Last year everything was drowned and it never stopped raining, this year I was thinking we were heading for a drought but the rain is pouring. Now we did need some, and we’ve had two inches of it but that’s enough. Thank you, you can stop now!
So I’ve found myself watering in the greenhouses as it rains outside. It always seems a little mad filling a can in the rain.
We’ve blanched and frozen the broad beans harvested the other day and some young carrots. Production has been outstripping demand! Val did say she hoped I wasn’t growing too much sweetcorn this year. We freeze the surplus and still have some from the year before last.
One thing we depend on is our freezers. Upstairs we have a small chest freezer, A rated, so efficient and it holds at -22 degrees so things store well. £30.00 second hand and only 6 months old when we got it. In the garage we’ve a much older upright freezer, which is effective if less efficient so we run that with a savaplug to keep the running costs down.
Our district association had the monthly meeting at the allotment site in Willaston where member and show grower John Bebbington has his plot. It’s a larger site than ours, about 80 plots I think, with a very different soil. Ours is heavy clay and theirs is light sand.
Sandy soils have some advantages over clay; free drainage, easier to work being the main ones. However, they dry out quickly and lose nutrients quickly as well. The answer is to add lots of organic matter to improve the soil structure. This seems to be the answer to most soils actually. Unfortunately, the manure problem has struck on this site as well.
Anyway, we had a very large turnout. Not quite sure how many people were there, but I think there were more than the meeting where Medwyn Williams MBE spoke. He’s the chap with all the Chelsea RHS gold medals.
I’m kicking myself because it was only after I got there that I realised I’d not got a memory card in my camera. It was left in the computer. John Bebbington, as I said, is a show grower and there’s a lot on his plot worth photographing.
His potatoes aren’t any more exciting to look at than any others in the ground but his cabbages are fantastic. One he grows has purple veins in the leaves and is huge. I am not kidding, they’d make a great architectural feature in a stately garden border. His onions, in the polytunnel, are rather special as well.
I’ll see if he’ll let me pop down and take some photos when the sun is shining. The whole site is quite pretty, so I’d have liked to have taken some photos of the other plots on there.
I won the raffle!
We usually have a raffle to raise funds for our DA and John B had donated the prizes as well. Larry gave me the task of selling this time so I prowled the site like a cross between a double glazing salesman and a shark. Just before the draw I remembered I hadn’t bought a ticket. Phew!
I’m glad I did as mine was the first one drawn. I’ve won before but always when I’ve donated the prizes, which sort of makes it a pointless exercise. This time I got a 1Kg pack of Miracle Gro fertiliser. Val’s hanging baskets will appreciate that, unless I can smuggle it out of the house and down to the plot.
After a while we retired to member Mike Kenny’s house round the corner from the site. He’s got a plot on the site but also is lucky enough to have a huge garden with a lovely fruit and veg patch at the bottom.
He’d (well his family actually) had laid on tea and cakes. So we settled down in the garden to chat and I helped demolish some lovely home made scones. Not great for my expanding waistline, but it wouldn’t have been polite to say no. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.