Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday 10th January 2011 - weather: cold and frosty

After my traumatic weekend (see earlier post), today was much more fun as I went to the allotment. The ground was frozen, and stayed mostly frozen for the duration of my stay. Had it have been slightly warmer, I might have stayed for longer. So, first visit of the new year and what to report. Well, the site secretary came calling and my old lottie neighbour, Peter, who has been noticeably absent for at least 18 monthes now, has sadly died, so I have new neighbours. I think there are 4 or maybe 5 new plot holders, which is great, providing they don't loose enthusiasm as the mares tail starts to grow, and their waterbutts run dry in early spring and the ground cracks open. I think I had previously mentioned, but the heavy snow in December brought my fruit cage crashing down, along with the roof on the tomato house. All is not lost thought. The tomato house only needs 6 new sheets of corrugated plastic and a new peice of guttering. The fruit cage is a larger job, but the netting is salvageable, as is some of the wood. However, both are jobs that I will leave for him indoors to deal with.

The purpose of todays visit apart from assessing the damage, was to harvest anything left, and to start clearing and tidying in preperation for spring sowings. I cut down the Jerusalem artichokes and dug up a few. They were a gift from a dearly departed chum, so although none of us are that keen, they remain in-situ in her memory. I also removed the last of the bean poles and lifted the weed supressing membrane. So, the lower half of plot one looks lovely, and loved. I then moved up the plot and cleared the last of the bean poles there and did some digging. The ground however is so wet and heavy, and waterlogged in places, that I gave up.

I harvested a bundle of turnips, some slim parsnips, beetroot, yellow carrots, brussel sprouts, and the artichokes. The sprouts look lovely, if a little on the small side, but they had been squished when the snow weighed the pigeon netting down, so I am very happy with them and will enjoy every last one.

I left the plot at around 12.30, freezing cold and slightly damp. The forecast for the rest of the week looks rotten, but if it is dry on Thursday, I will be heading back to finish the little bit of digging and get plot numero uno neat and tidy.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Saturday 8th January 2011 - weather: dull and cold

We are in mourning. A tragedy has struck. My babies are all gone. The fox did what foxes do best, and he broke into my quailarium and killed at least one. All I hope is that the rest were able to fly away in the confusion. He broke through a piece of wood and broke a pane of glass so the whole was very big. Heartbroken just about sums it up at the moment. Funny thing is, I watched the big ole dog fox outside out house, howling and barking at the moon...probably just after he had filled his belly on my girls. Today, Sunday, husband and I cleaned out the quailarium and now it looks very empty and very sad. Up until that point, I said no more, but whilst I was working away, getting covered in quail poop and trying not to cry, I decided not to be beaten. I love my birdies so we shall begin again, reinforcing the aviary and attempting to make it predator proof. Am I cross at Ferdinand, no, it is the circle of life, and I put up with the deer munching my greens on the allotment and the birds eating my berries, and at the end of the day, foxy needs feeding also. I am just sad. The boys had started to crow and chatter and I really felt spring was in the air. I shall dwell no more, British Bulldog spirit, we will not be beaten.