Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Update for 5th August 2009 - Mahoosive courgettes, bad back and swine flu!

Once again I find myself playing catchup with the blog, my sincerest apologies for the lack of recent updates, but in addition to the sciatica I've been suffering with (for which the accupuncture is doing wonders, especially since finding Dr Li, a fabulous and very experienced lady Dr at Dr & Herbs), I've had a skin flare up (after 2 weeks back at work), Lee has had both the flu and a chest infection (which he thankfully seems to be recovering from now) and I've also got/had a dose of the flu thats knocked me off my feet this week!

The piccies on show here were taken on Wednesday the 5th August, after my accupuncture session I felt great, so went to the plot to harvest some of the crops and to assist Pat and Colin with doing the bee inspections on the 3 hives, since then I've not had the chance or energy to process and upload them until today, I've still got the flu, but mercifully my health now seems to be improving and hopefully I'll be back at work for the weekend! Still feel completely drained in energy and with lots of congestion and a very sore throat, but breathing is much easier, my eyes dont hurt as much as they did and the headache seems to have lessened!

The first piccy shows plot 1, with more onions and broadies needing harvest and other things growing on really well! Unfortunately I did find that the large crop of pears we had ripening seem to have disappeared, there's no evidence of any bird or insect cause, so all I can assume is that they have been taken by someone else, the same fate fell on another couple of plotholders, one who lost a large crop of plums and the other who's lost all her gooseberries!

The second piccy shows plot 2, again lots growing on really well on here! We got notification the other day that once again our plots have not been deemed 'good enough' by the powers that be to even be granted a 'commended' in the allotment judging, so in the eyes of the council our efforts are not worthy of mention at all and of a similar standard to other plotholders who dont even seem to grow anything at all, but as our motivation for growing is the connection with the land, the fab crops we get, the peace and fulfilment that comes from working the land and the great taste of fresh organic food that we've grown ourselves, then it doesnt really matter that much to either of us!

Anyhows, onto the harvests! This pile of courgettes was one days worth of harvests from the 9 plants, some of the courgettes were almost 3' in length! Some have gone to friends, some eaten and some processed into sweet pickle along with some of our other harvested crops!

The first of the toms, chillies and peppers! Very tasty indeed!

Mange Tout and Turnips, both crops doing exceptionally well this year!

Salad, spring onions, lettuce and beetroot!

3 types of dwarf french bean and the first picking of the early planted runner beans!

Brassicas! 2 caulies, 1 romanesco broccolli and lots of other broccolli!

Once again the year is looking to be a reasonable one as far as our harvesting is going, further updates in the near future as we harvest more!
As for the bees, all 3 hives seem to be doing well, hive 2 is going great guns, hive 3 now has capped brood, so the new queen is laying properly, and hive 1 is still laying, if a bit slower than the other hives! More updates about the bees in the near future!
So, onto the balance sheet!

Total Costs 2009
Rent + subs for 2 plots £85
Debris Netting £70
Seed Spuds £20
Compost £20
Seed Compost £5
Seeds £20
Plant feeder / feed £12
Growbags (4 for £5) £15
2 Apple trees £30
Herbs and Flowers (for underplanting 3 beds of fruit trees) £40
Total costs so far £317
Harvests 2009
Rhubarb (£1 a stalk in Sainsburys) £50
Spring Onions (£0.99 a bunch for organic) £12
Lettuces £12
Peas £15
Broad Beans £60
French Beans £45
Runner Beans £10
Cabbages £8
Cucumber £10
Courgettes £70
Marrows £10
Broccolli £25
Caulieflower £10
Turnip £3
Strawberries £50
Raspberries £85
Blueberries £4
Potatoes £85
Tomatoes £20
Peppers £10
Chillies £5
Garlic £50
Onions £20
Apples £5
Plums £5
Mange Tout £5
Total Harvests 2009 £697
£380 more in crops than was spent in growing them, not a bad haul at all, especially as we've lost produce due to my bad back and the flu we've both had over the past 2 weeks!
Hope you are in good health and harvesting plenty of wonderful fresh tasty fruit and veg!


BilboWaggins said...

Looking at your first photo I confess I am staggered that your plots cannot even be considered "commended" and are viewed similarly to ones which are not cultivated at all. Good job you are self-motivated and don't need external encouragement. I would be delighted if the veg area of my garden looked half as neat and tidy as yours.

What a crying shame your pears were stolen, and other crops at the site. I hear of this happening so often.

Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks Bilbo, we find that on our 2plots we grow and harvest more than almost everyone else on the allotments, even if in the eyes of the council we dont rate as pretty enough to be given an acknowledgment by them! Ah well, at least we have the honour of harvesting our wonderful crops and eating them, much more worthwhile than a bit of paper from some busybody who hasnt a clue how to grow anything themself!

Yes, it was annoying to loose the pears, but not a lot we can do about it now!