Category Archives: Allotment 2014

Nasturtium gone wild

Although they put on a good show, they have strangled the lavender underneath and I will  probably have to buy new Lavender next season.

Tall single variety planted in the spring has clearly found a comfortable place to flourish. However, these seeds were the off-spring from last years plants. I am amazed the seeds made it though the winter at the allotment and are flourishing right next tot he compost bin.

Quite rightly, the Nasturtium  does belong in the allotment as they are edible and as such earns its keep.


This years Chutney

After a woeful tomato season, I have hardly picked one ripe one, I was sure that I did not even have enough to produce any green chutney this year.

Today the clocks go back and I have left it as late as possible for the few tomatoes to grow on in order to gain any crop at all.

Cropping and cutting down the plants  is a really satisfying experience, clearing the way and the greenhouse for new things to come.

The recipe I used stated that the ingredients should cook for one and a half hours. Three hours later I was still simmering this concoction down so the flavour I hope will be really intense. A little conscious I have added 2 chillies this year I hope I have not added too much heat as I only made this addition for a little extra level of taste without any intention of making the chutney spicy, we shall see on this one after its 2 months maturing in the cupboard.

I will try and save a jar for the last day of the fishing season again.

2014 Tomato List

After ordering my tomatoes in February this year they have just arrived! I wont be doing that again. July is really too late to be planting tomatoes. However, planted they are and hope fully with the very good weather we are currently having it will push them on a bit. Hopefully I will get a crop from them.

Cayenne chilli’s have their first flower on them and the other chilli’s I am growing are coming on well, but no signs of any flowers on them yet. Other varieties are Ghost Scorpion and Butch T.

List of varieties: Anna Aasa, Black Krim, Pink Pink Pong, Bonnie Best, Grandpas Minnesota Hardy, Green Grape, Cosmonaut Volkov, Marizol Purple, Cuban Yellow, Frosted Green Doctors, Summer Cider, Cluj Yellow Cherry, Beefmaster, Kosovo, Cherokee Red.


July Jam 2014

2013 saw me reserving the few fruits we had from the young first year strawberry plants I had recently planted. Saving them up in the freezer until I had around 2lb in weight of fruit.

Obtaining a fool-proof jam recipe, I set about adding the same amount of sugar to the strawberries, along with the juice of half a lemon. Bringing this too the boil and then turning down to simmer. I kept a close eye on the mixture for some time, stirring occasionally. Foolishly, I left the mixture for perhaps 60 seconds while I made a cup of tea and when I returned I could see it was over done. I still potted the mixture up, but upon opening some days later to try the jam, we required a jack hammer to get anything out of the pot it had set that hard. Gutted would be an understatement, I had wasted all the fruit we had for the year.

2014 has seen a better crop of strawberries in their second year, and I set about making a Rhubarb, Raspberry and Strawberry Jam.

Same recipe, same method, although this time I did not leave the stove!

Winter Onions

Finally lifted my winter onions.

I planted these in September 2013. Very slow to grow but now I have them drying on a bench in the greenhouse. This is the perfect location for onions as there is a  vented window right under the bench pushing air upwards, and the onions get a direct blast of sun from the roof.

Although from the same family, the opposite must be remembered for Garlic – keep them out of the sun and in cool conditions to dry them off and store.


Summer’s here with a Bang!

For years now I have talked about brewing Elderflower Champagne, and now following a kind recipe given to me I have finally produced a batch. I have added my own ingredient which is a handful of Lavender. Lets just say the resulting concoction is explosive. I have left it for a fortnight but am having to crack open every bottle morning and night as it still seems to be fermenting. Oh and by the way, it tastes delicious.

‘Chitting’ potatoes

This year I am chitting the early potatoes. I made a mistake last year when I bought my potatoes for the season I kept them in their bag in the dark. When I cam to plant them they had all sprouted. Never-the-less, this did not seem to affect the yield I got from them.

This year I am planting the same as last. Arran Pilot as first early with the addition of Pink Fir Apple as part of my main crop along with King Edward for the Christmas dinner table.