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Productive Plots

Being the first Sunday of the month I sent out the newsletter. I use a company called Aweber to manage it nowadays because it became a nightmare just sending it out. My poor old PC would chunter all day and night to just get the mail out whilst my ISP slowed things down, being convinced I was a master spammer due to the volume.

Now I just have to write it and press a go button.. It does have some drawbacks, I can’t just change someone’s address for them anymore – but at least the mail gets out.

Derek from plot 6 had said we could help ourselves to some apples off his plot so Val came with me to just get a few apples. We passed by the turnips, and they came up. It’s amazing just how many you can get from a 3 foot row, a carrier bag full. The next row on that bed is beetroot, and that looks like providing enough for our needs. Mind you, I don’t like beetroot so we don’t eat many.

There’s a couple more Elisa cabbage ready to lift, they’re really nice. Not huge, but who wants a cabbage that will feed a family of 10 for a month nowadays? These provide enough for about 4 meals for the two of us.

We moved onto the peas, the Kelvedon Wonder. Half a carrier bag from a ten foot row, with more to come of course.

The next item was the second sowing of broad beans – Bunyard’s Exhibition. The pods looked like they might be ready, but there’s only one way to be sure – try one! Perfect, although I did check again with another pod and another until Val mentioned that she didn’t know why she bothered cooking if I was just going to eat raw beans. That might have been more believable if she hadn’t been munching peas at the time.

We didn’t quite finish harvesting the beans before it was time to go, about two thirds of the 10 foot row filled 3 carrier bags.

I cut down the stems as I went, it wastes a few under developed pods, but often they fail to develop anyway and the haulm was shading the dwarf French beans to one side and the climbing beans to the other.

Next time we go down we will be harvesting climbing French beans and runner beans. They’re both very near ready as well.

Val’s been going through the freezers. Now freezing is a great storage method for surplus produce but things don’t last forever and bags have a habit of being hidden under others. We found we still had some sweetcorn from 2006 in there! Plus enough from 2007 to last us until this year’s crop appears.

Monday was a work day, yuck! I won’t bore you with the details of trying to get some software to work as it should on a different server. I’ve had my new workstation PC a week now and still not done anything with it. Must get finger out.

Had a couple of telephone calls from the press. It seems they’ve realised that growing your own is cheaper than buying from the shops. It amazes me how the media keep on about people are using Aldi rather than more expensive supermarkets. We’ve used them since they opened here and been very pleased with the quality as well as the price.

The only problem I’ve got, when discussing money saving through growing your own is that I’ve no idea what vegetables cost in the shops. We hardly ever buy them. As for wasting food, maybe it’s the way we were brought up, but to us that would be sin. I wonder if these ‘wasters’ have heard of Tupperware?

Anyway, Monday was also a food factory day. Val podded the peas and beans whilst I pottered around with the boiling water, blanching and cooling, before we froze them. What we do is to bag into meal sized portions, which keeps things simple when serving up. The only thing we do need to watch is that we don’t end up with 4 years supply in there. Think we’ll be donating some real veggies to the poor relatives.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “Productive Plots
  1. Dave Walton says:

    We have just been through the freezers to see what was lurking in the corners from last season, and putting in the stuff pouring off the lottie.

    We buy cartons of (250)take-away boxes from our local chinese supermarket. They give us a decent portion for two, and mean you pack a standard container n the freezers.

    Except for those used for strong flavoured food(eg red cabbage and apple) or cooked food with fat on, most serve for at least two years, so they work out inexpensive

  2. John says:

    We had a Chinese takeaway the other night and have saved all the boxes – very useful!

    Most of the veggies go in cheapo freezer bags but the takeaway boxes are great for prepared meals. I’ll have to take a look in the supermarket next time we’re in a city with a Chinese one.

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