Allotment Diary (August – Week 3)
If you received this via email click here to get all of the images and videos!
How much time have I spent on the allotments?
It’s actually hard to believe that I’m writing this diary almost at the end of summer, because it seems like the last 6 weeks or so have actually been autumn (see photo of our windswept beach). This week was another windy, rainy one, with just a few hours a day of sunshine. That’s meant very little time on the allotment 7.5 hours, but some decent hiking days and lots of housework and work on the home garden.
I’ve now added the value of our preserves into our running total harvest value, so that gives us a total for 2019 of £5,902. We’ve spent a total of £935 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. I only take one picture per harvest, so this is nowhere near everything we picked, but it’s a nice summary.
We harvested a total of £183 worth of fruit and veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 30 meals with ingredients from the allotment. We’ve finally processed some of the onions and shallots and moved them into the store, so I’ve added those to the total, lots more to go.
We picked: Peppers, sprouts, Main crop runner beans, main crop French beans, main crop onions, calcots, a few of the main crop potatoes,cucamelons, main crop tomatoes, main crop shallots, over-wintered shallots, Sweetcorn, Crown Prince squash, Aztec broccoli, gherkins, french beans, tayberries, red currants, chard, baking potatoes, trumbocino, cucumber, raspberries, red tomatoes, early runner beans, red and golden beetroot, mange tout broad beans, celery, courgettes, New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, strawberries, yellow tomatoes, carrots, calabrese, cauliflower, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, lots of types of kale, spring onions, mixed herbs and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: dried apples. Bold items are new this week.
People we are feeding
We are feeding 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)! We are of course not providing these nine families with all of the veg they eat, just what we happen to have as a surplus in any particular week. Only Debbie and I manage to be fully self-sufficient in veg and seasonal fruit.
What we’ve bought this week
- A few seeds
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
Nothing, although I should have sown quite a bit, next week I need to catch up!
What I’ve planted
These lettuces and spinach were actually planted in cold-frames WITH THE TOPS ON, that’s how bad the weather has been.
I’ve also planted out spare brassicas as space has opened up:
- Red Drumhead cabbage
- January Kind Cabbage
- Savoy cabbage
- Winter cauliflowers
- Various kales
What I’ve potted on
First harvests of the year
This section of my diary is about to get very boring, very soon as first harvests are almost all done! This week is exciting though, because we finally started harvesting the main crop runner beans and the French beans!!
What we’ve run out of in store
The store is rapidly filling up now with garlic, shallots, onions and potatoes, but it’s not full yet so I’m not going to start tracking it until then.
- Celery – May week 1
- Last years kale – May week 1
- Perpetual spinach – May week 3
- Purple sprouting broccoli – May week 4
- Chard – June week 1
- Onions – June week 2 (we have fresh onions now of course)
- Beetroot – June week 3 (we have fresh beets now of course)
- Carrots – June week 4 (we have fresh carrots now of course)
What’s left in store
The store is rapidly filling up now with garlic, onions and potatoes, but it’s not full yet so I’m not going to start tracking it until then.
Water Reserves and Rainfall
I didn’t intend tracking water reserves until the taps go off, however it’s been a remarkable month. We’ve been totally self-sufficient in water for over a month now due to huge amounts of rain. However the tap water has still been incredibly useful for harvesting.
- Allotment reserves (Steve) :
- Allotment reserves (Jennie):
- Allotment reserves (Debbie):
- Home reserves :
What have we processed for preserving
Debbie has been hard at work preserving, taking advantage of the bad weather to work her way through the surplus that we’ve accumulated.
- No watering needed
- It looks like we have agreement to keep the allotment sites tap water switched on
- One of our cats has decided he likes the winter kale bed at home
- The chard – like the beets – is suffering from fungal spot, so I’ve cut it all back to the base, in the hope that it will regrow in better condition
- We continue to loose about a plant a week to cabbage root fly
- I’ve had to put the tops on some of the cold-frames!