Monday, 28 July 2008

Ravishing Radishes

Yesterday, while test driving my splendid new hoe, I accidentally dug up one of our radishes-in-progress (see picture). It looks like a little radish! We grew something recognisable completely from scratch!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

It's here! It's here! It's here!

Yesterday morning, the shed arrived :)

The bloke who delivered it had quite a bit to say on the subject, having apparently just put together exactly the same shed after buying it at B&Q.

In particular:

1. Apparently you should follow the instructions and fit the extra two bracers under the floor, because he didn't, and now his is sagging in the middle.

2. It took him six hours to put together.

3. You should make sure that the base is really very very level, or it ends up with the roof being a right b****er to fit.

4. It's difficult to do if you can't get at it from all four sides - e.g., if you're putting it in a corner of your garden, as he was.

5. Buying stuff at B&Q during your lunch hour can take a lot longer than you might expect (a long and detailed exposition followed at this point).

6. Women don't get it. 'nuff said :)

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Shed Nirvana Approacheth

Realising the futility of my plans to actually plan and build a shed, and facing up to my innate incompetence at all things practical, this morning I ordered a shed online.

For some reason this makes me very happy.

Thinning the Radishes

Yesterday we went up to the allotment to do some maintenance work - refilling the beer traps, weeding, watering, that kind of thing. The radishes that Amanda and Abi planted are going great guns, creating real little verdant valleys in the otherwise desolate expense of our seedling bed.

SWMBO decided that we should thin them out, as lots of them are growing very close to one another, and presumably they would compete with each other and stunt the growth of their neighbours. Or something horticultural like that. This made sense but seemed a crying shame to me, pulling out perfectly good little plants. We did however hang on to these losers in life's lottery, as apparently they can be used in stir fries.

This morning Amanda was chatting to Guru Geoff, our neighbour on the allotment, and apparently we could have just left them as they were. They muscle each other out of the way in a survival-of-the-fittest sort of way, and sort themselves out.

That's the great think about allotment gurus, if you ask enough of them, you'll find one you can agree with.

Friday, 4 July 2008

When to pick blackcurrants

I have no idea what the answer to this is beyond waiting until they have turned from green, through pink and purple to black. The allotment Gurus say: "You know when it is time to pick the blackcurrants because you come down one day and the birds have eaten them all". Hmmmmmm.


Abi and I picked three and a half pounds of blackcurrants and brought them home to turn into jam. Conveniently, three pounds of currants is just the right amount for our largest saucepan. It was a very simple recipe but I am confused about things like what the disk of wax paper is for (do you really need it?!) and when you should put it on (when jam hot or cold?) which way up? and then the disk of cellophane, what's that all about? Hmmm, maybe not ready for the W.I. yet! Anyway, 3 pounds of currants made 12 pots of jam!

Have just had some on toast (for research purposes only you understand). It looks like jam, smells like jam, even tastes like jam. I think I've made jam!

Harvest time!

We have collected our first harvest! Strictly speaking we can take absolutely no credit for this as we inherited the blackcurrant bushes when we took over the plot. Our only intervention has been to put some netting over the bushes to stop the birds from scoffing the lot. Will have to look further into the netting option as our allotment neighbours have already had to rescue a robin that had got caught under the net and yesterday there were bird feathers everywhere showing signs of another caught bird (no sign of bird though).