Allotment Diary (June – Week 4)

After feeling back to full strength again last week, this week saw me feeling overly fatigued again for a few days, but I’ve gradually returned to normal again. I’m not sure what’s going on but at least it’s the right time for it. Living is easy in summer and we’ve even had rain this week!

Harvests are back on the rise again after the early June dip

Not much rain to be fair – about 20mm – but in summer anything is welcome. It filled all of my storage tanks, so I half emptied two of them and gave the under-cover beds a good drenching, hopefully they have filled up again now.

The allotment almost looks after itself in summer, apart from weeding/watering

Very little time was spent on the allotment this week, just enough time to weed, water and harvest, but almost everything is growing well. The only exceptions are a few beetroot that had to weather too many frosty nights in April and two tomato plants that are exceptionally spindly.

Lots of summer veggies now, a hand full of beans courgettes every other day for example

The big harvest of the week was the garlic, we harvested all but one bed and the yield was excellent. In previous years we grew our garlic on Jennie’s plot, but lacking that plot this year we just interplanted it wherever we could find space. Even without a dedicated bed we still managed to harvest about twice what we need for drying. Some will get used for green garlic and the rest goes to the kids.

About 1/4 of the garlic we harvested this week

I’m eating a lot more garlic now, as part of my general move towards eating more alliums every day. I typically eat three spring onions (including the greens), a good chunk of a storage onion, some leek and garlic every day now.

My salads for the week, note the spring onions. I bought the tomatoes

In addition to eating more alliums I’m also now following a 16/8 eating pattern, ie eating within an 8 hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours, which may explain the fatigue for a few days.

About the only job that I did in the garden, cutting the lawn ready for football practice

The garden has had even less attention, I cut the grass, pruned the grape vine and added more strings to support the peas. The biggest effort was putting in support strings for the potatoes. In July we normally have some high winds and the lush growth of the potatoes ends up breaking, so I add invisible strings to support them and keep them looking lovely. This was a more complex task than you might imagine because this year I put the potatoes in every nook and cranny, eleven different locations!

Tying up the potatoes

Away from the garden I’m now back at the gym in addition to my swimming and sauna time at the health club. I managed one good cycle ride and spent quite a while writing the section of my ebook on “8 steps to self-sufficiency”. I also spent a day up the coast at Cleveleys, one of my favourite spot to chill out and read.

Cleveleys prom, lovely even when it’s cloudy

The big harvest news of the week is the arrival of the cherries and raspberries. The strawberries are still coming thick and fast, so all we need now are the blueberries and gooseberries, which are pretty close!

I’ve a new way of tracking my first harvest dates now. The beauty of this new system is that it’s fully integrated with my sowing records, so I automatically get ‘sowing to harvest’ and ‘planting to harvest’ data. New firsts are at the top.

Here’s what I sowed this week:

Here’s what we planted this week.

We are now at full harvest volume, feeding everyone on our target list for this year and one lucky extra person as we have a bit of a surplus.

Here’s our harvests for the year so far, with the most recent at the top.  We hit our target for last year and harvested over £12,000. We will never harvest as much again as we have less land now, our objective has changed now.

Here’s a list of the preserves for last year. We don’t have any preserves this year yet, although Debbie is certainly making a lot of stewed rhubarb and dried parsley for immediate use!

YouTube videos for the week can be found here:

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

6 Responses

  1. Oh those raspberries and cherries–enviable! If you’re at 20k steps (if I remember right), my dietitian self says maybe the 8 hours should be stretched to 10 or 12 to see if the fatigue is remedied. An experiment?

  2. I have been trying to get a little more sleep Sue. My objective measures: time awake, deep sleep, REM sleep are all very good, but I only actually sleep for about 7 hours, 8 hours in bed. I’ve increased this to 9 hours in bed and slept for 7.5 hours but I can’t seem to stay asleep for any longer. So instead I have a 30 minute nap. I’m hoping to increase time in bed to 9.5 hours and 8 hours sleep over time. The fatigue recently is – I think – post viral. However I have an autoimmune condition so I try to keep my tendency to activity under control, about 15k steps a day on average, as part of 3 active hours (cycling, swimming, gym, turning compost etc).

  3. We’ve had no rain here the last few weeks, and we’ve had to start irrigating a few things. Here’s hoping the forecast rain shows up later in the week! I try and eat alliums every day too though not as much as you. Your garlic looks lovely.

  4. For most of my life I’ve never been able to eat garlic, then I tried green garlic and got the taste for it, now – Debbie tells me – she puts nearly a bulb a day into my steamed veg mix!

  5. Cherie says:

    I’ve been doing Keto/Intermittent fasting for the past two months. The veg plot has been great as I have a huge salad at lunch time and then loads of veggies with tea. I don’t bother with breakfast most days as I’m just not hungry. I’m planning on growing green garlic this year. Just harvested a garlic bulb the sizeof my fist. The rest are a lot smaller but still a good size.

  6. I saw that on your blog Cherie, 16/8 is a great way to eat : All the best – Steve

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