Allotment Diary (June – Week 2)

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Allotment Finances

We’ve harvested a total of £3,843, smashing all previous records, since records began! Harvesting this much gives me immense freedom to spend money to save time and increase food quality and variety, without a hint of guilt, it also bought me a fancy new iPad Pro this week. Of the £3,843 about £2,200 is a direct saving off our food bill.   We’ve spent a total of £758 this year, mostly one time investments and a lot of compost!

What we’ve harvested and eaten

I’ve a new feature in the database that I created to track my harvests, that automatically gives me a weekly summary view of my harvests (I only take one picture per harvest, so this is nowhere near everything we picked, but it’s a nice summary.  Below each photo is the total number of boxes we harvested, often more than shown in the photo.



We harvested a total of £320 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. This is a lot more than last week, because we did the bulk harvest of the broad beans, which are now all processed and frozen.  We also harvested a lot of garlic and onions, but these aren’t processed yet so they are now included in this weeks tally.  We had 35 meals with ingredients from the allotment.

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We picked: Runner beans, elephant garlic, bulk garlic harvest, beetroot, mange tout broad beans, bulk onion harvest, celery, baby leeks, courgettes, New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, onion scapes,  calabrese, cauliflower, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, radish, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, true spinach, spring onions, salad rocket, sorrel,  mixed herbs, rhubarb, broad beans, mangetout peas, shelling peas, 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 we are feeding

I’m delighted that another of our daughters has returned to the local area, so we are now harvesting for her too, so that makes nine families (Us, Elena, Jennie, Tessa, Tony, Diane, Anne, Chris, Christine) about 22 people and I’m also sharing any extra surplus with fellow allotmenteers and Diane’s chickens (which supply our eggs)!

What we’ve bought this week

  1. Nothing

Video’s this week


What I’ve sown

It’s been a big sowing week, in went all of the late summer salads and the winter brassicas!


  1. Broccoli, Florret Claret Brassica
  2. Cabbage Tundra (savoy) Brassica
  3. Cabbage January King Brassica
  4. Calabrese, Florret Marathon Brassica
  5. Cauliflower, Florret Romanesco Brassica
  6. Kale Redbor Brassica
  7. Kale Winterbor Brassica
  8. Kale Nero di Toscana Brassica
  9. Turnip Greens Rapa Senza Testa Cooking Leaves
  10. Annual herb Red leaved Basil Herb
  11. Broad Bean Luz De Otono Legumes
  12. Lettuce Moon Red Salad Leaves
  13. Lettuce Grenoble Red Salad Leaves
  14. Lettuce Tesy Salad Leaves
  15. Lettuce Lobjoits Green Salad Leaves
  16. Lettuce Cantarix Salad Leaves
  17. Lettuce Grenoble Red Salad Leaves

What I’ve planted

No big plantings this week, but I continue to fill in gaps with spares.

  1. Rubine red sprouts
  2. Bedford sprouts
  3. Calabrese
  4. Reflex kale
  5. Sweet corn
  6. Baby Leeks
  7. Celariac
  8. Spring onions
  9. Outdoor tomatoes
  10. Outdoor cucumbers
  11. Outdoor gherkins

What I’ve potted on

  1. Outdoor cucumbers (to keep as spares)
  2. Outdoor gherkins (to keep as spares)

First harvests of the year

Using the same technique my first harvest database now also gives me a nice summary view of the week’s first harvests.


Cut off at the bottom of the photo are baby leeks!

What we’ve run out of in store

  1. Dried pears – March
  2. Winter squash – March (we still have some in the freezer)
  3. Carrots – May week 2
  4. Garlic – May week 3 (we have still have pickled garlic and green garlic to harvest)
  5. Shallots – May week 4 (strictly speaking we didn’t run out, they just sprouted and got bad greenfly)
  6. Onions – June week 1 – we are processing the few that are left and freezing them
  7. Beetroot – June week 1 – the few that are left have gone soft

Last harvests

  1. Celery – May week 1
  2. Last years kale – May week 1
  3. Perpetual spinach – May week 3
  4. Purple sprouting broccoli – May week 4
  5. Chard – June week 1

What’s left in store

  1. Potatoes – 1/4 medium sized bags
  2. Dried Apples – 1/2 big cool bag

Water Reserves and Rainfall

I’m not tracking water now that the taps are on:

  1. Allotment reserves (Steve) :
  2. Allotment reserves (Jennie):
  3. Allotment reserves (Debbie):
  4. Home reserves :

What have we processed for preserving

  1. 70kg of broad beans for freezing
  2. 10kg of onions for freezing
  3. 6 jars of strawberry jam


  1. Although we’ve had tomatoes for months now, we finally got a harvest from the polytunnel plants, Tumbling Tom yellows, very sweet!
  2. Our garlic harvest this year is superb, but we muddled up the types last year and planted way too many hard necks!
  3. The runner beans won the race for first and best early beans, one container in the polytunnel is yielding very well!
  4. We completed the harvest of the broad beans, about 70kg, which is by far our biggest harvest.  We don’t freeze much, but broad beans are so easy and freeze so well that we do them.  We also need to free up the ground for squash and leeks that go in next week.
  5. We cleared the carrot bed that had gone to seed and actually managed a decent harvest, enough for a couple of weeks, we have plenty of other carrots ready too
  6. The peppers have finally started growing


  1. Most of the elephant garlic failed to split into cloves, yielding just large mono-bulbs.  This is the first time we’ve grown it so maybe we should have left it for another month, who knows.  Anyway we will save some and plant it for next year.
  2. Greenfly continue to be a challenge, especially on the red lettuce
  3. I suspect that the company who look after our lawn managed to get weed killer on some of our veg beds, as a result the chard is alive but not growing, so I need to plant that 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

8 Responses

  1. Kari says:

    Wow! I wish i had more time to spend in the garden.. i’m the only one who keeps it up and with working fulltime i dont have the time i would want to keep up with sowings and weeding. But it does save money eventually. Tastes a lot better and i rather come home to spending time in my garden then watch tv… love your harvest!

  2. It is certainly a lot of work Kari and you need to choose what you grow carefully to save money! As we are self-sufficient in veg we need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on some crops, but it’s worth it not to have to get exposure to the chemical soup! : All the best – Steve

  3. Wow! You were busy this past week.

  4. Even busier this week Sue, getting ready for autumn/winter

  5. I’m always amazed at the amount of food you grow and the number of people you feed! You have a great assortment of veggies too.

  6. I’ve been growing for three years Dave, the first year I focussed on the infrastructure of the garden, the second on becoming self-sufficient, this year I focussed on growing as much as I could, as easily as possible, while also being self-sufficient. Now that I have some idea of what I’m doing and I’ve the tools and systems in place, my focus is on reducing the food bills of my local kids and improving their diets. That’s more of a challenge than it sounds as going from two to six people self-sufficient is a big challenge, because a lot of what we eat is inefficient to grow. We can’t live on efficient veg like kale and New Zealand spinach. So next year expect a lot less food overall, but less work and happier families. Btw, I was wondering about the two beds that you are putting to rest now, I thought maybe you could plant asparagus for an autumn crop?

  7. We have plenty of asparagus planted already, but I’ve decided to plant blackberries in one of the beds. I do like the idea of perennial crops, since they generally require less maintenance.

  8. I didn’t realise you also harvested your asparagus in the autumn Dave, I’d only just realised that it was possible. I’m putting a bed in for that purpose, hence I thought of your spare bed

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