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.