Allotment Diary (April – Week 2)
We’ve harvested a total of £1730 of fruit and veg this year
We’ve spent a total of £458 this year, mostly one time investments
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £228 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. This is a lot higher than last week, in fact we had our biggest ever harvest day on Tuesday, but not our biggest week because we didn’t have any of the bulk harvests we enjoy in summer/autumn. We had 39 meals with ingredients from the allotment.
We picked: calabrese, broccolini, purple sprouting broccoli, sprouts, sprout tops, romanesco leaves, calabrese leaves, red cabbage leaves, radish, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, cabbage, true spinach, perpetual spinach, mizuna, giant red mustard, chard, kalettes, spring onions, celery, salad rocket, sorrel, claytonia, lambs lettuce, leeks, pea shoots, lots of bean tops and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: carrots, potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, red beetroot, golden beetroot and dried apples.
How many people are we feeding?
We are stable for now at eight families (Us, Elena, Jennie, Tony, Diane, Anne, Chris, Christine) about 20 people and we will probably stay at this level for a few weeks now, sharing any extra surplus with fellow allotmenteers.
What we’ve bought this week
I published three short videos:
Growing early beans, peas and carrots – just for fun
Growing early tomatoes – just for fun
First Harvest of the Early Potatoes
What I’ve sown
- Gherkin Vento pickling Cucurbits
- Lettuce Little Gem Salad Leaves
- Outdoor (bush) Legend Tomato
- Outdoor (bush) Losetto Tomato
- Outdoor (cordon) Amish Paste Tomato
- Outdoor (cordon) Crimson Crush Tomato
- Purselane Golden Salad Leaves
- Winter Squash Crown Prince Cucurbits
What I’ve planted
I’ve harvested the last of the Lambs Lettuce and planted true lettuces and radish in it’s place. I’ve also harvested the last of the chicory and planted six more kale plants and radish in place of that.
I’ve potted on
- Bedford Sprouts
- Marathon Calabrese
- Dazzling Blue kale
- Carvelo Nero kale
- Red Russian kale
First harvests of the year
- New potatoes, we harvested the first three seed potatoes
What we running out of
We have run out of dried pears and winter squash
Last harvests of the year
What’s left in store
Potatoes – 2/3 medium sized bags
Garlic – a few bulbs
Carrots – 1.5 big boxes
Onions – 2/3 large box
Shallots – 1/2 large box
Beets – 2.5 big boxes
Dried Apples – 1 big cool bag
Water Reserves and Rainfall
Allotment reserves (Steve) : 2400 litres, down by 200 litres
Allotment reserves (Jennie): 450 litres
Allotment reserves (Debbie): 400 litres
Home reserves : 750 litres
It’s been dry for a couple of weeks now, with no rain forecast for the next ten days, but fortunately although it’s sunny, it’s also cold so the ground has not totally dried out, but I need to water the beds as every one of them is full of veg. I’m also bringing 80 litres a day from home to keep the water butts full. As soon as it warms up (next week) we will start getting through water at a depressing rate!
What have we processed for preserving
Incredibly we had our biggest ever harvest this week. Harvesting more in April than August is quite a vindication of my new strategy to maximise harvests in spring rather than winter. This basically means we picked more veg in a week in April than a month in Winter and it’s much higher quality, picked in much nicer conditions. We still grow enough in winter to make sure we have plenty to eat, but a smaller surplus.
I made a big effort this year to make sure that we have new potatoes as early as possible and as late as possible. Blight scuppered my ‘late as possible’ plan, but the early as possible plan has worked out very well and we should have an abundance of new potatoes for the next few months.
Thanks to longer days we are now able to harvest in the evenings, which is cooler and we can also enjoy a day out.
I’m in a race against time now! The winter brassicas are coming to and end much faster than usual and the over-wintered (as small plants) and spring sown varieties are on a go slow because of the nightly frosts. I think we will have continuity of supply, but I’m pleased we grow a surplus usually because I think we will have just enough for us.
Some of the winter brassicas now have cabbage aphid, so we will have to pull them up early, to try and avoid them spreading to this year’s plants.
The allotment water has not been switched on and we have no idea when it will be switched on as the committee hasn’t even discussed it yet. We are used to it being switched on in early April, so the lack of information on this makes it very difficult to plan.
Lack of rain and tap water makes planting out all of the new seedlings something of a lottery.
Frosts every night this week means lots of messing around with fleece.