Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer time! (...and it's hot, hot, hot!)

'D' strimming the plot

So ... lots has happened since my last posting on here about the plot. Sadly we suffered more vandelism, I once again stomped my feet and said 'stuff the allotment' and was ready to jack it in for all of 5 minutes! I suppose it is part of having an open garden but it still hurts to find things trashed.

Anyway, we've bounced back and despite the heatwave that is making us wilt lots is growing well at the plot. Watering has been increased to try and help the plants cope with the incredible heat, most days it has reached 32 degrees this week!!
We're just about at the end of the broad bean season which has been great. I never used to like them but we tend to double pod them mostly now, it makes such a difference and removes any bitter taste. The new potatoes have been great, a really nice flavour from both the Belle de Fontenay and Carlingford varieties.
'Globe Artichokes'

A veg I have never eaten despite having a HUGE plant on the plot is Globe Artichoke, we planted it more for the look of the structural leaves than to eat! However it has produced loads of 'Globes' this year so it felt criminal not to have a go at cooking some. I never knew how to cook Globe artichokes but like most things a quick internet search gave instructions. Basically you just cut the stem off the base to make a flat base, snip the points of the scales with scissors, slice the top off (like a boiled egg) and then sit it in boiling water to half way up the globe and simmer for 20-40 mins depending on size of globe. When ready one of the scales should come away easily when pulled.
To eat it, pull each scale off one at a time and dip in butter or sauce and scrape the end with your teeth to eat the flesh, once all the scales are eaten then you eat the artichoke heart, firstly you remove the furry inner bit to expose the heart flesh at the base of the inner part of the globe this is a saucer shaped bit at the bottom, eat in the same way dipped in butter or sauce. Very simple to do and delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Most of the rest of the plot is doing well, most things are bigger than previous years and crops are generally producing well, we put lots of effort into digging in manure and preparing all the beds this year so it looks like our hard work is paying off, here's to a good summer!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Long time no see!!

I have been told off for not updating the blog by friends so this is a quick post to say hi to all!! The allotment is blooming away and feeding us well, I've been so busy with work that I haven't had the chance to update the blog. At the moment we're harvesting new potatoes, broad beans, red onions, peas, strawberries, raspberries, rocket, courgette and artichokes.

I don't have any pics at the moment so here are a couple of the garden at home!
After a marathon 5 hour session in the garden yesterday it is looking great, the pics don't do it justice as I ran out a few minutes ago to take the pics and its getting dark now.The tomatoes are doing well, I've suffered from blight for the past couple of summers and not actually managed to harvest ripe tomatoes. This year I'm trying out the ring culture method of tom growing, it apparently gives more root structure and a stronger plant which can hopefully withstand disease more.

The other edibles that I'm growing at home are chilli plants (in window boxes), figs and tumbling tomatoes (in hanging baskets). These are all at the front of the house as it gets more sun then the back garden and the brick walls of the house radiate the suns heat. Tomorrow is an allotment day for us so I will take pictures and try to get back to my regular updates!