30 August – Second Fiddle to Painting!

2009 parsnips - a winter treat

2009 parsnips - a winter treat

Sadly, our allotment had to take 2nd place to a spot of painting and decorating this weekend.  Needless to say, both David and I would much rather have been up on the plot getting our hands dirty!

We did manage a quick foray to pick some veg on a very cold and damp Sunday afternoon.  It was hardly a surprise to find the William Fowler Allotments in Chipping Norton were deserted.  No doubt all our fellow allotment keepers had made the most of the better weather on the Saturday, while we were up to our eyes in paint.

Our diligence in braving the elements was rewarded though, when we found a good few of our yellow raspberries (Autumn Gold) had ripened.   We’ve had the odd couple over the past few weeks, literally enough for one each as we’ve checked on progress.  But on Sunday, we gathered enough to serve after dinner, and very delicious they were too!

Before we took on our plot in 2008, I had no idea of the time just harvesting our produce would take.  Although we’d grown a lot of veg in our gardens in the past, popping out the back door to pick a handful of runners for dinner is a 5-minute job.  But when you have to physically go off site, the ball park changes.  At the moment we are spending a good couple of hours each week just picking the profusion of summer vegetables.  And of course, it doesn’t stop there!  When you bring home several kilos of vegetables, you have to consider what to do with them.  In our case, the neighbours benefited from more runner beans and courgettes, while the remainder were either popped into the fridge or  prepared and blanched for the freezer.

The courgettes seem to be slowing down, which is perhaps not a bad thing.  With our tally having now reached 99, we’re getting more than a bit ‘courgetted-out’.

Next weekend will be full-on with a visit to the Moreton in Marsh show on Saturday, and some overdue maintenance on the allotment on the Sunday.  We have a good stock of winter lettuce ready for transplanting and hope to finally achieve our goal of having a supply of assorted salad leaves through the winter months.

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