Sunday, 8 June 2008

A bit of 'Allomping'

The kids wanted to go fishing again today, but the allotment was in need of a bit more work so we spent several hours there instead doing some 'allomping' (as dd1 says). We'd hardly been there when the allotment secretary came over and made some unwanted comments about weeds on my second plot (as if I can't see that they're there!). Dh started tackling the problem areas on plot 2, while I worked on clearing enough ground to plant up the leek seedlings and a few more kale plants. Sometimes I think we've taken on more than I can manage - 2 1/2 plots is quite a lot to keep up with, especially when my back isn't up to doing much. But I'm not ready to give up yet!
Leek seedlings
(they always look so pathetic when first planted out, but
surprisingly they grow fast once they've got over the shock
of transplanting and always give a good crop)
This year I'm growing Tuscan Black Kale which we tried growing for the first time last year after getting some in our veg box. It makes a really nice soup and has a more subtle flavour than other Kales. Thankfully it doesn't seem to be attractive to the pigeons, unlike the usual varieties of Kale (we have a bit of a pigeon problem at our plots), but, judging by last year it is susceptible to flea beetle so I guess I'll have to read up on organic methods for flea beetle removal.

Piggy back rides around the allotment

Just having a little rest (on a crisp packet full of water)

The currant bush cuttings that I took over a year ago have rooted well and - surprisingly - are showing their first fruit. Don't suppose I'll get much of a crop this year, but it looks hopeful for future years. I'm not sure yet if they are redcurrants or blackcurrants as I didn't label the cuttings!

Fruit on one of the currant bush cuttings

The Strawberries in our new 'tyre' planters are just starting to ripen. (the birds have already had a bite or two, so we've covered the tyres with some netting from the local scrapstore)

We also found a huge beetle running across our plot. Looking it up when we got home it turned out to be a Violet Ground Beetle. According to the book it 'feeds on slugs and other ground-living invertebrates'. The name violet is very appropriate - around it's thorax it has a beautiful purple sheen. It was very fast moving - this was the best photo I managed to take.

Here are some photos of our trip to the river yesterday. The kids had the option of playing in the water fountains (nice clean water), but opted for running around in the muddy flood water instead! I knew that we'd had alot of rain and that there'd been some flooding, but didn't realise quite how far up over the bank the river had gone.

I'm forever blowing bubbles

(with that wonderful invention - the non-spill bubble pot!)

Splashing in the flood water

Dd1 'posing' in her new outfit

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