We’ve been really slack with the allotment all winter due to being busy, but it hasn’t let us down. Spring kale, purple sprouting, rhubarb, leeks and parsnips that we should’ve eaten during the winter were patiently waiting for us. I say us, I mean my husband, as I’m revising hard for finals in May.
There were so many parsnips we decided to leave a load of them on the wall for people to take. Free organic parsnips. That’s the life isn’t? I like having too much.
See the thing is, we could have sugared almonds. But I think they taste like sweet plastic.
Or personalise key rings. But no-one would ever use them.
Or even cute pot plants. But if it were me, I’d let forget to water it and that would be it.
So the current thought is to give everyone a seed bomb to do a bit of guerilla gardening on their way home and spread a bit of flower happiness.
We could even put them in little biodegradable net bags, like sugared almonds. With a very clear indication that they are NOT to be eaten!!!
I love the idea that our wedding venue will be the center of a centric pattern of wild flower clusters in all sorts of funny places.
Easy, practical, practically free (since we’ll collect the seeds from flowers on the allotment. What could be better?
So more conumdrums about the wedding.
In an ideal world, we’d go for an all organic, season, local menu. But then… how local? And how organic? Because tasty things like greek feta aren’t very local.. and organic salmon has had some bad press. And do
And in real life, we don’t eat 100% organic food. We buy local and organic where we can and grow organically on our allotment, but we don’t stick to it religiously. Ditto seasonality. Though I am quite militant about food miles: nothing that is air-freighted gets eaten in this house. (Well, not knowingly at least.) Europe is allowed, (Holland and Spain usually).
So we think that we’ll stick to these same principles for the wedding. Organic and local where possible. Not where it is not. But absolutely no air-frieghting and as seasonal as possible. After all, September is our most fruitful month in England.
Still striving for sustainable here then as you can see. Though striving still seems to be the key word….
So how much difference does it really make whether you put something in the Greenhouse, or outside, or even in the Shed? And surely one end of the allotment is as good as another? Well, as it turns out, a fair amount, and no.
When we set up this experiment, I was prepared to see almost no difference, certainly no significant difference, in the temperatures. But the results are quite striking as you can see, even after calibration for the error of the dataloggers. If you want to stay warm at night, burrow around 15cm underground. Or go for the nicely insulated wood Shed. If you fancy some warmth during the day, the Greenhouse is the place to be.
All relatively expected. But here’s the crazy thing: the bottom of the hill of our South-West facing allotment is warmer during the day and colder during the night. The night time cooling at the bottom of the allotment is probably related to the way that cold air sinks and gets trapped at the bottom of the valley over night. I’m more puzzled that it’s warmer during the day though – I haven’t got a good reason for that yet.
We have managed to aquire yet another bit of allotment (as if we didn’t have enough to deal with as it is). It was a bit overgrown but as ever the boyfriend machine went to it! It’s a bit scrubby, but we thought it would be good for growing tough stuff like potatoes, pumpkins etc. It’s also got a nice old apple tree and a decrepid shed (not so good).
More on the new bit of allotment when we have something good to show you.
This is the question we’ve been pondering in our household. And it seems to be quite a common problem.
We sowed about 20 of the seeds given to us by our nextdoor (allotment) neighbour. They all germinated, so we planted them all out. And then the fun began…
We’ve given them to family and friends, frozen them (the first lot without blanching, the second blanched for 3 mins) , eaten them in dishes that shouldn’t ever see a runner bean (macaroni cheese). But one day, when we brought back over five kilograms of runner beans there seemed like only one solution. I took two thirds of the pile, put them into plastic bags and left them on the front wall of the house with a little note:
Surplus from Allotment
FREE to good home.
It was a drizzly grey day and within a couple of hours they were all gone. I peeked out of the window a few times, but didn’t see anyone take it. I’ve done this a few more times since.
So today we were pruning the front garden and a lady comes up to us and asks whether we left the runner beans and thanked us for them. She lives two doors down, we’ve never met her before and she told us that she’d taken the runner beans to her parents, who aren’t well. And she’s nice. I’ll talk to her again when I see her. The whole thing left me with a warm fuzzy feeling.
Maybe that’s what those government community building projects are missing – runner beans.
I’m also glad to think that our surplus fresh food is going to people who need it. Some people believe that a gift one way will come back to you another time. And I’ll come back to that.
I’ve been quiet for a while whilst decorating, allotmenting and making a new website for Transition Bristol. Which leads me to a philosophical question – what is the difference between a broad bean and a computer?