Posts Tagged ‘cauliflower’

Cracking cauliflower!

July 29, 2011
Caulflower grown on an allotment

Our cracking cauli!

In case you thought I was slipping and had forgotten to update the blog this week … you’d be right!  I really must mend my ways.

I’ll start with the bad news.  Sadly, the missing pea seeds, fork and gloves have failed to turn up.  Clearly another one of life’s little mysteries!  However all three have now been replaced, so it must only be a matter of time before they’re found.

We had a busy morning on the allotment on Saturday.  David was on tying up duties.  It’s a job I hate, but he is an excellent ‘tyer-upper’.  On the other hand, he’ll find a multitude of urgent tasks to avoid weeding, while I’ll happily weed away for hours.  It makes for a good division of labour.

Marian Swede grown on an allotment

The swede are doing nicely

Apart from David restraining the raspberries and sundry other plants and my weeding mission, there’s not a lot to report on the allotment at the moment.  Weeding and picking are the order of the day. But so far, it’s all doing rather better this year than it did in 2010.

The perpetual spinach is amazing as always, and our haul of just over 3kg in one picking was an all-time record.  Our biggest success this week was our first cauliflower though, and it was pretty good – even if I do say so myself.

I continue to be impressed by our onions grown from sets.  The chicken poo pellets certainly worked, along with the weekly feed of ‘worm wine’ or ‘comfrey cordial’.  They are certainly our biggest onion success so far.

Bolthardy beetroot from the allotment

Baby beets!

The potatoes continue to torment me! Growing things underground is incredibly exciting … you just never know what’s there.  I feel like a kid at Christmas who isn’t allowed to peep at the presents under the tree.

The potatoes have just started to die back, so I know it’s too soon to dig them up.  Added to which, our 8 seed potatoes (we don’t really eat potatoes, so they’re a token crop) were planted by our 2 year old granddaughter at the end of February.  And in about three weeks time our little treasure is coming to stay for a couple of days and is on a promise … she will get to dig up ‘her’ potatoes.

So, if I don’t blog next week, don’t be surprised to find I’ve died of curiosity fighting the Maris Piper temptation.  Of course, perhaps I could just dig up one.  She’d never know … she’s not old enough to count … just one … pleeeease …

22 August – Triumph and Tragedy

August 24, 2009
Cauliflower 'Triomphant'

Cauliflower 'Triomphant'

We’ve finally done it!  After many attempts, at last we’ve grown a proper cauliflower … and it’s perfect in every way.  In 2008, we bought ‘All Year Round’ cauliflower seeds, in the mistaken belief they would actually grow all year round.  Despite successive sowings at different times of the year, they did nothing more than feed the compost bin.  This year we decided to try some other varieties as a last ditch attempt, before giving up cauliflowers as a bad job.

We opted for two varieties: ‘Triomphant’ and the later cropping ‘Patriot’.  The first ‘Triomphant’ are doing very little so far, but they are in the end of a bed close to the hedgerow and we think, struggling for light and nutrients.  The second lot of plants were in a different bed and we found, during a flying mid-week visit to the plot, a perfect cauliflower had appeared!  By Saturday, it was big enough to harvest – after being photographed to death, of course.  The ‘Patriot’ caulis are still very small, having just been in the ground for a few weeks.  We’re hoping they too will reward our patience later in the year.  In the meantime, we’re hoping to have several more cauliflower ‘triomphs’ before the season is finished and ‘Triomphant’ will be firmly on our favourites list.

But our cauliflower euphoria was short lived.  We’ve worked hard to try and attract toads and frogs into our allotment with a tiny pond, a large wood pile, and several ‘wild’ areas to provide a comfortable habitat.  While doing some maintenance, David found a toad which had got tangled in the end of some brassica netting, put up to foil the pigeons.  It had obviously been dead for some time, but our spirits were dampened.  While the net is essential to protect the plants, we’re going to have to review how we use it – our toads are much too precious to suffer such a fate.

Copywriters' Courgettes!

Copywriters' Courgettes!

Time on Chipping Norton’s William Fowler Allotments always seems to fly past.  We leave home saying … we’ll pop up, just for a couple of hours … and before we know it, 4 or 5 hours have elapsed.  At the moment, just picking our produce is a marathon!  With 2 large boxes full of assorted vegetables again this week, our efforts are certainly paying off.  The courgettes as usual are abundant, with 82 picked so far!  We can only hope we (and our friends and neighbours) don’t tire of them just yet, as there are plenty more to come.


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