Thursday, 13 August 2015

All about those Bs

In good old fashioned 'Sesame Street' style, this post is brought to you with by the letter B....

All I am about to tell you what happened on Saturday, a rare day in my life when I was able to cope and more than that, actually enjoy being at the plots!

This year, (as it is for everyone on our allotments) hasn't been going too well; we have been plagued by birds and the weather has been terrible. Thus it was that I found myself, on arrival, pulling out all our diseased and pigeon decimated broad beans. They were still in the flush of fruiting, some had flowers still to mature, but we had to say goodbye, even to the baby successional ones planted in a wee triangle further along the bed.

broad beans - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

Beside them, the mangetout are starting to look in a bad state too, though there is plenty of flowers and pods on them. The birds have been nipping off the tops of each plant and every growing tip, they've been tugging at them hard too as quite a few plants were barely in the soil at all and had started to crisp up and crumble away from the bottom up. It really could get you down but I wasn't having any of that.

mangetout - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

Pretty much all and I mean all (we had about 6 berries left) of our gorgeous blackcurrants were gone on Saturday. Only a day, one blasted night, after the bush had been full and gloriously bursting. Boy was I looking forward to a dark, juicy harvest only to have it snatched away from me by - you guessed it, the bloody birds. They ate every ripe one and took those on the verge of perfection and ripped them off and left them on the ground :( Such sad times.
blackcurrants, gone - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

I weeded wildly, fuelled by my annoyance for a while but soon calmed down. Andrew was off again to Gleno village for more wood - by goodness there was a netted fruit cage to be built this day! Damnation - thou shall not pilfer our blueberries! *shakes fist at sky*

beautiful blueberries - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog
the fruit cage has been working!
But, I mean look  - bird beaks have gotten to our Kale and the Pak Choi. Plus the Kohl Rabi  and PSB looks so sad. At this rate we would seriously need to consider netting our whole plot; one great big fruit cage!

sad Kale and Pak Choi - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

So I turned my back and focused my attention on the beetroot, which amazingly Andrew had forgotten about. But then he has been doing everything else and was on Saturday building us a lovely gravelled parterre path on 14b. We really wanted a big tonne bag of the stuff but had to be happy with some smaller bags as the deliveries were over for the day at the depot. However he did a fabulous job.

Andrew's parterre paths - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

Plus the Blackberries or as I like to call them Bramble berries are fruiting like crazy over there, it really does the heart good to see that one bush so big and healthy this year when so much else is a little disappointing.

Blackberries ripening - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

Anyway, back to the beetroot, both yellow and red varieties had been sown direct and forgotten about so I thinned them all out, put the really tiny ones straight into the compost and the rest into our harvest bags. Oh did we have a feast! Now the rest will have more room to grow and become big and beautiful.

yellow and red beetroot thinnings - 'growourown.blogspot.com' ~ an allotment blog

Lastly, I missed my own Blog Birthday. It was on Monday and it passed me by in a whirlwind. So happy belated 7th blogiversary to me - yay! I must remember to eat cake at some time :)

More photos to come from that day and some from Sunday too when Andrew made a quick visit :)
Love and Hugs
Carrie

14 comments:

  1. We always have to net brassica plants as the wood pigeons are always on the look out for any tasty greens but the birds don't bother the broad beans and although they may take a few blackcurrants not enough to upset us. Maybe I'll regret saying that : - }

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    1. Oh I sincerely hope you have great harvests from all your plants, Sue. It can be a battle sometimes, I do so dearly want to cover my whole plot in netting! xxx

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  2. Happy Blogaversary!
    Just been reading a recipe for beetroot, cucumber and buttermilk chilled soup
    on German blog where the weather is HOT

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    1. Thank you for the Blogaversary wishes xxx
      I truly don't think I could stomach chilled soup but then again it's not never that hot here to think about it, hahaa. Hurrah for beetroot though in any form xxx

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  3. happy blog birthday and I'll join you in shaking your fist at the birds!

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  4. Despite the birds it's generally looking, and sounding, good. I missed not having any broad beans this year, thanks to blackfly.
    Well done on blogging for 7 years, enjoy the cake. Flighty xx

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    1. Cake is always a good idea :) I therefore feel you ought to have some yourself sweet Flighty as compensation for those lost broad beans ;) Thank you for the blogaversary wishes, I still can't catch up with you though xxxx

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  5. Your plot is looking lovely. I've never tried yellow beetroot. Do you find they taste any different from the red ones?

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    1. I haven't noticed any difference in taste myself, it's still sweet and yet earthy, but the different colours on the plate do somehow heighten the senses and I find my salads more enjoyable. They also have the same nutritional benefits xxx

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  6. Hi, read your whole blog over the last week. I've been offered an allotment after being on a waiting list for 3.5 years. Your blog has given me the confidence to give it a go, despite my life being very busy with 3 young kids and a job. I look forward to reading more about your adventures on your plot.

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    1. You read the whole thing! Wow, I am impressed and honoured that you have found my journey inspiring. Of course you can do it and you will find it tiring and upsetting at times ( pest wars abound) but it truly is magical!! Having children and feeding them great seasonal veggies and fruits knowing where they are from and what's in them will also bring joy to your heart.
      Every best wish!! xxx

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  7. I'm so sorry about those pesky birds! So rude to have ravaged your garden. But that beetroot harvest is mighty handsome! Roomie loves beetroot greens above all other greens.

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    1. Thanks Nikki, I do love me a bird, honestly, they are stunning creatures and so beautiful, but just not when they eat my food! We couldn't have a year on the plots without beetroot - it's such a delicious treat, yummm. Your roomie has great taste! xxx

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