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.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

As the nights begin to draw in and the weather starts to turn.........

........... so we find ourselves bringing in the harvest once more!

The plot is now at its most productive, the toms are turning, lots of passatta is being made to freeze (to see us through the year until next years tomatoes are ready), still more courgettes are growing, loads of runner beans to harvest and freeze, more peppers and cucumbers, the first batch of sweetcorn is ready, broccolli still being harvested, more brassicas, the maincrop spuds are ready to lift (possible 100+lb if indications are right), beetroot are ready, late peas and mange tout are producing well, all in all a bumper harvest!

Still to come and just starting are the autumn raspberries (looks like a bumper crop), the pumpkins (looks like 30+ squashes and pumpkins, some of which are ginormous), the later sweetcorn, more tomatoes to ripen, more brassicas, parsnips, more turnips, chard and spinach, chillies, the celery we've grown for seed (to make celery salt from) is drying nicely and the jerusalem artichokes look to be really strong this year!

Unfortunately it looks like we've either a thief amongst the plotholders or someone is getting onto the plot and helping themselves, we lost the complete pear harvest from the pear tree and another plotholder has lost her parsnips, beetroot, gooseberries and redcurrants! I'd love to catch them at it, they'd soon realise the error of their ways!

Anyhows, 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) £16
Lettuces £15
Radish £10
Peas £20
Broad Beans £90
French Beans £55
Runner Beans £60
Cabbages £24
Cucumber £15
Courgettes £95
Marrows £10
Broccolli £35
Caulieflower £16
Turnip £12
Strawberries £50
Raspberries £85
Blueberries £10
Blackberries £10
Potatoes £145
Tomatoes £70
Peppers £25
Chillies £10
Garlic £50
Onions £50
Apples £30
Plums £15
Mange Tout £10
Sweetcorn £22
Squashes £10
Sweet potatoes £5
Total Harvests 2009 £1133

Thats a profit of £816 for the year so far! Hope your crops are producing and you're having a bumper year!

Beekeeping Update

Well, of the 3 hives we currently have, 2 are really doing well!

Hive 3 (the National type Hive) is now filling its 2nd super, it may even need a third one in the next few weeks!

Hive 2 (Smiths Type) gave us quite a scare, the Queen disappeared, leaving 10 queen cells behind her, fortunately one of these hatched fine and the new queen has been successfully mated, so shes now producing eggs, grubs and capped brood, and this hive has almost filled 2 supers, we're probably going to give them a third super to fill this week!

Hive 1 (Smiths Type) is the worrying one, the queen is still laying in a chessboard patern, and only on a couple of the brood frames, they've filled the rest of the brood frames with stores, so we gave them a super 2 weeks ago but they havent touched it as yet! We may even have to give them a super full of honey from Hive 2 to help feed them through the winter!

If we get 3 supers of honey each on Hives 2 and 3, then we may be able to harvest some for ourselves this year, but if not then we should be able to have some next year! Cant wait!!

Once we've finished growing for the year and the beds are empty, then we will be starting to build the new Apiary on plot 1, then for Yule we'll be buying ourselves a couple of hives so we'll be ready to take a couple of splits from the existing hives next year!