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Cabbages & Kings

Cabbages, Butterflies & Slugs

Sunday was spent at home, mowed the lawn much to the annoyance of the tribe of pygmies living in it but mainly just a very lazy day. We did spend a bit more time blanching and freezing. Cabbage this time. Some, well OK, the majority of my cabbages seemed to have developed their own eco-systems.

It’s been a bad year for caterpillars, I don’t recall seeing so many butterflies around for a long time. Despite checking under the leaves, it only takes one cluster of eggs to hatch and before you know it, an army of caterpillars are turning the leaves into Nottingham lace.

If the caterpillars don’t get you, the slugs are waiting in the wings and so we decided the best way to get some benefit from the cabbages was the freezer. Not all were affected, but we had to get the outer leaves off to check so they won’t store too well in the shed. They’re wrapped in clingfilm and in the fridge where they’ll keep perfectly for a few weeks.

Sunday Dinner from the Plot

I did take a stroll up to the plot to get some French beans and carrots to go with our Sunday dinner. We had pork with Valor roasted potatoes, which were superb. Cabbage quick cooked with lemon, butter and black pepper, steamed French beans and carrots cooked in just a small amount of water, then drained, mashed and with butter and white pepper. We also had apple sauce made with some apples from the chap on plot 6 who has a surplus.

The carrots were out of the half barrel on plot 5, variety Touchon. All I did was top and tail them then give them a scrub with the vegetable brush. This may sound daft, but they were almost too good to eat. Perfect specimens, about 8″ long with a cylindrical shape.

It’s an absolute delight to sit down to a meal where nearly everything has come from the plot. I doubt we’ll get everything, unless we go vegetarian. Can’t see Larry being happy to have a pig on the site! Anyway, the pig would end up a pet with me and die at an advanced age of natural causes. What can I say? I’m a wimp.

Checking Potatoes

Val did go through the Anya potatoes from the shed. She spread an old shower curtain on the lawn and tipped them out onto it to check for any bad ones. We did find one or two in each sack but the rot hadn’t spread. It really is a good idea to take a few minutes to check stored potatoes each month or so. An unnoticed bad potato will cause the whole sack to rot if you just leave them.

Freezers & Supermarket Bargains

My Mother’s moving date has been brought forward so we’ll be acquiring our fourth freezer next week now. I remember the third freezer was supposed to be a temporary store but we seem to kept them filled all year round.

It’s not just the vegetables off the plot. Val’s got a gold medal for bargain hunting in the supermarket and so we tend to have a lot in store. When you see an organic, free-range chicken reduced to 99p to clear as the sell by is on the last day, you’d be silly to not grab it.

I think our organic pork joint, that will feed us well for two days, was £1.79. We’ve had a large Chateaubriand reduced from £25.00 to a fiver but our best bargain hunt was after Christmas one year where we hit at the right time. Don’t forget, reduced cream is really easy to convert to butter and that freezes well.

We actually eat like kings but spend like paupers. Not a bad thing, in my eyes.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
3 comments on “Cabbages & Kings
  1. keith says:

    Agree about the caterpillars never had it so bad my sprouts have been completly shreded despite having covered with nets which ususaly keeps the buterflies at bay.

  2. Diane says:

    Me too with the caterpillar, and being both alergic and scared of them they had a field day on my nasturtium and radish. I sprayed with soapy water but although it got nasty with the caterpillars it also turned the leaves brown..:(

  3. jacqueline and alan says:

    Thank you for your allotment dairy. We’ve had an allotment in Marple, Stockport for 5 years. We can relate to what’s happening on your plots. The weather is similar here, but perhaps you are just a little more favoured, down on the Cheshire Plain. But we can’t grow carrots at all. Strawberries and potatoes are our star crops. Keep up the good work with the website, it’s very much enjoyed.
    j and a

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