Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friday 8th April 2011 - weather: absolutely gorgeous.
(That phrase always makes me think of Gregory's Girl)
Number one son's school was closed today, an early start to the Easter break, so after a quick visit to the supermarket, the two of us headed to the plot. I knew his patience and tollerance wouldn't last long, so I listed the jobs and we knuckled down. He played in the stream whilst I planted around 40 white onion sets and 40 red onion sets in the patch spare after my rows of spuds. (Just want to quickly point out before anyone starts referring to me as a bad mum or calling social services, the so called stream at the allotment is little more than a ditch which is dry for at least 8 months of the year. I refer to it as the stream to glamourise my time on the plot.) His boredom by now had set in, so we now attended to 'his' patch - a small square over on plot number 2, about half the plot wide and about deep enough for maybe 5 rows of smallish veg like Little Gem lettuce. He weeded it with me looking on, then together we planted a row of marrow fat pea plants all along the little fence that edges his patch. He then planted 10 butterhead lettuce in 2 rows. He carefully watered them, and sin of sins, we scattered a few wildlife friendly slug pellets. (Again, just want to point out that I hate using slug pellets of any sort, but if I don't during spring, I have nothing to harvest come Summer. I didn't use any the other week when I planted my young cos lettuces under the coldframes, and the very next visit, 4 had been completely munched down to the ground, as had my sweetpeas, and you could see the slime trails everywhere. GGRR) Before we left I noted that my 2 rows of radish between the spud rows were up, as was the patch of mixed salad leaves, also between the spud rows. The Jerusalem Fartichokes are poking their noses through and the fruit bushes, trees and canes are all smothered in blossom. We harvested a monster bag full of rhubarb which is destined for the freezer and gathered a lovely bundle of white and purple sprouting brocolli. Now, we really could do with a drop of rain to get the seeds going, but watching the Countryfile week weather report (yes, I am writing this on Sunday), it looks like East Anglia is going to stay dry for another 5 days so a mid week visit with my watering can might be called for.
Egg watch - 2 days to go (again, this is Sunday evening) until hatching. It would be lovely if all 7 eggs hatched so we could have the makings of a flock again. The three first borns for 2011 are huge, Pip in particular, but she/he was born 48hours before the other chaps. We have ringed them with fetching baby pink rings, and when we know if they are boys or girls, we will mark their rings. This will hopefully mean we can keep our gene pool nicely mixed, no dodgy incest thankyou very much.

The quailarium has been re-fox proofed, as much as possible in a suburban garden. Lots of chicken wire and wooden boards, tight frameworks and locks on the doors. I wonder if those sonar cat scarer things also spook foxes? Might investigate, although we have a new garden visitor, a little hedgehog and I would hate to put him off. As soon as hatching begins, I will update and bore you all rigid.


Anonymous said...

I am really envious, I've always wanted an allotment but never had the time, now I've got the time I'll have popped my clogs before I would be high enough on the waiting lists here!

I enjoyed a lovely rhubarb crumble with my first harvest and there's plenty left for tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Eagerly awaiting update!

Emma Jane said...

Anne, that is such a shame. We have a small waiting list on our site, but it is a site with water, security, lots of nature scoffing your veggies. :) The rhubarb is just fab at this time of year. I like putting it on the bottom of a dish, sprinkling it with sugar or sweetner of choice, then making a sponge mix and dolloping that over. The juices seep up into the cooking sponge and the top goes all crispy. God it is good!

Flora, still no movement with the eggs. Patience Emma....patience. :)