Allotment Diary (May – Week 5)
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We’ve harvested a total of £3,210, smashing all previous records for spring! Harvesting this much gives me immense freedom to spend money to save time and increase food quality and variety, without a hint of guilt. Of the £3,210 about £2,000 is a direct saving off our food bill. We’ve spent a total of £717 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 inching up a bit each week and the harvests have hardly even started really. We won’t see any significant increases until the fruit kicks in and we start to do some bulk harvests of alliums. We had 35 meals with ingredients from the allotment.
We picked: New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, strawberries, onions, tomatoes, carrots, green garlic, onion scapes, garlic scapes, calabrese, cauliflower, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, radish, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, true spinach, chard, spring onions, salad rocket, sorrel, mixed herbs, rhubarb, broad beans, mangetout peas, shelling peas, broad bean tops, new potatoes and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: potatoes, onions, red beetroot, golden beetroot and dried apples. Bold items are new.
People are we feeding
We are stable for now at eight families (Us, Elena, Jennie, Tony, Diane, Anne, Chris, Christine) about 20 people and I’m also sharing any extra surplus with fellow allotmenteers and Diane’s chickens!
What we’ve bought this week
- Lots of seed potatoes for winter new potato harvests
- Pepper plants (due to the batch lost to greenfly)
I’ve published three videos
What I’ve sown
- Pea, Mangetout Oregon Sugar Pod Legumes
What I’ve planted
Pepper Sweet Sweet Red
Pepper Sweet Cheyenne
Pepper Hot Apache
Pepper Hot Big Jim
What I’ve potted on
- Butternut Squash
First harvests of the year
- Carrots – May week 1
- Green garlic – May week 1
- Cauliflower – May week 2
- Peas – May week 3
- Strawberries – May week 3
- Mangetou Peas – May week 4
- Broad Beans – May week 4
- Onions – May week 4
- Garlic Scapes – May week 4
- Golden Purselane – May week 4
- New Zealand spinach – May week 5
What we’ve run out of in store
- Dried pears – March
- Winter squash – March
- Carrots – May week 2
- Garlic – May week 3 (we have still have pickled garlic and green garlic to harvest)
- Shallots – May week 4 (strictly speaking we didn’t run out, they just sprouted and got bad greenfly)
- Celery – May week 1
- Last years kale – May week 1
- Perpetual spinach – May week 3
- Purple sprouting broccoli – May week 4
What’s left in store
- Potatoes – 1/3 medium sized bags
- Onions – 1/3 large box
- Beets – 3/4 big box
- Dried Apples – 1/2 big cool bag
Water Reserves and Rainfall
I’m not tracking water now that the taps are on:
- Allotment reserves (Steve) :
- Allotment reserves (Jennie):
- Allotment reserves (Debbie):
- Home reserves :
What have we processed for preserving
We have huge harvests of broad beans now and mangetout peas/strawberries make up a big part of my breakfast every day!
The general range of foods is now accelerating rapidly and after a few months of mainly green food, it’s wonderful to have so many colours back in our diet!
The squash looks like it has survived it’s shaky start and is now growing well.
I’ve almost finished planting out the kitchen garden at home, just a tray of golden beetroot to plant out and then it’s all finished. The same is effectively true of my plot, every square inch is now planted outside, with just a few bits to squeeze into the polytunnel.
- I will get to use maybe half of my brassica spare plants due to slug damage in the main bed.
- I’ve got quite a lot of leaf miner damage to the early beetroot and celery in the polytunnel, both should survive although I’ve had to pick off a fair number of their leaves
- May weather had been very windy, with fairly sunny days/cold nights but no much rain, not ideal growing weather for the summer crops, although great for the rest
- At least 50% of the early carrots have gone to seed, this seems to be an issue with Early Nantes 2, when exposed to the elements. By contrast the Napoli which I sowed in October were fine as are the same Early Nantes 2 that were in containers in the polytunnel
- I’m starting to see some problems with compost contaminated with weed killer. For example see these two tubs of potatoes – same variety, same compost, planted the same day.