Allotment Diary (November – Week 5)
Overview of the week
I’ve been on holiday for most of the week, back just in time to do today’s harvest, so basically the allotments have been left to their own devices. Fortunately the weather was fairly mild for most of the week, so I just left everything vented and hoped for the best and everything was fine.
The day I returned was the first frosty day of the week, so I was able to get everything closed up and fleeced. This isn’t strictly necessary, but frosts stall growth, so the less the better.
The total fruit and veg harvest for 2019 so far is £8530 with an additional £701 of preserves, making a grand total of £9,231 so far. 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 from high value crops 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, things pick up towards the end of January depending on the weather.
We picked: Romanesco cauliflower, oca, peppers, cucumbers, field bean tops, apples, sprouts, kalettes, new potatoes, main crop tomatoes, chard, 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
Oca and romanesco cauliflower, not strictly a new harvest, but new for this season
What we’ve run out of in store
- 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 – May week 1
- Last years kale – May week 1
- Perpetual spinach – May week 3
- Purple sprouting broccoli – May week 4
- Chard – June week 1
- 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
- Raspberries 15th November
- Cucumber 30th Nvember
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 – 16 Crown Prince
We also have a few apples, two beds of mature carrots, 1.5 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 had a great hiking holiday and returned to beautiful sunshine, this is great for us humans, but the veg is really enjoying it too
- We are still maintaining a good harvest rate, a lot of this is due to improved sowing timings and better variety choices than last year, already I’ve seen quite a few opportunities to improve further next year
- Still no sign of the late planted garlic and broad beans. I’m still hopeful that they haven’t rotted in the cold/wet ground. Next year I need to plant them a couple of weeks earlier.