Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Murder and empty trugs...

I've only been able to grab a very few short moments on the allotment recently due to work, children, dog commitments (in no particular order). Happy to see that the grass and weeds are still partying...actually not that happy about that at all, it's about time they got the black bin bags out and cleared themselves up! I've got a long summer holiday coming up soon (hooray!) so their days are numbered.

There had been a terrible murder at the plot (can you tell I've been reading Agatha Christie) though the only sign of the body was the piles of feathers blowing around my cabbages, I don't think any pigeon could have survived losing quite so many feathers. I'm wondering if it was a hawk, we see quite a few flying over. I once watched as a hawk took a pigeon right in front of my car when I was stuck in traffic on a busy main road. It was horribly fascinating how it held the doomed bird down with its claws, sheltered it with its wings and plucked the feathers from its dinner as a queue of traffic passed it by, it was so focused it just didn't seem to care...a BBC camera crew couldn't have got as close as I was! I'll put the feathers onto the compost heap, I listened to a sow,grow,repeat gardening podcast on composting and I'm sure someone said feathers were fine to add, poor pigeon was probably hoping to eat the cabbages not end up feeding them!

I'm getting a bit envious...ok if I'm truly honest...I'm completely consumed with jealously at all the posts and photos of heaving trugs and harvests that people are having now. My trug remains pathetically empty, I did harvest some broad beans but when I opened them there wasn't so much of a bean as an insignificant pimple inside. I have quite a few more coming on the plants but I'm a bit wary of harvesting them too young as I obviously have done or perhaps I just need to find a recipe that uses the whole pod (any suggestions, gratefully received).

My asparagus peas are making me very happy scrambling along the ground, and they are starting to flower with the most beautiful deep red flowers (if only I could find that colour lipstick!). I had put twiggy stems around them thinking they would eventually head upwards but apparently they hug the soil...I should remove the twigs so I don't look so glaringly na├»ve!

My strawberries are coming on too, should I whisper this, but I'm one of those strange creatures that loves the look and smell of strawberries and strawberry jam but have never actually liked them as a fruit to eat. All the children love them though and if I get enough I can always make myself some jam (ha...I am the only person I know that has managed to make 'black' Seville orange marmalade...best not to ask) I will try one when they are ready though just to double check, I'm hoping that my theory of growing things I'm not so fond of might encourage me to like them, and if not it just means there will be more purple sprouts for Chris come Christmas!

I have heaps of black currants coming at the moment but they aren't protected from the birds so we shall see who wins that particular race (yes, I know, unless that hawk is still about). I don't mind sharing but I'd appreciate being left a few of them at least:)

The onions I planted that the mole duly unplanted have all started to sprout up seemingly no worst for their rude interruption so we shall see what they will produce eventually (hopefully...onions...).  

I'm very proud of my cabbages too at the moment, (after I had cleared the feathers from them) they are all looking quite...well cabbage like, the colour of the purple ones is quite lovely. So I may not yet have the trug of plenty but I'm ever hopeful that I will soon:)

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Comments are always welcome, nice kind ones at least! Any advice for a complete novice would also be gratefully received:) Thanks.