Sunday, 4 December 2011

December at the Allotment

It’s been the mildest autumn I can ever remember and as I haven’t had much time to give it lately the weeds have been growing. I’ve had a busy time checking on and cuddling my new granddaughter Phoebe (7lb 2oz on 8th November), finally managing to launch my own range of skin care products, and having an adventurous & busy weekend in London.

 Sprouts are soon to be harvested for Christmas dinner, leeks and parsnips are doing well. I harvested a few late raspberries today and a good handful of chillies.

 We had our last gardening lesson of the year today, we looked at each other’s plots to what was still growing, and people are still putting in garlic so I am going to get some. We have had some fan trained trees to grow against the wall, an apricot and a cherry and a fellow allotment holder has kindly helped me to plant them today.
Apricot Tree
Cherry tree

 The Shark Fin Melons were harvested today which were grown from seeds donated by garden organic. Some people are going to dry the seeds so as we can plant more next year and spread the seed to others. To be honest they taste a bit bland and it was decided that we need some good recipes if we are to continue with the cause or we are growing them for nothing.
Shark Fin Melons

 The gardens where the allotments are have been in touch with an old fashioned brewery that uses Costmary in their brewing instead of hops and will supply a barrel of ale in return for an amount of the herb. I’d heard of Costmary but didn’t know anything about it, Mrs Grieves says it gave a spicy flavour to ale and one of its other names was Alecost. Costmary is similar to tansy in appearance with small yellow flowers, but has a more balsamic aroma.

 We also discussed beetroot gluts, beetroot juice is supposed to be very good for you. Just juice raw beetroots and add a bit of carrot or apple, a tale was that neat beetroot juice can freeze your vocal chords; this did not seem to have affected the story teller though!

 Jo-Ann, thank you for your comments, I can’t comment back on this blog any more but I hope you have used your quinces, my slow cooker is smaller than most and I manage well. I’m very interested in your quince brandy, is this made in the same manner as sloe gin?

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