Saturday, 26 September 2009

A wee moment today

We went to the allotment today and I had a moment. I was sitting watching - sorry supervising - the head gardener weeding. It was a very warm late September day and for once the allotments were not like wind tunnels. We had harvested Italian beens, lettuce, carrots and parsnips and had a bag full of of beetroots, courgette and marrow from the previous trip at home. We also got a small quantity of italian beans, tomatoes and beetroot. The octogenarian mother was at that moment making carrot and apple cake, all home grown. I am planning to do a big roast starring all of these vegetables tomorrow before I start my new job on Monday. We also have a huge marrow (ooerr missus). I didn't know before that marrows were courgettes that have bolted. It is huge and I have named it "Yasser". We are going to leave Yasser in peace to see how big he gets.

I just felt that we had reached the end of our first growing season and could think of myself sitting in exactly the same spot this time next year with a whole year of fab veg in the meantime. . We have planted winter veg such as brussel sprouts and brassicas. We still have sweetcorn and pumkin coming on. I will be making pumpkin pie for thanksgiving - well why not! We planted garlic which we will harvest next year. I have the recipes planned. All this gave me an unbelievable feeling of contentment.

On the way home we went to the fabulous Pheasant Hill farm shop in Comber to get meat to roast tomorrow. They do all their own livestock all organically grown, free range all the rest of it. The owner will engage you in conversation about whatever it is you are buying. On Thursday I got two steaks from there - moilie cattle - and we had them on Friday - they were brilliant. Apparently the roasting joint we got was from the same animal!

As we speak the head gardener is sitting watching a DVD of the first series of River Cottage. Having watched the tribute to Keith Floyd and toasted him copiously, I suggested we watch the first series of the bible sorry River Cottage to see if there was anything we could identify with. There were many, apart from the moneyed family background, career as a chef in a top London restaurant and the Channel 4 budget.................

So to sum up:

How many hours spent - about 2
work undertaken - harvesting rest of italian beans and pulling plants out of bed to get it ready for planting garlic, weeding, watching the head gardener weeding, more weeding, pulling up weeds, hoeing the bed, planting garlic, watering everything, harvesting lettuce, carrots and parsnips and planting the garlic.

Cost of seeds/plants - no idea.
What has been planted - garlic
harvesting - large bag of veg including lettuce, carrots, beans and parsnips.

supermarket value
carrots 85p
lettuce £2.30
beans 46 p
parsnipos £1.00
beetroot £4.50
courgettes and marrows £2.10
tomatoes 35 p

Social time - five minutes talking to new allotment neighbour and waving at everyone.

Wildlife seen - if we count the last visit that would include Brent geese arriving in from Canada. Also wee sparrows and general tweety birds. That is the technical name for them. Don't know I mentioned it in a previous post but we also saw a peregrine falcom taking a mud bath and the head gardener has seen a fox.

I need to go to bed now. A short time ago a heard loud shrieks of laughter and general hilarity from downstairs. Apparently the head gardener had just discovered the delights of our local ITV station's late nite output which seemed to involve a phone in on some numbers game, a blonde girlie presenter and nobody actually phoning in. Obviously it was all too much for him and he has now gone to bed which would seem very sensible to me.

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