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It’s fair to say that last year we mainly grew potatoes on our allotment – in fact, that’s all we really grew apart from the odd strawberry and some herbs. We have been pretty shocking about keeping it up these past few years, it just seems we’ve had one thing after another pop up in our life and staying on top of the allotment always seems to get pushed further down the list.
Having Tilly now has made me think how much I hope to spend time this spring and summer on the allotment, just her and Buddy during the week, pottering, weeding, sowing, planting. I imagine Tilly laid on a blanket, the dog next to her, and me digging. Or once she is sitting up and shuffling around, eating flowers or dirt.
But for now, our allotment is a bit of a sad mess and empty of all it’s potato harvest as of the a recent weekend. We went down late afternoon, the sun was beginning to set, the trees looked like they were on fire from the sun’s glow and we had three rows of red skinned potatoes to dig up.
The past 10 days I’ve been away on a bit of a business roadtrip (I run my own small business) around the South West – visiting Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Phew! It’s been wonderful but exhausting, and I hope to share a few snaps from my trip shortly.
I’m now nearly 30 weeks pregnant…which is like 6 1/2 months, which sounds much more scary than when you count it in weeks. I have been pleased to get home and rest over the pat few days, back making simple lunches and dinners and walking the dog. I missed this sight a lot, which if you follow me on Instagram you must be pretty bored of seeing by now!
This is my 29 week bump – everyone I’ve met has commented on how ‘neat’ it is. For ages I was worried/disappointed that it was so tiny compared to other women at the same stage, but I really love it and since one of my many midwives (a whole separate story) told me it’s because I’ve got a long torso, I’ve just chilled out a bit.
Since getting home I seem to be on a scrambled eggs with herbs binge, eating it almost every day for my lunch. You just can’t beat a few simple ingredients like these – organic leghorn eggs from the farm up the road, herbs from my garden, sourdough bread, and a bowl of my own grown salad leaves and edible flowers.
Yesterday I dug up my horseradish plant that’s been growing all year not having any idea on what to expect. It certainly put up a fight trying to dig it out, with at least two long roots that disappeared into the depths of my raised bed and beyond. In the end I had a good poke about, took a couple of long roots and put the main plant back in the soil – it’s got lots of new growth and hopefully it will continue to grow. Only time with tell.
Mr Rigg made us Jamie Oliver’s meal for baby Yorkshire puds with a creamy smoked trout and horseradish pate. The horseradish was for the smoke trout, and we just grated it in – the heat from the horseradish was incredible. Along with a pile of green leaves it made a light and delicious dinner. And very satisfying to use our own homegrown horseradish.
I am very proud of my homegrown tomatoes, even if I did buy them as tiny plants rather than grow them from seed. I decided to pick quite a lot of the red ones before the slugs and rain did too much damage – I was holding out for a couple of green ones to ripen more, but decided this would likely leave me with half munched on tomatoes if I left it much longer.
I’m pretty impressed with this haul of tomatoes, and there are still plenty of greens ones on the plant, so we’ll see what happens with them.
Yesterday’s prize-winning potatoes became yesterday’s dinner. First we popped the first prize-winning, homegrown potatoes onto skewers, rubbed them in olive oil and salt and then baked them until they were beautiful and fluffy inside.
We slathered them with a mixture of cream cheese and spring onions (with a touch of sour cream to loosen it up), and piled sliced salami and grated Parmesan on top. It was all we had left in the fridge but tasted pretty good.
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.
I’ve never had much luck with tomatoes, I don’t have a greenhouse and the English weather seems to be terrible to them. Sometimes I get tomatoes, but then the never ripen, maybe I’ve just had the wrong variety or not cared for them enough.
It must be said, I like my plants (ornamental or edible) to not need a lot of care, I like them to get on with growing without having to be fussed over and tended to too often. That being said, this year, one of my three tomatoes plants is doing really well.
I bought a set of three Jamie Oliver tomato plants, I really liked that they all came as different varieties – I chose a set that had a red variety called Tomatoberry (this is the one that’s doing well), a green and orange striped one called Green Zebra (a few tomatoes on that, none ripening yet), and a yellow variety that hasn’t done well at all.
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.
Last weekend Mr Rigg and I headed to Cornwall for a long weekend. In order to break up the 5 hour journey we set off after work on Thursday and made a stop-off in Somerset, staying at a beautiful B&B called Farndon Thatch.
Arriving at about 7pm we decided to stop at a local pub for dinner before checking in. We came across The Crown Inn at Fivehead, where we were met with a warm welcome and a menu prided on being homecooked by the owners Steve and Jacqui. Mr Rigg couldn’t resist a curry and I went for a slice of homemade venison pie.
And what a slice it was – huge, stuffed full of flavoursome meat, and possibly the best pastry I’ve ever had. It wasn’t cheffy or fancy food, but just really nice homecooked meals, just what we needed. We were also entertained by a stunning fish tank with living rocks and a host of unusual creatures.