Today at the plot

The aftermath of taking the vacuum flask to the allotment was a phone and penknife soaked with sugary tea. The phone had a wash, a dry and is now working again. However, since I took the battery the clock was set several hours in the past. I didn’t, of course, notice this.

This morning I lie snoozing waiting for the alarm on my phone to go off. I was woken by B’s phone (which I thought was a fire alarm) which went off at 10:30. I had missed Meeting.

When I dragged myself out of bed I had backache (which didn’t surprise me) but it was not horrendously bad and we had work to do, so I got dressed for going to ‘the Plot’.

We went to plot 66 and moved two carloads of things to outr new plot, hung a curtain in the window of our new shed, put some hangers for the tools and stacked everything away. I am amazed that everything fits in the shed. The shed is tidy and now we can get down to the job of sorting out the compost heaps and manure tips. Once we have done that we are ready to work on the plot itself.

We have mature fruit trees and bushes – not sure quite what but we think we have :- currants, gooseberries, apples and a pear tree, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. We have a small uncultivated area which will be for salad crops. We also have a cold frame (which might be used for cucumbers.) We intend to keep the fruit trees tidy and see what comes up this year and then decide what we want to keep next year.

I am trying to calm my enthusiasm. I want to start planting immediately. Obviously without a greenhouse we cannot do much anyway but i want to start digging, tidying the plants up, basically I want to be doing stuff. B is so much more relaxed and methodical about it.

I was given half a shed for Valentine’s day…

….I gave my lover the other half.

So we have a green shed. I will post a picture of it soon.

Before it could be erected we had to clear the land where it would sit. B had already measured up and had a cursory glance at where it would go. He decided that it would take a few hours at most to clear.

When we began to clear it we discovered a breadbasket stacked high with bricks, a fair load of other junk and a water storage tank such as you might have in your loft; a header tank I think it is called. It was full of rainwater.

After working out that there was no where to drain it to, we hit on the idea of moving the water into a water butt, but how to do it? B came up with the idea of syphoning it. He cut our very long hose into a sensible size dangled the end into the ‘limmy water’ and sucked. One hose would have taken all day so he set up a second hoes, but it wouldn’t siphon immediately, so he must have sucked seven mouthfuls of disgusting rainwater before it started to work.

It was after the siphons had filled the rain butt almost a third full, but had barely made a dent in the storage tank that we realised that we would need probably as many as five water butts and half a day to empty it that we gave in. The tank is now behind the shed.

Moving the bricks was easier but I suspect them of causing backache.

Placing the shed further forward meant that it would land on uneven ground, but the erectors dealt with that issue with great efficiency. The shed was up in no time at all, and fits in with the surroundings.

The shed is treated outside with a green wash, but the wood is bare inside, and it has no shelves in yet.

I cannot believe how excited I am to have bought my first ever shed. I must be a very sad person.

Flies

Our kitchen is being plagued by flies.  Tiny, weeny flies called fruit flies that come in with the produce from the allotment, or from outside, or breed in the drain.  They come from somewhere and send me crazy.

I try to be organic as much as possible in my growing and we buy organic veg if we can. Then we spray the whole place with flykiller!  Bizarre, isn’t it?

The only thing that these flies are not interested in is the greengages that we bought from Sainsbury’s.  It makes me wonder what they are sprayed with!

I hate flies.  I know they have their purpose in this creation but I would rather that they do their purpose a long way from me.

Co-incidentally I saw a huge spider run across our lounge floor today.  Now I like spiders – they kill flies.

We watched Carz tonight together, what a good fun film!

Parsnips

I have been very disappointed with the  parsnips I grew this year.  It took ages to germinate them, though I planted them at the right time according to the packet.  I put in two rows and got nothing at first. Now it is possible that I pulled the damn seedlings out thinking they were weeds, but somehow I doubt it.  I ended up, after about 5 weeks with four plants.

Later I planted another two rows and they fared worse, though to be honest since I hurt my back it it is difficult to see which are weeds and which are parsnips.  I may still have a parsnip hiding, you never know.

I spoke to them.  I loved them and I kept the weeds away from them but somehow, when they came to be harvested yesterday there were not four plants left.  Two came up full and beautiful, creamy thick and uniform.  One came up more like a ball with a string on the end.

My beloved, who is a brilliant cook, pointed out that there was not enough for a full serving, so he made a soup.

Friends, (if I may be so bold) there was never such a parsnippy tasting soup and it was worth every moment of the  care for that delicious soup.