January Tour of Jennie’s Allotment Plot

2018-01-20 15.32.54

This is a short video showing the progress on Jennie’s plot. It’s taken a while to film it because the weather has just been too windy to get decent audio, but today it’s finally bearable.

There’s not much progress to report. I’m still raving about kalette’s which are the best brassica that we’ve grown this year, but come spring we are hoping that our big investment in purple sprouting brocolli pays off! We are also looking forward to kale flowers, which we really enjoyed last year. Speaking of kale, it’s taken a beating from the weather, especially the really hard frosts that we’ve had this year, much worse than usual. The red cabbage is still hanging in there too.

The broard beans have germinated well and will soon need staking, we’ve lost only a couple of them so far. In a few weeks I will be planting seeds indoors – in toilet rolls.

In other news I’ve been tidying up the chard and chicory beds, and these both look really great now, rather than a mouldy mess. I’ve covered them with fleece until February, just to give them a bit of protection after the shock of the tidy up.

The next job on Jennie’s plot will be mulching the beds, ready for the potatoes and spring brassicas.

Finally the potatoes arrived from Marshall’s and were terribe quality, two bags had rotten tubers in them that had leached everywhere and another bag had been kept too warm and as a result had very long stalks already, most of which had broken off in transit. They are shipping me replacements, but quality control should have stopped it happening in the first place. This is the second disappointment that I’ve had from them, last year it was very poor sweet potato slips.

If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and one of our daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot.

On Jennie’s plot for example we focus on potatoes, squash, alliums and brassicas. This video provides an overview https://youtu.be/q1k-2vIoSQ8. I do a monthly tour of each allotment, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhKoRR-NiCJn5Y6rZf0RCCqycu3xvofX.

Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in summer, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family, and to have as much fun as possible.

My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work: like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.

I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease. I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat the most organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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