We started the day with a trip to Aldi to take advantage of thier soft fruit offers, got there at 855am, to find a queue of 5 people in front of us (and another 15 joined behind us before the doors opened), yet when the doors opened no-one moved, so we went in first and got first choice of the fruit plantlets!
|2 clematis, the fig, tayberry and 2 goosegogs, need to do some work on the plot before we'll be ready to plant these out!|
On arriving at the plot (when fortunately the rain had ceased, although it threatened to return until about mid afternoon when we sat down for lunch) we had a chat about where everything was going, and what we were planning on doing with a few areas of the plot over the winter, some of which were inspired by our new fruit purchases! When Pat, Colin and Sarah arrived we started to do the weekly bee inspections (no major problems), then sat down for a late 'al fresco' lunch!
Its become a bit of a tradition between us all to have a late lunch on the plots when we do the bees, generally we take it in turns to buy it, today was a whole roast chicken, with large barm cakes, fresh cucumber, tomato and lettuce (from the plot), pickled onions, pork pie, a mug of tea each (earl grey for me) and followed by scones, cream and home made jam!
Before now we've had melon for starters, followed by roast pork sandwiches, or even freshly cooked BLT, and ended with cakes ranging from the gorgeous 'bogey green dome cake' (aka festival gateaux from Morrisons), through scones and clotted cream, through doughnuts to the fantastic Coop caramel/coffee buns!
After lunch (and despite the protests from Lee that he now wanted to go to sleep) we started to plant up the new soft fruits, or as many of them as we were able to (without having done the projects that we need to complete in order to plant the rest of them out!)
Yet another project for the winter is to replace some of the bed edging (that has rotted) with the 20 scaffold boards that we purchased recently, hopefully these will neaten up the edges and mean we can actually raise the beds a bit too!
We also want to get hold of another plum tree (for the front lavender bed on plot 1) and a redcurrant (for the front bed next to the right hand front compost bin on plot 1) to plant out, and if the plum at th back of plot 1 doesnt do anything (after a good pruning later this year) next year, then we will also look at replacing that too!
Our final project for the winter is to use some of the scaffolding beds to remake the retaining wall beneath apiary 1 on plot 2 (which holds the raised rhubarb bed up), and to create a seating / viewing ares to the left of the apiary, which will also have the 2 red gooseberries planted in it and possibly also the tayberry (to grow up the side of apiary 1 on plot 2)!
So, once the growing season is finished (another 10 weeks or so yet) and the beds are cleared, mucked over (with 2 yr old well rotted FYM) and covered (probably with recycled bike boxes from my work) for the winter, it looks like we've got enough to keep us busy into next year!
We did manage to get some harvests today, more courgettes (8), about a lb of runner beans, a lb or so of climbing french beans,another decent head of broccolli, the first of the blackberries (about a lb), more rasps, a few more toms and another couple of turnips! Some of the crops are soo prolific (turnips) that we're probably going to have to compost some of them as we wont be able to use them all, but better too many than not enough!
So, onto the balance sheet!
Balance Sheet Update - 5th August 2010
Total Veg Plot Costs 2010
Rent + Subs for 2 full plots £100
Seed Spuds £20
Onion Sets £6
Chicken Manure Pellets £8
Plastic 'wannabe' Polytunnel £61
Bamboo Canes £8
Flower Plants £28
Scaffolding Boards £100
Watering Cans £8
Soft Fruits £16
Total Costs £ 400
Total Veg Plot Harvests 2010
Rhubarb £ 35
Fartichokes £ 4
Volunteer Spuds £15
First Early Spuds £15
Broad Beans £39
French Beans £36
Red Onions £20
White Onions £30
Runner Beans £5
Total Veg Plot Harvests £ 509
So, a total nett profit of £ 109 so far this year, with a large amount of harvests still to come! Hope your growing year is going well and your harvests are bumper ones! Thanks for reading!