Pinch and Punch, new allotment month

December is usually a month of frosts and gales and this one has started exactly on target: today was as close to frost as December can be without actually freezing and the winds over the last two nights were phenomenal. Not looking forward to pruning apple trees unless those windspeeds drop a lot!

When we left the plot on Wednesday, the broad beans looked like this: I wonder if the fleece is still over them, or whether it’s in torn tatters all over the site? I won’t know until tomorrow when I can get back to the plot.

I’ve moved the chilli plants indoors for the winter – many people don’t know that chillies can be overwintered, although they need either a heated greenhouse or to be in the house proper to make it through the bad weather. I grow Royal Black Chillies, which have miniature fruit that look very pretty as indoor Christmas decorations, and which can be frozen whole to use throughout the year in cooking. The fruit are black but mature to a pillar-box red colour when ripe. I remove about half the fruit when I bring the plants in, and leave the rest to look attractive through the cold months.

I wash and freeze the ones I take off the plant, and then take out one or two as I want to use them, halving them, scraping out the seeds and slicing the flesh direct from the freezer.

Bizarrely, one of our old espaliered apple trees decided to produce blossom this week too – although I’m willing to bet that definitely won’t still be there by the weekend!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, December 2, 2011

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