Allotment Diary (November – Week 2)
How much time have I spent on the allotments?
There’s very little to report in this week’s diary, everything is planted except a few shallots and I’ve hardly had any time on the plot, just a few harvests, chopping down the raspberries and fleecing the polytunnel against frosts: a total of 6 hours. When it’s not been raining I’ve been enjoying lots of bike rides along the coast.
When it’s been raining the pool has provided plenty of exercise too:
I’ve now added the value of our preserves into our running total harvest value, so that gives us a total for 2019 of £8157 +£701 = £8,858. We’ve spent a total of £1,264 this year, mostly tools, seeds, water storage, nematodes and a lot of compost!
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £123 worth of fruit and veg this week another small decline from last week. That’s going to be the way of it now a steady decline in harvest value until mid February/March time when everything ‘springs’ to life, provided the winter is kind to us and everything survives until then.
We picked: Field bean tops, apples, sprouts, kalettes, new potatoes, main crop tomatoes, chard, raspberries, red and golden beetroot, red cabbage, carrots, calabrese, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, lots of types of kale, spring onions, mixed herbs, radish 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.
What we’ve bought this week
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
What I’ve planted
I planted a bed of spring cabbage and salad rocket and a bed of radish, apart from shallots and onions, that’s me all planted now, except filling in gaps when plants die and I have spares.
What I’ve potted on
First harvests of the year
Radish, not strictly new, but new for autumn
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
- Sweet Corn – 20th September
- Courgettes – 28th September
- Runner beans – 6 October
- French beans – 6 October
- Courgette – 16th October
- Tomatoes – 19th October
- Pears – 25th October
- NZ spinach 3rd November
- Celariac 3rd November
- Leeks 3rd November
What’s left in store
The store is now full:
- Beetroot – 5 large boxes
- Carrots – 2 large boxes
- Onions/shallots – 3 large boxes
- Garlic – 1 large box
- Dried pears – l large cool bag
- Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
- Potatoes – 2 large boxes
- Squash – 20 Crown Prince
We also have a few apples, three beds of mature carrots, 2 beds of beets and loads of potatoes still in the ground. Loads of stuff in the freezer too and hundreds of preserves.
Water Reserves and Rainfall
The taps are now off on the allotments, which means we either bring all veg home for washing, or we take tap water to the allotment for washing. I like taking water to the allotment because the dirty water then gets used to water the polytunnel and cold-frames etc, rather than being flushed down the drain!
- Allotment reserves (Steve) : 4.5 cubic metres
- Allotment reserves (Jennie): 0.8 cubic metres
- Allotment reserves (Debbie): 0.5 cubic metres
- Home reserves : 0.7 cubic metres
It’s worth noting that we have a huge amount of roof area for collecting water at home, so we don’t need anywhere near as much winter storage.
What have we processed for preserving
The season for preserves is now over and Debbie is enjoying a well earned rest, well truth be told she’s really busy preparing for Jennie’s wedding! As space comes free in the freezer we will however start to process garlic, onions and squash.
- Jennie gets married on Tuesday, so we are taking a break from our usual harvesting today (Sunday) so that we can harvest enough for her wedding feast
- The salad beds are in excellent condition for the time of year
- All beds are now fully planted, although beds will start to come free again soon as calabrese, radicchio, romanesco etc finish, these will be replanted in February with spring cabbage etc as space comes free
- We are having our first hard frosts, so the veg is starting to sweeten up and the pest pressure is reducing
- Harvests are still wonderful
- I finished the Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook, it has an excellent section on gardening too!
- I’ve a lot of dreary work to get through, chopping up raspberries, removing old brassicas, weeding paths, tidying storage areas, but I suppose it’s something to do on winter days that are not good enough for anything else
- My hanging shelf collapsed, as cycling temperatures worked the u-bolts loose, fortunately I was there at the time and managed to salvage most of the seedlings and prevent damage to the bed below, it’s repaired now and I will be fitting extra bolts!