

I love the look of these yellow ones.

Will have to get my "what do I do with all thosse courgettes" book out very soon

Ahhh! You've caught me at it - tea break time!!

And finally a lovely flower that I saw on the plot behind me 144a - isn't it fantastic?

I have been working down there too - mainly watering the greenhouse, due to all the recent rain, it hasn't been worth watering the plot, although I did give the outside cucumbers and marrows a little drink this morning.
Plot 121 is FULL of sprouting brambles - I was shocked when I saw how they have returned!! I will have to tackle them tomorrow.
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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The fruits of my labour (or should that be the Veg??)

Firstly, I am sad to report that both Tatty & Hilda were beheaded the other day, and Hilda's head had been chucked over the fence, whilst Tatty's was at his feet.

Once I had found all the necessary parts, they were put back together with loving care, but minus Tatty's hat.

Needless to say that I was very upset by the whole thing, and went off home to find a hat for him.

Alas - there was nothing suitable, and by the time I arrived back the next morning, something probably bird like, had picked at his brains!!

Enough was enough - it was time for drastic action, so out came a Whale Pot from the Greenhouse (normally resevered for growing Tomatoes, but this was a code red emergency situation) and it was placed on his poorly head.

Tommy Cooper comes to mind - or should that be Tatty Cooper??

Next is my Greenhouse Chilli.....

And the offspring of one of the triffid cucumbers......

And finally my 1st marrow which is huge. I've picked it, and I am going to stuff it "Maltese Style" for our dinner tonight - can't wait!

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Monday, 6 July 2009

The triffid cucumber plant and more.....

As you already know by now, it was my birthday this weekend, and as there was lots planned, the allotment was visited briefly, but not as fully as would have been on a normal weekend, with good weather to boot!
I went to water on Friday morning before my lovely trip to MERL (see previous post) and I also went on Saturday morning and watered both plots before driving down to Ferring where I was treated to a lovely Birthday lunch by my lovely Mother in Law and her Partner Richard.
On Sunday morning my nasty neighbour had beaten me to it on the hose pipe, so I watered by watering can, which was handy anyway, as I had to feed the Tomatoes, Cucumbers & courgettes etc. (maybe that's why they are all turning into Triffids??) but I have to leave by 9.30 am as I had another fun packed day to get through......
The Triffid Cucumber plant....

This "growth"literally happened overnight.

Fortunately for me, Nigel popped his head through the greenhouse door and suggested that I took out one of the staging trays - that then meant that I could put the triffid cucumber, which was by this time growing out of the greenhouse door, on the floor and with a little addition of a piece of string to climb up, that's one happy cucumber plant! (there are about 6 others in there - a mixture of normal and "picollino" or snack cucumbers.

Now this is one of my Tomatoes - Tomato Roma in fact. These plants are in the greenhouse and are doing very very well indeed. They are now getting fed twice a week, as are the squashes, cucumbers, chilli's, sweetpeppers etc.

This is lot 4 of peas - the others outside are either still growing or I have eaten them! Delicious

And this is a chilli that appeared overnight! There is also one, just as big on the plant thats outside!!

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Friday, 3 July 2009

The Gnome Trail at MERL Reading

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I had a great Birthday today at MERL Reading

I would highly recommend it to everyone - old and young - it's extremely interesting.

You can start off by watching 5 minute film which is very informative & then you walk around the exhibition and see what people did, how they made things, transported things etc. before we had all our high tech machines.

There are lots of films you can watch on the way round too e.g. how they used to make kegs (no measurements used - all done by eye!!) and there was also a film on pottery, basket weaving and rake making - we will have to go back because we didn't have time to watch them all!

Then there was the gardens and vegetable patches /allotment plots - WWII style and modern day plots, growing a variety of vegetables, along with a few great scarecrows.

Then there is the Grow your Own exhibition and they also have a great little shop for some souveniers too!

However the highlight of the day was the Gnome Trail - 17 in all, but I only found 16 so I will definately have to go back to find no. 17 !!

Thanks MERL for a great Birthday treat.

If you get a chance to go, or are driving by Reading - don't miss this rare treat - it's not a museum - its fasinating !

Thursday, 2 July 2009

My Sunflowers on Guard Duty

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