Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Abundance at the Allotment

Our inaugural year as allotment owners is finally bearing fruit (and vegetables) and it is doing so with a great abundance.

The Rustic Fruit Cage, Beans, Sweet Corn, Beetroot and Onions
We have now got bags of early potatoes, and onions. We have gathered small amounts of peas and broad beans too.
The courgettes of various colours and sizes seem to be popping up on a daily basis. The little yellow ones are especially nice sliced (raw) and inserted into sandwiches. The Head Chef likes them lightly salted with Olive Oil but to me that’s too much faffing about.
The Tayberries, Raspberries and Blueberries, all safe in the Rustic Fruit Cage are giving us plenty to nibble on while we slave to weed water and pick everything under the relentless heat-wave.

Rhubarb is growing well, Squashes and Cucumbers are blooming nicely and hopefully, we should get a decent crop of these too.
Nice Weather For Slow Worms
Beetroots are finally flourishing under nets, which seem to have stopped whatever it was that was eating the leaves. The Runner Beans are running up the poles and flowering and the Sweet Corn is looking healthy.
Piles of Potatoes

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cherries in St. Deny’s Save Many Pennies

My first batch of Elderflower Champagne has gone all gloopy!
I tested a bottle to see how the pressure was building up, it fizzed appropriately, it smelled delicious but it was far too glutinous. A quick search on the web showed that my experience was not unique and various people offered differing advice.
I deferred to my friend Kevin, who is a virologist, he has a very powerful microscope and knows what he is looking for. Kevin said it was a bacterial problem and so I sadly poured all two gallons down the sink (it did clean the stainless steel beautifully), rather than risk testing it for toxins on myself. I have since managed to pick enough to start a third batch using Campden tablets and champagne yeast, as I did on my second batch (which has already popped one cork and tastes delicious).
On a lighter note, my children only have one fruit on their minds recently, Cherries!
I picked a sandwich box full of sweet, dark cherries, in Hedge End, during my lunch hour and had also spotted a large bunch of super-sized beauties in St. Deny’s. I planned to come back with the children and a picking pole, to reach the high fruit and my daughter took no persuading, as we filled a large Tupperware box in about 20 mins.
Yes, they do taste as lovely as they look!