Monday 30 September 2013

Good crop....Bad crop....

Well I was originally going to write a post for each of these but figured it would be easier to just condense it all into one post as no matter which one I did first it would kind of give the other away so splitting it into two would have been pointless. I think I thought that out better in my mind than what I just wrote so i hope you get my

So I am going to break it into categories for the purpose of ease and list good and bad in each category. I have managed to get crops from everything planted this year but some yields were much better than others and quality in some cases were great and in others...OK but only that.

The Roots.

Good Crops,

Carrots, lovely, straight and tasty...germinated well.
White onions. Great size and quality.
Garlic, lovely big cloves and nice and strong.
Turnips, germinated well, nice size, lovely taste.
Beetroot. A fantastic year for them...almost gluttonous!!

Bad Crops,

Parsnips....just didn't germinate.
Celeriac, came to nothing!!
Red onions...pokey little things.
Swede... germinated but not very good though this my be my fault as I forgot to thin them out.

The Legumes.

Good Crops,

Peas... came in abundance and had plenty to eat.
Mange tout...Did really well, so much so I didn't get them all picked in time.
Sugar snap peas... As above.

Bad Crops,

All beans!! They germinated well and produced well initially but then soon started producing woody veg probably due to the lack of rain. Many people have had the same problem this year so although we have enjoyed some I don't have the stores that I am used to!!


 All Good!!!

An incredibly good crop this year of both New potatoes and old potatoes. I grew 'Nicolas' for my new potatoes and 'King Edwards' for my main crop. I shall be sticking with these varieties next year!!


Good Crops,

Kale...Germinated well and fended for itself well. Still plenty left to harvest

 Bad Crops,

Cauliflower...slow to germinate and never produced the flower.
Red attacked even under the netting.
Green above
Brussels...I kind of forgot to water the first seedlings and then the next two lots got attacked by caterpillars in the greenhouse so I don't have any in the allotment this year.  
Spinach.....Never germinated.
Raab.... Never germinated.
????...I know something else didn't germinate..just can't remember what?!?!
Calabrese....Bolted before true heads formed and flowered. 


Good Crops,

spaghetti squash
cucumbers...Really don't need to say much about any of these as lets face it we all know that most of the time they are gluttonous crops....haven't tried the spaghetti squash yet so I will tell you about that later.

 Bad Crops,

Butternut Squash...only two fruits this year and still not yet ripe enough to pick.

Well that's about it for the crops..( I have just realised however that i didn't have as great a germiantion as I remembered when I really thought about it, I guess our ability to block out the bad is what makes us carry on being gardeners...should I delete the post before I get to depressed over this years failures??? Too late...I now have it all re-committed to memory...Damn!!). I haven't put fruit and salad crops into this post but I realise it's kind of boring without any exciting pictures to break up the text so I think I will let you all go now and do a fruity post maybe tomorrow...might even get a couple of pictures in that to really liven things up. God I bet you're sat on the edge of your seats now waiting for that

OK, I'm going before I get even more sarcastic over my ability to write the most mundane blog post ever...night all!! 

Wednesday 25 September 2013

It's Trojan time!!!

Well I couldn't resist any longer...I just have to share the newest member of our family with you.

Meet Trojan!!

German sheperd/collie cross
Trojan...settling in nicely!!
We adopted Trojan from the R.S.P.C.A. He was rescued and hasn't has the best start in life but the is as much as I am going to say on that matter. Due to his start in life we have had a few things to work through but he is settling in really well, learning routines and simple commands and is so happy go lucky that it is hard to remember where he came from.

Shona and Trojan
Shona and Trojan
Since arriving home with us Shona has also been back to stay and they got in really well. Trojan like Shona is very sociable and loves company so they had great fun together and as Shona lives close by they still see each other.

Louie and Trojan...oh and my dad!!
Louie and Trojan...oh and my dad!!
My parents also have a dog who is a very pampered pooch by us all and Trojans introduction has been great for him making him more sociable with other animals. We have gone from initial snarling, snapping and not being able to let Louie go whilst in a room with Trojan to sheer delight and excitement when we go round and on walks together.

We are unsure how old Trojan is, the vet who first saw him said 6. We think he is much younger..maybe 3-4 but I guess we will never really know!!

He has become a much loved pet...even the cat has got used to him who initially practically had a hear attack and left home for two days. Now he thinks it's fun to attack Trojans tail although Alfie doesn't like it much when he wants to play with him....I suppose he is kind of large looming down on him,. They will sniff and rub around each other though and they are perfectly content to be petted together. I have to admit though that Alfie is boss and every so often still reminds Trojan of this by giving him a hiss or tap on the leg if he thinks Trojan is getting to boisterous in his presence.

And is Trojan and Hubby having some cuddles and playing!!

Hope you all enjoyed meeting Trojan...I'm sure you will see him again!

Monday 23 September 2013

The Great 2013 Show...entries, prizes and Trophies

So I thought I would start off with a post about the recent show...after all this is an allotment blog and no matter how much it is killing me not telling you all about Trojan I can manage to wait another day or two!!

We publicised a lot more this year and it certainly showed in entries for the show and we had far more this year than in the last few years. Having said this not all categories were well entered so we will be looking at this and sorting put the different categories next year.

First enjoy a few photos....

Mark sorted all the entries
Mark was man of the moment taking all the names of entrants and handing out the dockets

several different veg ready to be judged

As you can see below...there were plenty of entries for which we were very grateful and most people were kind enough to donate their entries so that they could be auctioned off in the evening to help raise money to pay for the show and also help towards any improvements on the allotments in the future!! There were some enormous onions  entered!!
d to get an voerview of the entries...but they just wouldn't fit on screen

jams, chutneys and cakes were all entered.

