Allotment strawberries, hammocks and me

It's been an up and down weekend. After nearly two years we finally took the hammock to the plot! It's taken that longer for us to level an area in which to put it, but now that we've cleared the space under the pear tree which was a rubbish dump and compost bed, the hammock frame is installed and it was truly glorious to be swaying gently as I surveyed the changes in plot 201 over the past months.

It's not all joy. There are still some crops that aren't doing particularly well - I did resow some of the station sowings of parsnip, but I wonder if we'll get anything this time either: it's the third sowing! A couple of our new early potato haulms are dying back too, for reasons we can't fathom, and as they won't grow any more once they lose their green tops, we'll have to dig them up and find out what's happened below.

Then there are the strawberries. The strawberry. It's still not ripe! Okay, the two raised beds were only planted up with crowns in the autumn, so it's unfair to expect much, and one variety of strawberries is a late one, as we had too much of a glut last year. But in 2009 I was eating strawberries two weeks ago, and this year I'm reduced to popping to the plot every day to see if, finally, this monster of a strawberry is ripe enough to pick. Surely it will be today!

All the borlotti beans seems to have taken, which confirms that a good strategy for planting them in our heavy clay soil is to raise them in biodegradable pots in the greenhouse and then plant them in the ground without giving them any root damage. We've had two meals of broad beans, so that's wonderful, but our pea pods still haven't filled enough to harvest, which is again disappointing, as we were harvesting three weeks ago in 2009. They look fine, just very slow, like everything else this year.

And this is me ... outing myself at last! Actually this is my Stitched Self for a project being run by the Science Museum. They are inviting knitters, sewers and crocheters to create a six-inch-tall stitched self-portrait. I have to say that I am particularly proud of the watering can ...

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, June 7, 2010


Blogger Joanna said...

We only ever sow parsnips around now, at least you can still have baby parsnips. We have had more success with hamburg parsley - it seems a more reliable producer and tastes more or less like parsnips anyway and you can eat the leaves.

June 7, 2010 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

You are doing every so well & I love the stitched version of you. Now a hammock - no I mustn't would be in it all day and my plot would go to weed!

June 7, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous said...

I love the doll!! You are lucky you have a half ripe of yet I have had no harvest off my plot...not even a radish...there are plenty of flowers everywhere but that's about it...the only good thing about this lateness is that my recently bought fruit trees now have blossom on so I may get some unexpected fruit this year!!

June 7, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Anonymous tracybose said...

You should be proud of the watering can - I think it's great :-) I tried germinating parsnips on tissue paper this year - that worked, but only a handful have survived being transferred to loo rolls.

June 7, 2010 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Hi Joanna, that's an interesting idea - perhaps I'll try the Hamburg.

Ali, thank you!

Tania, everything is so late this year, it's depressing, isn't it?

Tracy, that's been my experience too - you can use other routes to germinate parsnips but then they resent being transplanted!

June 9, 2010 at 5:54 AM  

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