Thursday, 27 August 2009

Tubs, cobs and carrots

I intended posting up a few photos of our house-blitz, the decluttering frenzy, several days ago, but actually there's not alot to show for the days of work we've put in. Yes, the piles of stuff are less, and there is some sense of order in some areas, but, well, more decluttering needed methinks.
In amidst the decluttering dd and I decorated tubs with marbled paper that we'd made a few years back, with the idea of using them for pens, paint brushes etc. There's something a bit OCD about boxes and tubs with labels on, but it is oh so satisfying dont' you think? I think it's a sign that it's nearly Autumn; around the time I have an irresistable urge to buy stationery and colour-code the lego (or something else obsessional).

The kids spent Saturday having a sale of toys, books and games that they'd cleared out from their room. All day they sat at their stall outside our local corner shop, bless 'em. They'd made £18 by the end of the day, which , added to a further £11 I made from selling the educational items they were keen to clear out of the boys' bedroom (!), makes £29 in total (I'm good at maths, me). Anyway, they're planning to buy some gamecube controllers and memory card to enable them to play gamecube games on the Wii.
Allotment is productive at the moment, despite the weeds. Beetroot fab, carrots getting there (some carrot root fly, but not too bad so far), spring onions the size of golf balls, and new rows of mange tout and dwarf french beans coming along nice. Potatoes? Well I'm getting back more than I planted (just), which is a novelty lol.

The Italian courgette plants given to me by fellow allotmentee (yes, I didn't kill them off after all) are going into overdrive. Long crisp courgettes on climbing/trailing plants. And the plants seem resistant to moulds (so far). No way I'm going back to traditional British ones after this:

Successful carrots:

Sadly, the tomato plants which were looking so spectacular only a few weeks ago have been hit by blight and were destroyed almost overnight. If you live in a blight-free area and grow tomatoes then consider yourself lucky. I've been nurturing these plants since February and just when they get to the point of being productive the leaves turned brown, the plants collapsed and the fruit turned black and unusable. Same thing every year...

Tomato plants in July:

And tomato plants in August:

We've picked the sweetcorn, lovely sweet juicy cobs. Didn't bother to freeze much of it this time as the kids don't seem to like it once it's been frozen.

Some of our crop:

The leeks are looking poorly. Some I think have been hit by onion white rot, which has hampered our veg growth in previous years. Others are throwing up flower spikes so are mostly useless. It's a shame, as we rely on them as a staple winter veg, but the kids will be pleased that they wont be getting leek and potato soup every week!
I have other news too, including the boys' latest obsession in creating animations/games using the free software scratch, our new additions (fish) and the growth of our monster triops (still alive and swimming), oh and jam making sessions.
But maybe more of that tomorrow. I think I can see you yawning [am I boring you?]


Carol said...

I think the only answer for growing tomatoes given our recent soggy summers is a greenhouse - no hope for us in our pokey little garden I'm afraid then!

sue said...

I've just found your blog and have one word to say....brilliant :)
Thanks for sharing your lovely homeschooling life.

Big mamma frog said...

What, you're telling me you haven't built an extension and roof terrace yet??! Well we've got a greenhouse Carol, and I have grown tomatoes there in previous years, but I'm rather scatty with watering and feeding, so results have been mixed! Thing is, with the British climate, I reckon you just have to grow a bit of everything and see how it turns out lol.