Tomatoes had many entries...not from me however...I was still waiting for mine to ripen...I did salivate a little as I looked at them and vowed to win some in the auction later!!

Jams, cakes and chutneys all had a fair amount of entries. I entered a strawberry jelly and a raspberry jelly as I found them in my cupboard which I had made last year and earlier this year.

Below are the vegetable faces which were entered by some of the children...these were a great conversation starter throughout the day....they weren't auctioned off in the evening though!!

childrens categories...vegetable faces
childrens categories...vegetable faces

childrens categories...vegetable faces

A lovely assortment of flower arrangements were entered.

The flower arrangements entered were beautiful and did very well in the evening auction.
pot plants were also entered

Potted plants were also in the categories and there were a few enters there too.
Many flower varieties were entered and all looked wonderful!!

Many flower varieties were entered and all looked wonderful!!
A lovely array of flowers were entered over several different classes and categories and they all looked wonderful. Personally I don't grow flowers on my allotment and I prefer them in the garden rather than cut in the house in vases but I could certainly appreciate the beauty of them and they always go well in the evening auction.
Many flower varieties were entered and all looked wonderful!!

So that's all my pics for the seemed like I took so many more at the time. It was a long day as I was there to open up the hall and start setting up at *am and them I was there with the keys in the evening to check everything was switched off and then to lock up again at 10:15pm. A very long day...but nice.

The auction started at about 7:30pm.....

The auction wasn't as well attended as we would have liked, especially with having so many entries this year to auction off. Tea, coffee and refreshments were available as was a licensed bar and a few games at the beginning of the evening as well as a raffle. Everything was sold which was really good of the people who attended as I am sure by the end of the evening they were only buying to help us out and not really because they needed what they were bidding on. I wonder if the evening auction would have been better attended if we had advertised as an independent event as all this wonderful fruit and veg for the taking in one of the biggest villages in the country and yet so few villagers attended...I really don't get it?!?!?!

Having said that it was a good night, people got their certificates and prize money...everyone who did attend seemed to enjoy themselves and then half way through the evening trophies were awarded. Good times had by all!!

I did enter a few categories and got first and second prize with my jam, second prize with my pears, first prize with my sweetcorn....and I think one more but I can't remember what it was.

I was very proud of my sweetcorn, not only did it get me first prize but also got me a trophy for 'Best veg in show'. How cool is that??? I was very excited...oh and a tad embarrassed as I really didn't expect a trophy and had to go and collect it!!

Well that's it for now...I will leave you with a photo of my prize winning sweetcorn.

Prize and Trophy winning Sweetcorn.
Prize and Trophy winning Sweetcorn.   


Saturday 21 September 2013

Where, oh, where to begin.....

It feels like such a long time since I last wrote a post and I don't really think I can include my last post about the upcoming show in that  either as it was just an info post of very little effort.
I do have so much to share with you all but I think first I have to say 'hi' to you all and apologise once again for my lack of posts,pictures and visitants to your own blogs. August and September have been such hugely busy months and with little additions to the family and other things happening there just hasn't been enough time in the days.

Hopefully now things can get back to normal and I thin i need to kind of write a list so I have a guidance so this is what I am going to do here....give myself a list to go with and then write a succession of short posts based on that so I won't feel so overwhelmed over the next week or so.

So what do I have to tel you about over the next week or so...
Dog news...of course I have dog news!!
Good crop, bad crop.
Bountiful crops.
New crops.
Reliable crops.
Weird crops.
The great show entries, prizes and Trophies.
Garden News.
Bee news...and plenty of it!!
Fruit wonderful fruit.
Dehydrators and the wonders of them.
Jellies, syrups and sorbets.
Glowing gluts.

So these are the posts than I am going to be starting on...there may be a little more added in with each one but this is what i am going with for starters but not necessarily in the order above. Even so this is going to take me 2 weeks to get through so i will be making sure I give myself a little time each day to get it done. I am starting to feel organised and a little slightly less overwhelmed's good to have a plan, now I just have to stick to it!!

I hope you, as in all my readers are well and have had enjoyable summers, it's amazing ti think that those of us in the U.K. actually got the chance to enjoy one this year!!

Well hopefully someone will drop by tomorrow to read one of my posts, I can't say it will be exciting...but it will be there...with pictures too so as not to bore you too much!!

Have a great evening!

Sunday 1 September 2013

It's that time of year again.......

Barrowby Gardner's Association Annual Vegetable and Flower show
Barrowby Gardner's Association Annual Vegetable and Flower show
Well it's around to that time of year again and this weekend we will be having our annual show!! it's pretty much the same as last year although this year we have taken out the photography section and put in a children's section. As usual the evening will see drinks and cakes being sold and all produce donated auctioned off to the highest bider. We have done more publicising this year and really hope that a few more people attend. It would be good to get into the community spirit of things again within the village.

Categories and schedule are as follows;

Schedule/programme for barrowby gardeners association annual show

Schedule/programme for barrowby gardeners association annual show

Schedule/programme for barrowby gardeners association annual show

I know a lot of my readers live to far away to attend but for any of you reading who live close by it would be great to see you. I will be entering some categories but haven't decided what yet!!

As usual, click on images to enlarge for a better look.

Now before I go a quick apology for my neglect, just as I was getting on top of things it got really busy in my life. Sorting the bees and hives initially took more time than I expected, then Trojan came home, I was dog-sitting again and then we had a new boiler fitted, which of course leads to decorating...then extra hours at work started so I haven't had much time for anything of late and the allotment is showing the results at the moment. But things are settling now and a routine is coming back into place so I am hoping ( and at the minute it is only a hope) to get caught up and sorted over the next week so that I can really get things going again. In the meantime thank you all so much for coming back to read after such a long silence.