Sunday 31 January 2010

January allotment video

This is my latest video about the allotment. It's January and we've just had lots of snow. So we've been checking on the damage, especially to the fruitcage, and on the crops that still need to be picked.

Sunday 10 January 2010

Making fruit leathers

As promised to various people, here is the video I made last month on how to make fruit leathers.

They really are fun to make though knowledge of them has all but died out. A few hundred years ago, people would have made them and probably baked them in the sun in the summer and autumn. They are a good way of storing carbohydrates. The honey in them makes them very sweet and they make an ideal and interesting alternative to commercially produced sweets.

My advice is give them a go!

Thursday 7 January 2010

Some winter crops

Despite the snow, we still have crops to pick on the allotment. The following photos were taken just after the first snow fall before Christmas and what I picked was used in our self-sufficient Xmas dinner.

sprouts in snow Dec 09

Christmas isn't Christmas without sprouts for dinner. Last year was the first time we grew them and we were pleased with the results.

cabbages in snow Dec 09

We have already used some of the red cabbages for picking but there are plenty left. One of our most successful crops and definitely one for repeating.

Leaks in the snow Dec 09

Leaks were a modest rather than a massive success. We used them to make soup as the starter or Xmas day. The rest were used in a flan which we are still eating.

parsnips in snow Dec 09

I have to confess the parsnips were rather forgotten about. Then I discovered they were quite a successful crop. There are plenty more still to pick. They are fantastic roasted.

How to make hot marrow chutney

Okay, you've seen my photos, read the recipe, now see the video:

Hot chillie marrow chutney - we sold all the ones we took the the fayre mentioned at the end of the video.

Snow damage

I decided to venture down to the allotment yesterday with about 25cm of snow underfoot. My fear was that a build up of weight on the greenhouse could cause it to collapse. I was worrying needlessly, at least about that piece of equipment.

Allotment snow Jan 10 no 6

As you can see, no damage. By the time I snapped this picture on my blackberry, I had cleared one side of the roof.

Also, it was more of a sorry tale to tall about the fruit cage. That really had got a pasting from the weather.

Allotment snow Jan 10 no 5

Allotment snow Jan 10 no 3

On the second picture you can see how the cross beam has warped under the weight. I managed to clear the snow from the netting. The cross beam will have to be straightened out and the are now tears in the netting. It is all salvagable (hopefully).

Allotment snow Jan 10 no 1

The allotment under snow pictured above but with it removed from the greenhouse and fruit cage.

Allotment snow Jan 10 no 4

It's amazing what you can grow nowadays - ready frozen red cabbages and sprouts (the lumps under the snow!)

Allotment snow Jan 10 no 2

Some of the neighbouring allotments in the Whinnies, next to ours, at the end of daylight yesterday.