Fun on the allotment.

I'm a student, chef, gardner, photographer and general procrastinator. On the 5th November 2011 I inherited an old battered allotmentand started this blog so people can watch as I work and play to make it my dream larder.
DIY Project

Two brand new compost bins with slatted fronts: 4’x4’x5’

The size is important, a you need at least 4’ square for the compost to get hot enough to kill off weed seeds. 

Between them, they hold around 10k litres of compost. 

As always, made from c16 animal and plant safe treated hardwood. 

- Gary.

DIY Project

Two brand new compost bins with slatted fronts: 4’x4’x5’

The size is important, a you need at least 4’ square for the compost to get hot enough to kill off weed seeds.

Between them, they hold around 10k litres of compost.

As always, made from c16 animal and plant safe treated hardwood.

- Gary.

If you ignore the couch grass at the bottom of the bed, my front flower boarder is starting to look pretty (if I do say so myself). 

All the double tulips are in bloom and I’ve got some small blue violas filling out nicely. 

Should see me through until the summer perennials get going.

If you ignore the couch grass at the bottom of the bed, my front flower boarder is starting to look pretty (if I do say so myself).

All the double tulips are in bloom and I’ve got some small blue violas filling out nicely.

Should see me through until the summer perennials get going.

Papaver Orientale aka ‘Oriental Poppy.’ 

Unknown cultivar. 

From the batch of perennials I got as plugs from T&M last spring.

Papaver Orientale aka ‘Oriental Poppy.’

Unknown cultivar.

From the batch of perennials I got as plugs from T&M last spring.

I thought my Aquilegia ‘Nora Barlow’ seedlings had died off over winter. Seems they were just sleeping and waiting for spring.

I thought my Aquilegia ‘Nora Barlow’ seedlings had died off over winter. Seems they were just sleeping and waiting for spring.

Start of a new DIY project …

Start of a new DIY project …

Asparagus ‘Pacific Purple

About a year ago I decided that I wanted to grow more ‘high value’ crops. Asparagus crowns may cost £10 or so but they’ll pay for themselves many times over.

Also, buy choosing a verity not usually available in the shops you can get even more value. Pacific purple are (obviously) purple tipped, but are also suitable for blanching (producing tender white spears).

- Gary

Farmers Market, Amsterdam

The reason that small independent producers do better on continental Europe is because the infrastructure is there for them. Small local produce markets like this happen all over Holland week after week. They’re a staple. People do their weekly shop at them. 

In England farmers markets are a novelty. Usually on once a month and full of unusual, quirky, flamboyant but tasty wares. But not somewhere you could do your weekly shop (not to mention your fridge would be empty 3 weeks in 4). 

Maybe we just don’t have the same market culture anymore, or maybe our bad weather makes it impractical. I don’t know. But it’s a shame.

Farmers Market, Amsterdam

The reason that small independent producers do better on continental Europe is because the infrastructure is there for them. Small local produce markets like this happen all over Holland week after week. They’re a staple. People do their weekly shop at them.

In England farmers markets are a novelty. Usually on once a month and full of unusual, quirky, flamboyant but tasty wares. But not somewhere you could do your weekly shop (not to mention your fridge would be empty 3 weeks in 4).

Maybe we just don’t have the same market culture anymore, or maybe our bad weather makes it impractical. I don’t know. But it’s a shame.

Enjoying the Dutch sun the mrs.

Hello Amsterdam! 

Needed a cheeky weekend away. Thank god for low cost airlines. 

Forget the ‘coffee’ shops, I’m here for the Bloemenmarket.

Hello Amsterdam!

Needed a cheeky weekend away. Thank god for low cost airlines.

Forget the ‘coffee’ shops, I’m here for the Bloemenmarket.

Lemon and blueberry muffins! 

The trick to stop the blue ‘running’ and staining the whole muffin is freeze the blueberries and coat in flour before adding to the mix.

Lemon and blueberry muffins!

The trick to stop the blue ‘running’ and staining the whole muffin is freeze the blueberries and coat in flour before adding to the mix.

Plant ID Update

Well, it’s definitely an Anemone. Looks like the same colour as the rouge one last year. I guess it self-seeded all over my flower bed (which I’m totally fine with!) 

Once the flowers open I should be able to identify the cultivar. 

- Gary.

Plant ID Update

Well, it’s definitely an Anemone. Looks like the same colour as the rouge one last year. I guess it self-seeded all over my flower bed (which I’m totally fine with!)

Once the flowers open I should be able to identify the cultivar.

- Gary.

Strawberry Blight
It looks like my strawberry plants (still?) have blight. The distinct telltale beige spots with a black rim.
I saw this last year and was ready to dig up and burn them all, before replacing the whole lot. But things got on top of me (as they do in life) and it never happened.
Then, to my surprise they grew through it once the weather warmed up and I had a lovely (big) harvest from them. It never ceases to surprise me how tough strawberry plants are.

Strawberry Blight

It looks like my strawberry plants (still?) have blight. The distinct telltale beige spots with a black rim.

I saw this last year and was ready to dig up and burn them all, before replacing the whole lot. But things got on top of me (as they do in life) and it never happened.

Then, to my surprise they grew through it once the weather warmed up and I had a lovely (big) harvest from them. It never ceases to surprise me how tough strawberry plants are.

My doodles often reflect my thoughts. I’m currently reading Stephen Kings ‘Dark Tower’ series …

My doodles often reflect my thoughts. I’m currently reading Stephen Kings ‘Dark Tower’ series …