The mornings are turning crispy. Not only in the air but underfoot too as the trees prepare for their sunset-coloured finale. Meanwhile at the bottom of the allotment garden, the apple tree whispers “pick me, pick me”. Autumn is a fleeting but special season for many and one that I love to celebrate by cooking comforting treats with the last homegrown fruits of the year. Continue reading “Mini Apple Turnovers”
It’s the end of Great British Pea Week, and what better time to celebrate my love for the humble garden pea! Starting life as a shrivelled up wrinkly seed, the first luscious green leaves that emerge are a welcome sight in early spring. Once they start growing, they don’t need much encouragement as they soon start to romp away, climbing my natural hazel trellis support with their adorable curly tendrils.
Continue reading “Minted Pea & Ham Soup”
The seed sowing season is in full swing and I’m lucky to be trialling some new varieties from Sutton’s. I spent many hours flicking through their brightly coloured catalogue and narrowed my selection to a top ten list of favourites to try for the first time.
Late winter going into early spring is one of the best times of the year to choose your allotment plot. Annual plants have died back and deciduous trees bare their naked form, giving you an overall blank canvas view of the plot’s potential future as a productive edible garden. You might even glance a few signs of existing spring, like the striking green flash of bulbs poking up through the soil, the swelling buds of an apple tree or some primula in bloom.
I was lucky to only wait six months for my plot, but you could have your name on the waiting list for many months, or maybe even years! One day though, you’ll reach the top of that list and receive an invitation to go on an allotment tour, to choose yourself a garden. I remember the day so vividly! I was bursting with eagerness to think that I could return home with a set of keys to my very own piece of land. Continue reading “Tips for Choosing your Allotment Garden”
Happy New Year! I’m going into 2018 with a list of personal allotment resolutions – eek! Let me make it clear that resolutions aren’t normally my thing. To be honest, I don’t see the point in striving for unrealistic personal goals, putting pressure on yourself to live a certain way, only to forget all about the #NEWYEARNEWME by the 4th January *rolls eyes*. It just isn’t me. With all that said, I was reflecting on my allotment progress and realised how I could make things better for myself, my land and hopefully for others too. Some of my resolutions I have started already, because they aren’t just for a new year remember! It’s never a bad time to make a few changes to your lifestyle or future plans.
Continue reading “2018 Allotment Resolutions”
Overall, 2017 has been a great year for growing and experimenting. I tried new methods to increase plant production, prevent diseases and I also got creative in the kitchen using the glut of the harvests to make new recipes including cakes, cider, chutneys, jams, indian snacks and desserts! Take a look at my top 7 successes for 2017 and be sure to let me know in the comments what your biggest success was for the year. Continue reading “TOP 7 Successes of 2017”
Happy Apple Day! Since today is the day that we, in the UK, celebrate the versatile fruit we all love eat, drink and grow, I thought I would share my home-brewing cider process so far. Continue reading “How I Made Home Brewed Cider Part 1”
I can’t believe it’s September already and the growing season has almost come to an end! I thought I would do one last tour of the polytunnel (below) to show how the plants have progressed with their new support and water systems in place.
Continue reading “September Polytunnel Video Tour”
- Pune hedges
- Sow green manure ✅
- Prune herbs ✅
- Plant Spring bulbs ✅
- Remove bindweed (!)
- Collect leaves for leaf mould ✅
- Collect seeds ✅
- Sow lupin seeds
- Pot up strawberry runners
- Tidy the shed
- Tidy the polytunnel ✅
- Consider sourcing farm manure ✅
- Build a hedgehog house
- Harvest squashes ✅
- Remove plants after end of harvest ✅
- Harvest apples ✅
- Make cider ✅
I was wrong all along! Well…kind of. Let me explain. I got the keys to my allotment in September 2014 and one of the reasons I chose it was for the apple tree growing at the back of the plot. The first apple I ate was sour and must have been an underripe one because for the last THREE YEARS I thought my apple tree grew cooking apples.