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From the beauty of Greece yesterday, to the slightly drearier shores of the UK today. This past weekend we actually got down to our allotment and planted four rows of Charlotte potatoes. We always seem a little behind on planting our potatoes, but were reassured when our local farmer told us he was only just getting his in the ground.
In the process of uncovering the soil Mr Rigg came across a frog. First he thought it was dead, turns out it was just enjoying the heat beneath the plastic that had been covering the ground (at least I think that’s what it was doing).
After an attempt to pick it up it leaped down a hole and disappeared. It made me realise there were a series of ‘tunnels’ that had been created in the soil and I wondered if this was the frog who had made them? Anyone know?
There was also a bit of time for sitting and reading – Buddy was busy on bee patrol…
Last weekend was sunny. That in itself is quite incredible. Before the sun could even consider disappearing, we quickly made our way to our neglected allotment. Thankfully it didn’t look as unkempt as we were expecting, and we feel vaguely positive about getting it into shape this summer. Watch this space!
Mr Rigg covered large sections in old carpet and I mainly made tea. We took our trusty Kelly Kettle and set up a little fire in the base – I can’t help but feel like I’m actually really ‘alive’ when I’m doing basic things like this. Do you find that?
We’ve eaten quite a few dinners at the allotment over the past week, much like our anniversary meal they’ve been utterly blissful.
Before we left I made a quinoa salad with cucumber, radish and dill, which was then finished off at the allotment with grilled fennel – I’d seen the recipe here and it was delicious, very refreshing which is just what you need in this weather.
Mr Rigg grilled some sausages and chicken, and we ate simply but well.
We drank sparkling elderflower from enamel mugs…
Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary, and having spent the previous 24 hours tucked away in bliss at the Inn at Whitewell, and with the gorgeous warm weather, we decided last minute to have dinner at the allotment.
We boiled up some new potatoes, got a barbeque going to cook the sausages and burgers, and Mr Rigg watered the vegetables.
It reminded me of how much I enjoy cooking outside with the challenge of limited gadgets and gismos to help you prepare your meal. It reminded me of sunny evenings cooking market ingredients in the Loire Valley.
We have finally found some time to spend in our garden and on our allotment. Being there is one of the most peaceful times, I find myself with an empty, calm mind and it’s blissful.
We are trying to do little by little at the moment rather than our usual tendency to over-exert ourselves one day and not come back for weeks. We have got some bark chippings down to mark out four beds and have started to plant in some seedlings.
These peas I’ve grown from seed – I’m just hoping the bunnies or slugs don’t munch on them.
Sunday was spent mostly dealing with this beast…
This is a Zucca de Marmellata grown on our allotment, seeds bought from Sarah Raven. After doing a bit of research it seems to be an Italian variety often known as a jam pumpkin – funnily enough for making pumpkin jam.
In total this pumpkin weighed over 20kg – can’t quite believe it! As you might be able to see from the top picture it had started to go mouldy in the centre, so we will have to ‘process’ the other pumpkin we have of this size soon.
So we’ve had two pumpkins in particular that have been steadily growing in size. I can’t quite believe I planted a variety that grows so big, but hey-ho, it’s all good fun.
Tomorrow we’ve got our local Produce Show so we’re going to enter one of them along with some potatoes, possibly some tomatoes, and a few other bits and pieces.
Yesterday we spent a couple of hours at the allotment digging up our potatoes – I can’t believe the amount and size of some of the potatoes we dug up.
So just from one row…
We dug up this overloaded basketful of gorgeous red skinned potatoes…
Our first potatoes dug from the allotment, already eaten this week as baked potatoes with plenty of salt, pepper and butter, and the tiny ones in a pasta dish with green beans and pesto. I know it’s a bit late to be digging the first potatoes, but we were a bit behind in getting them into the ground this year.
This afternoon we went to the allotment to finish digging over a bed, plant a couple of fruit bushes and water. We enjoyed a nice cup of tea, made in our Kelly Kettle, and ate brownies. It is so peaceful at the allotment, yet still a nice buzz with people tending their plants and harvesting their crops.
We don’t have much to harvest on ours, just a few months ago it was an overgrown wilderness of weeds, the result of neglect due to us planning our wedding. Thankfully, we have started to get back on top of it.
The photo on the left was taken on 10th June, the photo on the right today, 31st July…