Coming Home From The Allotment ~ The Priory Ruins At Sunset

Lately heavy labouring on the Farrell allotment plots has been taking precedence over blogging. Tasks have included sowing, weeding, mulching, path mowing, plot edging, erecting pea and bean sticks, planting out the broad bean seedlings (long pod, crimson flowered and the Sutton varieties), beetroot (golden, boltardy and cylindrical), cauliflower, broccoli and pea seedlings.

I have also recycled several builder’s pallets (rescued from the communal bonfire heap) to make two new compost bins, and to extend an existing one into a double-bay effort. And I have been gathering comfrey, grass cuttings, shredded cardboard, household peelings and whatever greenery I can crop from neighbours’ neglected plots to feed the bins. I am aiming for mega-quantities of compost come the autumn so I can give all the raised beds a deep protective layer that will hopefully prevent the soil from turning into concrete over the winter, which is what happened to any exposed surface this year.

In the polytunnel over-wintered lambs lettuce, Chinese mustards,  leeks, Russian and Tuscan kale are being eaten and/or cleared to make way for the tomatoes, peppers and the single cucumber plant that I managed to germinate. All in all, it feels like a gardening marathon, but doubtless it will (mostly) be worth it. And one good thing about being up at the allotment at this time of year is the chance of taking sunset photographs of the town on the way home.

First though evidence of the labours:

And now we’ve got the gardening done, more early evening shots around town as I head home; views from south through east to north-east:

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Daily Post: Place in the World

33 thoughts on “Coming Home From The Allotment ~ The Priory Ruins At Sunset

  1. I love the pictures from the allotment; they’re so bright and crisp… we can see the seasons changing. Sounds like a lot of work, but very vitalizing. How do you eat your kale. I have long been interested in that leaf, but not gotten around to consuming it yet. Haven’t decided whether to cook it or maybe make a juice out of it. Your landscape photos are wonderful. A beautiful post.

    1. Hello, Shimon. I usually finely slice the kale, often with chard and perennial spinach, and then steam the mixed greens for a couple of minutes. Good with a home-made pesto sauce and pasta. Or you could add the greens to an omelet. Also I add it to stir fries, again finely sliced. I haven’t tried juicing it, though have read it’s very nutritious used that way. Young leaves also get chopped and added to salads. Happy weekend to you.

      1. Thanks, Tish. I’ll try it. Hadn’t thought of putting it in my salad, but that sounds good too. And a very good weekend to you.

  2. Your bean poles are most impressive Tish. I admire your green-fingered skills and hard work, I have decided that without a greenhouse sowing from seed is just not going to work. Not enough space in the conservatory though I do have some sweetpeas coming through on the second sowing. They will flower quite late if at all!

    1. I sowed sweet peas really late last year – definitely after April, and they flowered through November. So there’s hope for yours. Sowing wise, I’ve struggled between unsuitable window sills and a conservatory that veered from freezing to boiling, so a greenhouse really is a must. I’ve bought in seedling plants v. successfully from https://www.organicplants.co.uk/ – overwintering brassica plugs from them last autumn cos I’d forgotten to sow purple and white sprouting. We’ve had masses to eat from them, and there are some fat cabbages heartening now. I did keep them covered in mesh, which nearly squashed them with the snow, but they have been heroic, and even withstood slugs.

      1. I think seedling plants are the way to go, or even established plants which can fend off the S&S. I will try kale again because that was successful and we loved eating it. And over winter the salad leaves and spinach were successful too. Bolting now, and I suppose I should be digging them up, but I quite like the yellow flowers. I shall check out the website. Thanks Tish 😀

  3. Well, the positive aspect of your absence from blogging is that you gathered some wonderful material by way of photos and new ideas for this post. Congratulations, Tish!

    1. I have 2 half plots – one wider than the other, but it adds up to 70 feet of plot x 15-20 feet. My ultimate aim is to retreat to the wider polytunnel plot once I have the soil in a better state, hence all the compost making. I then hope to have a labour-reduced no-dig system in operation. Of course there will always be other people’s dandelion fall-out 🙂

      1. I’m working on building up a no dig system here too but the soil still needs work. My daugher and I just took half a plot at the community garden too which will be interesting. It’s a different system to the allotment style. You rent a plot and can access compost etc from the main community part. (You have to volunteer some regular work time in the community garden). We think you can also use the poly tunnel there to bring on seedlings. It will be a steep learning curve but should give us both space for big plants that are in the ground for a long time.

  4. Your stuff is so neat – puts my hodge-podge to shame. Half the time I forget to label or forget where i have planted what.
    There is often much surprise when things begin to appear!
    Cor … never knew I planted that!
    Celeste was saying we ought to completely dig up the garden and start again.
    I looked at her and said ”After you, sweetheart!”

    Maybe one day I’ll get a mechanical digger. For now … laissez faire.

    I see the beans and cabbage(?). What else have you got growing in your beds?
    Do you still use the tunnel?
    Nice pics . The header is stunning.

    1. Perpetual spinach – about to bolt, likewise purple sprouting; spuds are in; also peas that grow up tall sticks like runner beans, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus that doesn’t do much; lots of beans sown – French (Ferari), Borlotti and butter bean, onion sets planted, and beetroot seedlings; sweet corn and leeks sprouting. Also growing asparagus from seed, and flowers – asters, cosmos, zinnias, sweet peas, morning glory and sunflowers etc It’s all a bit bonkers between the Farrell household seed sowing station and the plot.

      There are big advantages to the higgledy piggledy method of gardening. If the gardener is confused, so are the pests. It’s the cottage kitchen garden approach, everything in together – and nothing wrong with it at all. If you want more organisation – don’t dig. Get someone to knock up some raised beds – a meter square is easy to deal with, or 1×2 metres. Put down cardboard covering the bottom over undug lawn etc. Then soil and compost on top. (Can you buy bags of compost where you are?) You can then start growing in 6 inches of soil, especially salad stuff. In time the worms will break through the cardboard and make some decent soil underneath. 🙂 Thanks for v. nice comments re the snaps.

      1. Yes we can buy compost. And I do have a couple of raised beds, about the size you mention, made of loose fitting bricks.
        I am going to construct a few more over the coming weeks so we’ll see what happens.

  5. I feel quite exhausted for you Tish, but also give yourself a big pat on the back for all the compost bins built and filled. Black gold for the soil. The photos of the produce make me think an allotment would be so satisfying. Walking home during golden hour is magical, I can feel your love for your place in the world

  6. Wow! You have done a lot of work. I am impressed by the range of tasks you have taken on! Gorgeous photos of the walk home – worth getting an allotment for!!

  7. Your idyllic views, the allotment, and your walk between your allotment home and your other home, make me think of some of the lovely walking scenes from Larkrise to Candleford. There is something peaceful about walking from place to place, with quiet observation, while the rest of the world seems to be spinning out of control.

    1. Thank you for that very thoughtful observation, Ann. One needs to hang on to such pathways – feet on the earth – in the midst of the havoc caused by the money-lords-of-misrule-and-deliberate-disinformation.

    1. I find I’m feeling quite excited by the longer days. It’s hard to leave the allotment and supper’s getting later and later. Soon it might turn into breakfast 🙂

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