easy allotment supper

And here below is today’s harvest, all looking good apart from the gnarly carrots which, although the root flies got to them, still taste lovely – excellent for soffritto base.

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rosy posy

Absurdly flamboyant dahlia, with roses Boscobel, Champagne Moment and Chandos Beauty
And Sommer Aster + sunflower from seed bought from Copenhagen Seeds
Ushiki Kuri squash – took ages to get going but lots of fruit coming now
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july smiles

the rose is Uncle Walter, remembering dear friend Walter Cairns, late Literature Director of the Scottish Arts Council
Zinnias
sunflower from Copehhagen Seeds
onion harvest (rose de Roscoff) and newly seeded lettuce, endive and radish
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high dry summer

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grow grow grow

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golden sweet + peonies = joy

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intensity

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the green fuse

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age.
Dylan Thomas

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spring feast

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leek quiche

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tree peony

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hungry gap harvest

No dig parsnips – surprisingly straight and large, considering the dense clay soil…

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Asparagus, leeks and sprouting kale as well as PSB

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View from the greenhouse – seedlings coming along including asparagus kale, red & gold beetroot, various lettuce varieties and coriander. Broad beans and onions planted out in the beds beyond – and carrots, radishes and dwarf peas just germinating.

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biodynamic preparation 500

As the full moon approaches, yesterday seemed a good time to apply this year’s horn manure preparation; stirring diligently for an hour, creating vortices to ‘enliven’ the rainwater. Sprinkling it over the soil with fragrant branches of bay was suitably magical, droplets sparkling in the afternoon sunshine. Perhaps fortunately, there were no witnesses to this arcane process …

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“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

— J.R.R Tolkien
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tiny posy

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leaping into action

Making best use of this extra leap year day, and catching up after so many days (weeks?) of rain, there was a flurry of activity at the huerto. Greenhouse glass cleaned inside and out; such a difference to the light. Quince tree heavily pruned in the hope of eradicating the rust and poor cropping of the past 2 years. Seeds sown. Pansies planted out into the hanging basket adjacent to the bee hotel. And even a reasonable harvest, including some rose de Roscoff onions I had forgotten about, stored in the shed but still edible. Also flower sprouts, kale shoots, leeks and parsley. AND it didn’t rain. At all. Sunshine even!

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a hungry visitor

Just look what I found in the greenhouse!

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And then this…
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A hungry ratty I suspect, judging by the size of the hole and the teeth marks! I took the precaution of moving the other squash (Crown Prince) to a high up shelf but left this one for our gourmand visitor.
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a winter gratin

Amid the wintry desolation I was happily surprised yesterday to find this array of vegetables, L to R: cabbage, chioggia & golden beetroot, parsnip, kholrabi and celeriac.

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And thanks to my great big Global cleaver, together with the cavalier approach to peeling that it enables, was able quite quickly to transform the muddy roots into a tasty gratin.

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let them eat kale!

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red and ready

The ancient wheelbarrow had become nearly impossible to use as the tyre had somehow accumulated heavy debris inside which was making it very difficult to manoeuvre, impossible to reverse and characterised by a disconcertinly loud clunking noise! By adroit use of an angle grinder and ingenuity, I now have a posh new wheel which bounces it along beautifully! It almost makes a pleasure of humping large volumes of compost around.

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One side of the plot is now ready for its winter compost mulch … garlic is planted and brassicas netted against pigeons.
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summer’s last hurrah

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tomato themed lunch

Feeling rather pleased with my first focaccia with Sungold tomatoes, even though it was a right old fiddle to make! It was delicious alongside tomato soup, all ingredients freshly picked today – a good way to use up rather a lot of produce quickly.

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blue dream of sky

“I thank you god for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” – e.e. cummings

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