Garlic Horror, Sneak Thieves & Raised Beds

First a sad tale from the plot to end the year. Gianni, who has those works of art for plots that I’ve featured on here before had his motorbike stolen from behind his house. They rode around on it a bit and took it into the park where they set fire to it. Much aggravation and financial loss, I ranted about insurance companies before so I won’t bother again.

Anyway, poor Gianni is on the plot in his greenhouse when someone sneaks on through the unlocked gate onto the site and steals his pedal bike. It’s funny the excuses people find not to take 10 seconds to lock the gate. One plotholder doesn’t want the gate locked in case he has a heart attack and the paramedics couldn’t get to him. Apparently he’s fine and fit enough to drive around but otherwise might keel over at any second.

Then we have the ‘I won’t be long’ brigade who can’t spend 10 seconds from their very important schedule to lock the gate. The rest of us just lose heart, we lock it but then somebody comes on and doesn’t. Oh well, I’m ending the year being Mr Grumpy which was not really my intent.

Val returned from her hunting expeditions around the local shops with some double cream reduced to 10p as it’s on the end of its shelf life. Now, much as I like a spot of cream occasionally, there’s no way we’ll use all of it before it goes off and cream doesn’t really freeze well so I’ll be making butter tomorrow, headache permitting.

Anyway, down to the plot just after lunch where I was the only one on the site, which was nice. I really enjoy the feeling of being alone on the site. It’s so peaceful down there. We’ve both been keeping in the warm as we’ve had colds for what seems like months now, despite taking extra Vitamin C. Today, I thought ‘blow it away’ and wrapped up warm. Certainly feel better for the exercise.

My daughter bought me a lovely zip up cardigan for Christmas which she said would keep me warm on the plot. Far too nice to get all muddy, so I stuck with my old sweater. It was knitted for me by Val when she was expecting our daughter. Still good enough for the plot, even if it has shrunk a little in the last 27 years. You know you’re getting old when you thank people for cardigans and socks and honestly mean it!

First thing I noticed was the dratted pigeons have been causing havoc on the plot. Somehow the netting on the cauliflowers had been pushed back and the flying rats have been eating the leaves. Don’t quite know how the netting had been moved, perhaps somebody was having a nosy and didn’t put the net back. I have my dark suspicions!

The next thing was horror on the garlic bed. Those birds have been digging up and scattering cloves of garlic. I suspect they like the look of the tasty shoots and pull them up but then don’t like the taste and try another one. I’ve replanted some, goodness knows if they’ll survive but it doesn’t do any harm to try. Got a horticultural fleece out and covered the bed to stop any more damage. It’s well pegged down so it should be OK if we get some strong winds.

I noticed one greenhouse on a nearby plot has lost a couple of panes of glass, hope they fix it quickly because when the wind gets into a greenhouse it can be destroyed easily. They’re remarkably resistant to storms as long as the glass is fixed and the doors shut but once the wind gets in, they don’t fly very well.

The rest of the time was spent digging over and fixing up the third of the new deep beds. It’s nearly finished now but the light was going. It’s nice to know each day is a little longer again but I’ll be happier still when the equinox is past.

Looking back it’s been a funny old year, I’m just hoping that next year will be dryer but not a drought, please.

Just a note – if I go offline for a few days, the computer is playing up. I suspect the main hard disk is about to fail.


Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “Garlic Horror, Sneak Thieves & Raised Beds
  1. caroline says:

    My mother-in law used to freeze double cream well. You have to whip it first apparently. I’m no cook but she was an excellent one and she told me that single cream doesnt freeze at all. She used to put blobs of whipped double cream onto a plastic tray (it may have been oiled first) froze them and then spatula’ed them off and into a freezer bag.

  2. John says:

    Thanks for that, Caroline – I’d heard about freezing whipped cream (as in cream that’s been whipped) but I fancied making some butter. Haven’t tried freezing whipped cream though.

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