Oh, look, I know I'm slack at doing updates here but, you know, that's the way I roll sometimes, homies....
I have, actually, managed to, like, do a few hours down the allotment over the last few days, yeah? *flicks hair in desultory manner* so you can stop getting all judgey on me 'cos stuff is being done although painfully slowly.
Mind you (serious point here), it's the start of the new digging season and having spent the last few months sat on our fat arses watching telly and eating chocolates in the warm (if we're sensible, that is), the last thing you want to do is rush outside, dig frantically for several hours, put your back out, swear a lot and vow never to go down the allotment again. Take it easy, people. An hour here, an hour there, build up to it. Let's face it, you're never going to get the upper hand with the weeds, the buggers will always come back, unless you napalm them and the committee's not going to like that now, are they?
So I'm easing myself into it, and am concentrating on my fruit patch which has got very weedy indeed over the winter, and because I hadn't covered it with weed suppressing fabric, I've got a bit of a job on my hands. I find the easiest way for me to dig and weed is actually to sit down on the ground - I don't get on with bending over all the time - and this works for me. It also gets me very close to the earth (I mean physically, not in some dippy spiritual manner - I'm not a hippy, you know!) which means I was able to spot that my rather fabulously prolific Loganberry has put out runners underground that are just breaking through. Loganberries were a complete revelation last year - a cross between blackberries and raspberries, I had about 5 times more fruit from a single Loganberry bush than the 8 or so raspberry bushes that it's growing beside. Brilliant!
I've also planted a small rhubarb crown earlier this week, can't remember the variety, something-or-other Champagne. The Lovely Husband is partial to rhubarb, and I don't mind it so am happy to find space for it.
That's the only thing I've planted out so far, but seedlings are starting to emerge in the plastic-houses at home. So far there's leeks, spring onions, brussels sprouts, green curly kale, that black kale (cavallo nero? is that it? You know the one I mean, the one that grows more like an aspidistra and less like Side Show Bob), Little Gem, Salad Bowl and Lollo Rossa lettuce that have all come up. Sown but yet to appear are beetroot and red cabbage. I've also sown basil and coriander but it might be a bit early for them. Oh yes, a couple of courgette seeds got sown this morning as well. I've got onion sets waiting to go in and the potatoes will go in very shortly. I'm only growing two varieties of maincrop this year - red Desirees and the delightfully named International Kidney (which, if they were grown on Jersey would be Jersey Royals) - which don't need chitting (which only benefits first and second earlies).
I had a chat with the lovely Eli who has bravely taken on the mantle of site steward and she said that it's not been finalised about having pigs on the site yet and people have raised questions, such as what would happen if foot and mouth erupted again, and so on. I must admit I'd completely forgotten about there being pigs on the site. I will probably not take part, for the same reasons that I decided not to take part in the chicken project. I think sharing responsibility for looking after animals has the potential for being quite stressful, so I'd rather not get involved. Plus I'm sure I'd get too fond of them to want to eat them at the end of the day. But I'll go and make friendly oinking noises at them as I'm passing.
That's it for now, sorry for the lack of pictures, I forgot to take my camera but, frankly, there's not that much to see down there just now.
Hope you've all managed to get out now it seems the weather's cheering up a bit....