Sunday, 19 January 2014

It's been years since I had my hand stamped

Today I went to Seedy Sunday in Trumpington and they stamped my hand on entry, last time that happened I think I was going into a night club in my late teens. It was busy with lots of people but there was no dancing that I noted.

I swapped some seeds for the following:
Some Hokkaido pumpkin seeds.
Allium seeds they were in the flower section really hoping that they will be interesting. 
Plus,some oxalis tuberosa tubers which were in the flower section, but these actually turn out to be some sort of yam. Not what I expected and I am not sure about them, but I might just bung them into the soil at the lotty and see what happens. Any info would be gratefully received.

The Trumpington allotment group (not my allotment group) were selling seeds, I had a recommendation to try the Cherokee trail of tears climbing beans, so I got some of those.

I donated a small amount to the heritage seed library for some broad beans 'Gloucester Champion' and 'Mrs Lewis' purple podded climbing French beans. I hope to sow the broad beans soon. It will give me a succession crop from my autumn sown ones that are doing well at the moment.

I also bought some Thomas Etty seeds; Turk's Tuban squash which I have grown before and a lettuce called 'drunken woman'. How could I resist a name like that during my 'dry' January attempt?

I have sorted through my seeds and have placed everything I hope to grow this year in a tin grouped into months, the sub dividers are plastic bags as its a chocolate tin not a bespoke seed tin. All the squashes are grouped together for indoor sowing. I am going to try to sow direct mostly this year. I need to resist the temptation to sow too early so I am ignoring you all went you say that you have sown already etc.

The only seeds I think I still need to buy are parsnips as you need them fresh. I also fancy some sunflowers but in pastel shades but I don't need those really. If I continue with the idea to turn some of the plot over to cutting flowers I need to put my mind to what I want.

I am still uncertain as to whether to grow potatoes this year if I do it will be a last minute thing.

If you want to go to seedy Sunday next year at Trumpington it is on the 25th January 2015.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The first visit of the year

I haven't been to the allotment for a while, December is a difficult month with all the build up to Christmas mostly related to the kids social lives. There is no time at all.

Wasn't too sure what was going to greet me today, the weather has been mild and weeds could be growing wildly, there is also the thought of a swimming swampland exisiting and I always fear vandals and thieves have visited me. I was pleasantly surprised. I need to hoe some of the small weeds in places and know which areas need to be dug again soon, I think I can have it looking presentable if I put the effort now; weather permitting. So it is cardboard and manure sourcing in the next few weeks. While the brambles have died back a bit, it is time to attack.

The wind has blown down the fruit cage poles and Huw's play house. Easily fixed I think, other people on the site lost their shed roofs.

My broad beans are up and looking good. The garlic and onions are holding up well. Thank goodness for my autumnal efforts I think they will pay off well.

I am amazed by my wallflowers they seem to have bounded forward (need to hoe here!) . I so hope to plant other flowers at the front of the plot this year as my cutting garden area.

My first produce is likely to be this broccoli - how exciting and the label said harvest from February, it is on track for that.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Happy New Year everyone.

It is time to look back at a year and hopefully towards another year.

There are many things that I have wished were different in 2013 but I cannot change that. I wished it had been slower but how can you do that with out the power to control time itself. I did some great stuff which I never blogged about, often because the moment had past or I was a little too shy to share, artwork etc. That was one of my big frustrations with the year. 

I hope to change that in 2014, just to blog a little more. If I go to some good events or workshops then I will push myself to post about them.

Rather than have restrictive resolutions of restraint I'm going for things I would like to do in 2014.

  • I would like to make my own frocks and thought it would be nice to have 5 for the summer. It means dusting off and servicing a old electric sewing machine and may be a tall order so 1 dress would be good.
  • I would like to try time lapse photography.
  • To grow some flowers at the allotment so I can have cut flowers indoors.
We can measure success at the end of the year but if I don't achieve it and have done other things then that will be fine too. However, all I need to do over the next few days is get a visit in to the allotment, fingers crossed that it is both dry and light when I have some time to do this. Must pay the allotment rent too.