Sunday, 13 September 2009


Whoops, another month has just slipped through my fingers - admittedly there's been quite a lot going on in my non-allotment life (decorating, illness, The Husband heading off to Rome on business - see here) but mostly bad weather has prevented me from doing much down at the allotment. But that's okay, most of the harvesting has been done and ... tell you what, I'll go take pictures this week and do a proper posting but here's what's been happening with the veggies at home.

The last couple of years I've lost all my tomatoes to blight (as has everyone else) so this year I thought I'd have a go at growing some from seeds taken from a favourite shop-bought tomato variety (Vittoria from the Taste The Difference range at Sainsbury's) in the plastic-house, the idea being that I can at least try and give them some protection from the airborne spores.

And it seems to have worked! I've not eaten any of them yet (is this okay? Is it not a bit late?) but I do have several vines that are now very slowly going red in the sun (once I'd stripped off most of the foliage last week so the rays could hit the fruits and also pulled back the plastic overcoat-thingy that covers the frame).

I'm undecided whether or not to pursue this approach next year - depends on what the tomatoes taste like, I 'spose.

I have two plastic-houses next to each other. The tomatoes are in the left hand one, and the right hand one has my chillies and sweet peppers, which are also coming along very nicely indeed.



Oh, I've also been preserving and bottling like fury and meant to take a picture of my stack of jars in the garage as it's quite impressive (well, for me it is!). There's jars of sweet pickled beetroot; sweet pickled gherkins/cucumbers; Blackberry & Apple Jam; Blackberry, Apple & Vanilla Jam; and four bottles of Blackberry Vodka. The freezer also now has portions of French Climbing Beans, some Sweetcorn still on the cob, bags of ready-made Ratatouille that can be turned into other stuff such as veggie lasagne, spag bol, soup, veg stew, and a large bag of Borscht which was absolutely delicious and made 3 tennis ball sized beetroots, 3 medium sized spuds, a large onion, some crushed garlic, juice of 1 lemon, sugar to taste and 3 pints of water go an extraordinarily long way (it's basically sweet 'n' sour beetroot soup - hence the sugar - and very, very yumksi).

There's potatoes still in the ground and I've got all the winter brassicas to deal with yet, so this year's harvest is far from over (not to forget my autumn fruiting raspberries and loganberries) but I'm pleased to say I've got my act together on the storage and preserving front much more this year than last. Next year we're going to look into home brewing!


  1. Wow your month sure did sound busy, I am also preserving a lot of wild foraged fruits.

    My tomatoes are grown under a cover outside as well
    with much success last year and this year, so I would second the idea to grow under a cover to keep the summer rains off of them. I think the spores do get on them but because the plants are relatively dry the blight doesn't get to grow and infect the plant like the unprotected crops. With regular inspections the odd blighted leaf is easily removed and the disease kept in check.

    PS I love your word 'yumski'.

  2. Hi!, am new to this whole 'blogging' thing so bear with me if this sounds lame!! A coupla weeks ago my partner (who spends waaay too much time on his laptop) ended up on this site and on your page.... we are the people who have taken over the plot almost opposite u, the one that used to have the poly tunnel?? We noticed ur piccy of the tunnel and realised u were talking about our patch! We first checked out the plot when it was under a foot of snow and have managed to stay optimistic so far... Anyway am really impressed reading through your experiances and just wanted 2 say so! (Am also kinda hoping u would blog some more bout how to do all the preserving thing??)
    Thanks & happy 'plotting (from 17 B)

  3. Why, hello there Anonymous 17B! Your plot was previously dug by a chap I knew as 'Big Dave' but I think he gave up due to ill-health. It was rotovated at least once a year by the Big Red Beast that lives in the black shed at the end of the plot next to me (almost directly opposite yours), so it should be in quite good condition. I don't think he grew much on it in the last years, just concentrated on tomatoes in the polytunnel. As for the preserving, start collecting jamjars from now on, as you'll probably need them. I'll probably do more about preserving later in the year, round glut time. I tend to go up to the allotments during the week (although I've not been up there much lately due to the weather) so if I'm around, pop over and say hello! And happy allotmenteering!


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