Allotment Diary (September – week 1)
How much time have I spent on the allotments?
Most beds are cleared now and replanted, so there’s not much to do except establishing the new plants and harvesting, although I have a bit of a weeding backlog. I worked for 9 hours in total, most of that harvesting and watering in slug nematodes. My main focus at the moment is enjoying the cooler weather, perfect for hiking.
I’ve now added the value of our preserves into our running total harvest value, so that gives us a total for 2019 of £6,340 +£433 = £6,733. We’ve spent a total of £1,020 this year, mostly one time investments and a lot of compost!
What we’ve harvested and eaten
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 £220 worth of fruit and veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 32 meals with ingredients from the allotment. We still have a lot of onions and shallots to process and store, so these are not yet included in totals.
We picked: Pears, peppers, apples, sprouts, main crop runner beans, main crop French beans, new potatoes, cucamelons, main crop tomatoes, Sweetcorn, Crown Prince squash, Aztec broccoli, gherkins, french beans, chard, trumbocino, cucumber, raspberries, red and golden beetroot, courgettes, New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, strawberries, carrots, calabrese, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, lots of types of kale, spring onions, mixed herbs and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: main crop potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic and dried apples and pears. 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
- Many more seeds as I build up my stock for next year, I’m 90% of the way there now
- Slug nematodes, now is the perfect time to clear the beds of slugs, because the soil is clear or only has seedlings planted and the slugs can be a real issue in autumn and early winter, enjoying the same protection as the plants in my cold-frames etc.
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
I did a big sowing this week, completing all of the late autumn/winter veg for the polytunnel, this isn’t the full selection though as I sowed some a few weeks ago too. The brassicas will be for over-wintering in small pots for early crops next year.
What I’ve planted
Every time a gap opens up in the outside beds we are popping in brassicas from our spares
What I’ve potted on
Cauliflowers for over-wintering.
First harvests of the year
What we’ve run out of in store
- 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)
- Celery – August week 4
What’s left in store
The store is rapidly filling up now with preserves, dried fruit, garlic, shallots, 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 washing the harvests.
- Allotment reserves (Steve) :
- Allotment reserves (Jennie):
- Allotment reserves (Debbie):
- Home reserves :
What have we processed for preserving
We are still making preserves at quite a rate, the dehydrating is really picking up now and pears are coming thick and fast!
- The autumn/winter salad beds are growing very well, weather conditions are not ideal though so I’ve popped covers on to improve them. The covers can easily be opened if it rains, but we’ve hardly had any rain this week, hopefully next week.
- The widespread rash – that drives me a bit crazy – is under control now and I’m off the steroids
- The rapid response to the caterpillar/whitefly/cabbage aphid problems seems to have paid off and they are all under control again now
- The plot is looking beautiful
- I’ve started clearing the front garden of snails, in preparation for growing more edibles there next year, there are a lot of snails though!