Allotment Diary (December – Week 2)
Overview of the week
Almost no time spent on the allotments this week as the weather’s not been great and any good time has been spent hiking. I did however manage a couple of quick stops to harvest, so that’s a total time spent of 3 hours.
I also managed a few beach walks and I checked out the prom and the beach huts to check for damage from the storms, fortunately everything is in good order.
The total fruit and veg harvest for 2019 so far is £8,732with an additional £701 of preserves, making a grand total of £9,433 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 £1,324 this year, about half of this is long term investments in the allotments and the garden, the other half is consumables: seeds, potting compost etc.
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £75 worth of fruit and veg this week, which is a little lower than usual because we are away next week. Although I take salads with me when we travel, Debbie and I will eat about half the allotment food that we usually do. Still this is pretty good for this time of year, typically December and January are our leanest months, things pick up towards the end of January depending on the weather.
We picked: 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
Seed potatoes and cow manure for the back garden beds.
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
What I’ve planted
What I’ve potted on
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
- 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 – 4 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 one bed of mature carrots, 1 bed of beets and loads of ‘Christmas 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 there.
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.
- We’ve had some good hiking weather
- I’ve now finished the back garden tidy up, next job is to build the new raised beds and start mulching
- I’ve now finished planning my plot, the polytunnel, the front and back gardens and Jennie’s plot. Just a few extras to squeeze into the few beds on Debbie’s plot that aren’t already full of perennials.
- Due to the heavy rain this week I’ve spent a lot of time swimming!
- Still almost no sign of the late planted garlic and broad beans. I’m still hopeful that they haven’t rotted in the cold/wet ground. A few broad beans are just starting to break the surface though, we are still having issues with garlic pushing itself out by the roots.
- We are losing a lot of lettuce to stem rot, which is always a problem when the weather is very damp. Apparently it might be made worse by lack of calcium, so feeding with done meal is in order next year. This may also be an issue with my inability to do a multi-year crop rotation, but my new investment in better planning will help.