Allotment Diary (September – Week 2)
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, I’ve spent 6 hours in the allotment this week. My main focus at the moment is enjoying the cooler weather, perfect for cycling and 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 £6,615 +£475 = £7090. 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
We harvested a total of £280 worth of fruit and veg this week, excluding everything from the store, which is another new record. We had 30 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, 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
- A few more seeds as I build up my stock for next year, I’m 90% of the way there now
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
What I’ve planted
Filled a few gaps with January king cabbages and Chinese cabbages
What I’ve potted on
- Cauliflowers – All year Round
- Romanesco Cauliflowers
- Reflex green curly kale
- Black magic kale
- Dazzling blue kale
- Duncan spring cabbage
First harvests of the year
- Red Cabbage
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
- Golden Purselane – 1st September
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!
- We passed last year’s harvest total this week and we still have 3.5 months to go. We still have the bulk harvest of beetroot to come, a lot of pears and apples, a little soft fruit and a lot of peppers, tomatoes, salad leaves, cooking leaves, cabbages, sprouts, carrots and kalattes to harvest this year. We also have a fair bit for 2020 in the ground too, with more being planted every week.
- 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.
- I’m finally free of the horrendous withdrawal symptoms that I have when stopping steroids, mood swings, anxiety and low energy, it feels great to be myself again!
- The squash harvest was pretty good this year, although I’m always aspiring for better, but we enough to see us through to next year’s summer squash that we grow in the polytunnel
- It looks like we will be battling slugs this autumn, I noticed quite a few babies on the leaves when harvesting today. I’ve applied nematodes, but they only work for those living in the soil