I'm actually on holiday this week (although had to spend Monday afternoon in a Training Coordinators Meeting wth the other cluster training coordinators from the area, and had a Managers Meeting to attend on Tuesday), so a chance to do a bit of shopping and get some stuff sorted!
Monday morning before my afternnon meeting we decided that as the Wyevales 50p seed sale had just started that we needed to go and stock up on those seeds that we'd run out, in order that we kept our spending to a minimum and maximised our seed choices! A happy hour or two was spent sat in deckchairs going through the sale buckets........... although I didnt expect to spend quite so much! £59.50 later we left with 119 packets of seeds! Other shoppers were looking at our trolley in amazement, though I cant personally see why! If they had 2 allotments, and anted to maintain a good spread of varieties of each type of crop, then the more types of seed that you have, the more safeguarded you are against any particular crop having a failure!
We recently decided )after sampling some of Dave's homebrew Rhubarb wine (at the plot BBQ) and having been to a talk at the Stockport BBKA about making your own mead), that perhaps it would be a good idea to start making our own homebrew again. We've both done it in the past, but hadnt done it for years, so after being given the inclination we decided that now was the time! So, after Wyevales we popped out to the Homebrew shop in Stockport, a few bits n bobs to procure to enable us to start making homebrew again, although we'd already got demijohns and had recently got hold of 3 x 5gallon brewing containers (from freecycle), we were lacking some of the bungs, corks, air locks and other sundries, so a quick trip down there sorted most of our needs! Along with everything we needed we also decided to start off with a homebrew Elderflower Wine kit, as for a first batch it would be good if we had at least a good chance of making something nice, so that was duly started yesterday!
This must make us sound like raging alcofrolics, which we definitely arent, but if we make something thats drinkable, then not only will it help us save money, but also will let us use any surplus crops and perhaps give us something that we can share with friends and family!
.................. that he'd decided that our hedgehog house was far more to his liking! A few seconds after we took this piccy, he turned round and went inside! Lovely!
So, after taking the hedgehog pictures and setting up the trays for the Gardeners Evening we went our separate ways to get ready for the night, and met up again at the Gardeners Evening!
There were 7 of us from Moss View who managed to turn up, to the venue, Flixton Ex-Servicemans Association, where the coucil liason, Janet had done a fantastic job decorating the large function room! There were piccies of plots, plotholders and other related pictures all over, must have been over 900 pictures on display, all at least A4 size.... even the piccy of the rabbit I managed to take a few months ago was on display!
After an intro from the Head of Services for Trafford MBC the local Mayor gave a speech, then the awards part began, with all those who had managed to earn a Very Highly Commended Certificate called up to receive a framed picture of their plot and a certificate from the mayor, where they had their picture taken for the local newspaper! There were about 24 VHC's for the plots (out of 1400 plots), of which only 3 went to allotmenteers who were running 2 plots, and these 3 got a big round of applause! Lee was the 3rd of them to be called up (as the plots are in his name), and as my name hadnt been called, I stayed firmly sat down! Lol!
After that was a talk by a locla wildlife expert (about encouraging wildlife onto allotments), then a break for a buffet, followed by a Gardeners Question Time session and the raffle! Amazingly we won a prize in the raffle, of a Spear and Jackson Stainless Steel Ergonomic Spade (10 yr guarantee!) Overall we had a good night, it was great to see Lee receive such a big round of applause (I think he was the youngest person in the room to get a VHC, and certainly the only non retired person to get 2 VHC's, 1 for each plot!
On the way back home we popped into Parkers Garden Center as they were advetising the new fruit trees had arrived, so after a good look around we ended up with another packet of 100 onion sets and a dual plum tree, 2 varieties of plum grafted onto a single root stock! This will be planted into the bed behind it on the picture, the one with the lavender in it, which is what will be growing beneath the plum tree!
With the purchase of the plum tree and all the seeds on Monday, we've actually begun spending for next years balance sheet, the plum was £13 and the seeds £59.50, so next years balance sheet is at £72.50 currently, with the allotment rent and subs (usually about £100 or so) and the seed spuds (£20 or so) plus compost (£20 or so) and a load of manure (£20) still to come, which should make our spend next year significantly less than this year at about £232 for next year compared with the £504 we've spent for this growing year!
This afternoon we completed the bee inspections, with another 4 supers of honey almost ready to be taken for harvest (shuld be ready for next week) then we did a quick harvest, took a few piccies and came home to start melting the wax trmmings from the hives (the cappings from extraction and the bracecomb from the hives that we've been saving) in order that we can use the honey from them to start our mead and the wax to make some candles for the Stockport BBKA honey show in 2 months time!
Ok, so onto a few piccies from around the plot!
|I think the Heath Robinson Hothouse has had its day!|
As are some of the cabbages!
Ok, Im off for the next few days, still on holiday, so I should hopefully get to the plto and do a good harvest and get some more piccies, plus get some more past sauces made and frozen, some courgette soup made and frozen, some herbs dried for storage, some more wine started and hopefully some more pics and an updated balance sheet done before I return to work on monday (for a rest! Lol!)
Hope your harvests are coming in well and your balance sheets are more than healthy!
Thanks for reading!