Allotment Diary (November – Week 4)
Overview of the week
I’ve been all in on the allotment and garden this week. I’ve got almost everything tidied up, chopped up and weeded and I’m feeling totally on top of everything. That’s the benefit of a few dry days and knowing that I’m going to be away on holiday next week, so it’s now or never! I did a full 13 hours on the allotment, including the harvest and I did probably another 8 hours on the garden, that’s a lot and I loved it.
I did manage one day hiking too, on my favourite walk around the huge Rivington reservoir system.
We now add the value of our preserves into our running total harvest value, so that gives us a total for 2019 of £8442 +£701 = £9,143. It’s great to pass the £9k milestone, with a few weeks to go before the year end. Originally we’d targeted £10k, but due to the councils new rules that don’t allow us to share veg with friends and neighbours we’ve intentionally switched our focus to lower value staples for family members.
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 £100 worth of fruit and veg this week, which is pretty good for this time of year, topically December and early January are our leanest months, thing pick up towards the end of January depending on the weather.
We picked: Peppers, Cucumbers, 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
What I’ve potted on
First harvests of the year
Peppers, not strictly a new harvest, but new from the plants in the conservatory
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, two 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, so we are now totally dependent on rainfall until April, we are well stocked though:
- Allotment reserves (Steve) : 4.5 cubic metres
- Allotment reserves (Jennie): 0.8 cubic metres
- Allotment reserves (Debbie): 0.5 cubic metres
- Home reserves : 0.9 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
Nothing, but as space comes free in the freezer we will however start to process carrots, garlic, onions and squash into soups and the freezer.
- I reviewed last years videos from November and in almost every area we are ahead of last year, that’s a nice place to be, especially as we’ve done a lot less work this year.
- I’ve finally got some decent days on the allotment and got the lions share of the tidying up and weeding done.
- Jennie’s fractured knee is healed, just too late for her to plant her plot
- I’m a bit late, but the shallots are planted now, that means every square inch of the plots is now planted, but space will soon open up for seedlings that are being held in reserve in the polytunnel
- My cold is basically gone!
- A few of the brassicas (sprouts) in the little greenhouse have cabbage aphid, that’s really annoying as these plants play an important role in our food supply in May. Normally a good blast of soapy water would fix the problem, but they’ve already damaged the growing tips!