Archive for October, 2008

Digging Jerusalem artichokes

Posted on 31st October 2008
Under: Roots | Comments Off on Digging Jerusalem artichokes

The pictureless allotment blog

No photo today. Sorry. I’ve had no bloody time to get out on the plot.

The first working day after the clocks go back is the worst day of the year for me. Bar none.

I’m a mole now for five months. Getting up in darkness, coming home in darkness. No natural light for 22 weeks. I can’t tell you how deeply depressed this makes me.

So just ignore me for a bit. I’ll be back to my usual miserable self in a week or two.

Posted on 27th October 2008
Under: Rants | 4 Comments »

Invasion of the spear snatchers

Asparagus in late October

I didn’t see it when I took the picture. But while I was uploading it from my camera, I spotted this asparagus beetle larva on the fronds.

Asparagus beetle is more of a pain than a threat. Plants are pretty much unaffected by anything but the heaviest infestation.

But the beetles leave little black eggs on the stems, and they’re a nuisance to rub off when you’re preparing the spears for eating.

Little bastards. In Spring, I go on the attack!

Posted on 22nd October 2008
Under: Asparagus | 4 Comments »

First parsnip of the season

ParsnipHurrah. The parsnips are ready and they’re big.

Wish I could say the same of my leeks, which are pitiful. I did the same this year as I always do, but they’ve grown feebly. Leeks also need sunshine, apparently.

There’s a bit of panic at the allotment site. We’ve all just paid our rent and the renewal terms are stricter than usual: carpet can no longer be used for weed suppression and every plot “must be kept weed-free”.

Gulp. I can live without the carpet, but the 100% weedless plot is a fantasy.

So that’s me buggered, then. Here’s hoping for a lenient interpretation of the rules.

Posted on 20th October 2008
Under: Roots | 10 Comments »

Soilman, Techno-wuss

Working with animationApologies for failure to post regularly of late. Have been frustrating myself by making things like this (which will display wrongly in Firefox – a bug that’s also frustrating the hell out of me).

I’m trying to learn a new video animation programme, and it’s not easy. Pretty much nothing to do with video is.

Still, that’s the challenge I suppose. What drives you especially mad about being an amateur webmaster?

Posted on 18th October 2008
Under: Rants, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Ode to autumn

Full allotment

Well, I’m getting there. Autumn digging is well advanced.

It’s a bad time for my morale as daylight hours progressively shrink. On the other hand, there are wonderful smells at this time of year that occur at no other.

I love being out on the allotment on a windless, warm, dank, misty autumn day. That fusty, foggy smell of mouldy leaves and damp earth is gorgeous. And unique to October/early November.

Best of all, though, is the heady aroma of rotting horse manure. I dig it and… dig it.

Yeah, baby.

Posted on 15th October 2008
Under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Summer leftovers

Summer squashes

Hmm. Don’t know what to do with these.

They emerged from the weedy patch I was clearing today. Old and past it, and no good for eating. But it seems so wrong to chuck ’em on the compost.

Any ideas… that don’t involve eating them??

Posted on 12th October 2008
Under: Cucurbits, Weeds | 5 Comments »

Wilting in October

Dahlias dying back in autumnWell, that’s it. When the dahlias start to wilt, you know it’s definitely all over.

It’s not been a great season, let’s face it. Too much rain, too little warmth – just like last year. Only actually I think this one’s been worse; instead of being concentrated (severely) in one month, the rain’s fallen continuously over the whole bloody summer.

Ah well. Never thought I’d look forward to a hosepipe ban.

Posted on 10th October 2008
Under: Flowers | Comments Off on Wilting in October

East is least, west is best

Allotment in October Allotment in October

The sweetcorn is over and should have come up by now. But I ran out of steam at the weekend.

The difference between the two halves of my plot is stark. Look west, and it’s fairly shipshape. Look east and despair.

I WILL get on top of it this weekend. And that’s a promise.

Er, again.

Posted on 8th October 2008
Under: Sweetcorn | Comments Off on East is least, west is best

Favourite vegetable flower?

Yellow flowering artichokesTook their time, but they’re worth waiting for.

Vegetables rarely have very attractive flowers, but Jerusalem artichokes are an exception. They’re most welcome in October, when everything else is on the way out.

I’m also fond of leek flowers, and certain varieties of potato can be lovely in July.

What’s your favourite vegetable flower? And does anyone know: Can you eat artichoke flowers, as you can with courgettes?

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Posted on 6th October 2008
Under: Alliums, Flowers, Roots | 6 Comments »