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Potatoes, Tomatoes & Peppers

I managed to get away for a couple of hours on the plot this afternoon. Val assured me she’d survive hobbling around without me for that long so off I went. I’m glad to report the plot’s still there!

First port of call was the shed where I found the wheelbarrow had a flat tyre. So back to home with the wheel but could I find the puncture repair kit? No way! So down to town and into the big car and bike store where the cheerful staff responded to my asking where the bike puncture repair kits could be found with a sullen and dismissive “upstairs”.

Ahh, the art of good service isn’t just dead. It’s decomposed! So much hunting around followed until I found some patches and made my way home.

Now tyre repair is not my best skill but this actually went quite well. Fiddling about to get the tyre back on I was sustained by the thought I’d done it before and it was possible!

So back to the plot where I got half a carrier bag full of rather nice tomatoes and the same of sweet peppers. The lettuce look really good in there but one had got a bit mildewed.

At this time of year it’s important to give the greenhouses some ventilation and open up the door on good days. Although I’ve got automatic vent openers, I’ve not been around enough to open the doors up.

Leaving the doors open at night would mean the temperature plummeting on cold nights, which sort of defeats the object of having a greenhouse. There’s always the danger of getting some strong winds at this time of year as well. Letting the wind get in is a recipe for disaster.

A well built greenhouse will happily survive most of what mother nature can throw at it but loose or worse still missing panes, open doors and so forth in a storm almost guarantees the end of the house. I’ve seen greenhouses blown 10 feet away and turned into a pile of broken glass and twisted aluminium.

Back out onto plot 29 where I harvested a carrier of Sarpo potatoes from one of the compost bins. They’d grown from a few slug eaten rejects I’d chucked in and I’d just left them growing.

I’d started to empty the bin earlier in the year but it was home to a bumble bee nest and their need was greater than mine. With all the problems in the bee population its critical we help rather than harm them.

Piled a load of wilted weeds and foliage into the other bin and by now the sun was heading down so I headed home.

A quick cup of tea and it was off to the supermarket. What a soulless place. I had a small list but it took ages to find anything. Isles full of snacks and crisps – is that what people really eat?

Gammon joint in the reduced section, actually 86% pork. What? 14% dextrose and water! It might not be illegal, but it’s a crime. Huge display of packets of rice that take but a minute in the microwave. Eventually I found a packet of ordinary rice, hidden on the lower shelf.

It’s good to recall what this grow your own thing is all about.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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