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Yesterday at work we celebrated our 11th Birthday – why 11th, you ask?  Well, we forgot last year that the business had turned 10, so we’re celebrating now.  Also, my dear colleague Paul is leaving us and heading back to his native Australia.

So we celebrated with a very English afternoon tea in a meadow, believe it or not in the city.  We had a tented camp, bunting hanging from the trees, live music, and lots of good friends.  There were scones and jam, make-it-yourself knicker-bocker-glories, and baskets of tiny sandwiches. 

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My colleague and I were responsible for the baskets of sandwiches, and had spent all morning making them.  We made three varieties: egg mayonnaise with lots of chives on a white Polish rye bread; smoked salmon with a tangy lemon cream cheese on a deep campagrain bread; and (my absolute favourite, and my own invention) my take on cheese and pickle, a Welsh blue brie with sweet onion chutney on a fragrant seeded bread.

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So here’s a quick round-up of our lovely afternoon:

…How to make your knicker-bocker-glory…

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…A table groaning under the weight of jam, cream and Jane’s utterly perfect scones (recipe coming soon!)…

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…The wheelbarrow of drinks on ice…

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…Soft white egg and chive sandwiches with pretty cocktail flags…

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…and the band creating a lovely atmosphere…

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It’s been a while since I posted any pictures of my newly acquired allotment.  I feel that we’ve done quite well with our plot, considering that we only get down there occasionally.

This photo was taken almost a month ago – we had just finished planting five large beds of potatoes! 

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With N out playing cricket, I made a trip down there on Sunday and ended up there for about 3 hours.  The garlic, onions and shallots seem to be doing well. 

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The shallots have started to split, which is quite exciting for someone who’s never grown onions or shallots before:

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I planted some Cosmos that I have grown from seedlings, which had probably spent a couple of weeks too many in their tiny pods, so we shall have to wait and see how they fare on the allotment.  I also managed to plant out some Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants that I bought at least a month ago and have been hanging on to as it said to plant them out in May.

I spent a good while erecting a chicken wire barrier between them and potential death – I’m not sure whether bunnies like broccoli plants, but I’m not about to wait and see:

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Overall I was quite pleased with my attempt, especially as it was quite a challenge with no one to hold the other end of the roll of chicken wire:

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I do feel that having put a fence to prevent the wild rabbits from munching on my tiny vegetable plants that it will attract them.  I worry they will see it as a challenge, that because there’s a fence whatever’s behind it must be even tastier, and therefore they will try especially hard to get it.

The potatoes have finally shown their faces – I was beginning to think that maybe all five beds were lost…but fear not, they are growing:

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The fruit canes (believed to be raspberry) behind the ‘shed’ are now green and leafy with lots of flower heads appearing, which means (fingers-crossed) lots of berries – my mouth is already beginning to water at the thought of harvests yet to come:

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I burnt off at least one of the three-and-a-half-bars-of-chocolate brownies that we made for N’s birthday by hoeing a piece of ground at the bottom of the allotment.  I am undecided as to whether I will sow it with purple clover (which is a green manure) or whether I might try making it into a mini meadow. 

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I do think it’s a shame you don’t drive along country roads in this country and find odd patches of meadow brimming with colour and buzzing bees like these we’ve found in France:

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And finally, the rhubarb has shot up thick stalks topped with a foam of white flowers.  How pretty.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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