I've been spending more time this week sorting out the allotment and my garden. More than ever in these uncertain times, I'm convinced the way forward is to grow as much as I can myself then preserve as much as I can.
I've given my 3 raised beds at the front a good weed and sort out. The kale is still doing well and I discovered that the flowering shoots are totally edible and delicious before they actually flower. I'll be pulling all these plants out soon and preserving them.
And tucked in at the back under all the leaves, I found a tennis ball sized perfectly formed cauliflower. I'm keeping an eye on it as the rest of them turned a bit black and mouldy.
In the back garden I cleared out all the pots and troughs ready to plant. This one is full of mint starting to shoot again. It smells amazing!
In the gap between my new bed and fence the rhubarb is beginning to grow again. It has survived the winter and the chicken attacks! It looks like I'll have an abundance of rhubarb between plot and home so I'll be looking for new ways to use it. I already have a fab rhubarb chutney recipe that doesn't need to mature. Recipe HERE Plus I've seen a few recipes to make a BBQ sauce using rhubarb that I'm going to try. One thing I've noticed these last 2 weeks is how much I enjoy sauce/relish/chutney with my meals. A wee dollop can lift a very simple meal!
The chickens are enjoying their last few weeks of freedom. You can see my patio will need a really deep clean with a power washer to de poop it. I've ordered a few things to enrich their enclosure so hopefully they won't sulk too much about being shut in again and keep on laying eggs!
My favourite meal this week was a simple sweet and sour sauce using up freezer produce (pineapple, peppers and grated carrot) served on rice noodles with a few cashews. Recipe HERE although I didn't have any onions and just chucked it all in a pan. It was really tasty!! 😋
But the best part of today was my delivery of 1 tonne of soil improver/compost (no I didn't know what 1000 litres looked like!!) I ordered it several weeks ago from B&Q to fill up my new beds at the back and refresh the ones at the front. Then the lockdown was put in place and I thought it wouldn't be delivered any time soon. But an email assured me it would and it came!! The driver was a star and single handedly got the pallet up my sloping driveway just using a trolley. Turns out he had an allotment too and we chatted (at a safe distance!!) about the best way to grow potatoes. He recommends making nettle tea!!
So, plans for my garden and allotment are progressing. Luckily I had ordered and received all the seeds I needed before the rest of Britain decided that they were going to 'dig for victory.' I think it's brilliant that so many people want to grow their own produce but now seeds are in short supply due to increased demand.
Who would have thunk it?!
Stay safe and stay home everyone 💗 xxx