Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I have been out foraging with my mate Bill. We went to the woods to collect hazel poles for my beans and peas. It's all right that's what Bill does for a living and he looks after the wood as well. It was a gorgeous day with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. The wood was so quiet and peaceful, you would not believe we are only a mile or so from the middle of our only city.

Here's Bill with his trusty saw, choosing the best poles. Some where less than straight but the beans don't mind a bit. This is a very old way of managing the woodland, its call coppicing. The hazel ( in this case ) was cut back to the ground to stimulate growth and the wood was used for hurdle making, house building or firewood. 

I also got the twiggy peas stick as an added bonus. These I use to keep the birds off my broad beans and for the shorter peas to grown up. I believe the twigs were used to make the besom brushes. Witches brooms. 

Bill had this wonderful old truck to collect the wood in. We bounced along the woodland track, not good on the old bones but great fun.

Here we are loading up our spoils. 30 bean poles and a large arm full of pea sticks. Enough to keep me going for a few years and a few to swap with my allotment friends for other goodies. 

Here are all the pea sticks in situ, keeping those pesky pigeons off my broad beans. The broad beans are doing very well considering we have had so little rain since I sowed them. I have about 800lts left in my big tank and a full barrel tank by the tunnel. I have been bringing water from home, to keep the small barrel full. As the tomatoes are going in this week I do hope it rains soon, as they drink such a lot. 

The weather is still wonderful here, it is giving us a false sense of security. I don't think we will have a frost now but the wind can be a killer here in Cornwall. It dries up the ground so fast and the salt ladened air doesn't do any good either. We are a liitle sheltered from the west here, the way of the prevailing wind, so lets just keep our fingers crossed. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lots going on outside.

The weather in Cornwall has been just right for allotment work and let me tell you we have been doing a awful lot of that. It mostly been hard hard landscaping and general maintenance, stuff we hadn't been able to do over winter.

The raised beds have gone in, six down the lefthand side. The blue hoop you see will hold the insect net to stop those dratted caterpillars eating all my greens. 

This arrived last week, on the only day it poured with rain. There was a lot more but I didn't remember to take a snap until the rain stopped. Benjy and I moved the lot, up the hill to our plot. It's green chippings, from the local tree surgeon, he charges £20 a load, bargain I say. 

We have used it to cover the paths both outside and in the poly tunnel. Cleaner feet from now on, I hope. The smell is divine, all piney and fresh and not one splash of chemical cleaner in sight.

Pampa made another gate at the bottom of the plot, nothing is ever small but it is very impressive. All I need now is a name for the plot, any ideas? 

I was also gifted, from freecycle, these slab. Benjy wanted to make a sitting area and we thought we could incorporate this into our cutting garden. We'll grow sweetpeas and other flowers for the house, plus anything to attract 'good' insects into the allotment. 

Oh and don't worry about Pampa, I've haven't been making him work. I do take him with me and he 'oversees' our work. What you can't see behind those dark glasses is that he's fast asleep and snoring ever so gently.

Potatoes under the fleece, these are now though the soil and I've earthed them up. The fleece has been packed away for another year, I hope. The two bed to the right have shallots, garlic and onions, covered by netting to stop the pesky birds pulling them out. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

On my mind....

Friday on my mind!

These tomatoes are on my mind today, they need potting on before they become leggy and draw. I have eight varieties on the go this year. Big ones, small ones, bush and cordon, I have even got  a Giant tree tomato. Can't wait to see what that is like!!!!   Lots of lovely fruits to add to salads, grill for our breakfast or put in our sandwiches and loads to turn into tomato sauce.

Have a lovely weekend whether it's autumn or spring where you are.