Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Grow your own

My allotment is at the top of my street, which is lucky when a bit lazy. There are not huge amounts to say about it yet this year. It is mainly mud and some tiny leeks that have just about survived the winter; and piles of things waiting to go on a bonfire.

I got the allotment last year, in spring, just when everyone else was planting things in their tidy soil and neat flowers beds. Mine was handed over as a jungle of weeds and vines, but I chose it because it had two little apple trees and I spotted some raspberries at the back under the brambles. I was offered other choices that were much more cleared, but they lacked character...?!

So because of the jungle aspect I didn't really get to grips with it as much as the allotment association would have liked. One warning letter duly received. I was of the opinion it was more important to just dig up a few bits of it and get some things growing and worry about the tidiness aspect later. They didn't...

But in the end I managed to produce runner beans, french beans, salad, spinach and courgettes. You don't need many courgette plants I discovered, they just keep on growing for months, I planted about ten plants and had so many I couldn't give them away... The apple trees produced one apple each and we found raspberries, brambles, strawberries and real grapes under the tangle of weeds.

This year I'm vowing to be organised and tidy. I have bought lots of adventurous looking seeds, including some 'turks turbans', parsnips, peas, red corn, cherry tomatoes, yellow courgettes, cabbages, and a range of flowers; sweet peas, lupins, sunflowers, poppies, nasturtiums... Maybe I'm being ambitious! We'll see...

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Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x