Saturday, September 19, 2009

The allotment goes to the farmers' market

Over the past week, we have all been carefully gathering our surplus produce and selecting spare jars of jams and pickles to put on today's stall at Redland farmers' market. There was a fine selection of fruit and vegetables but for me the most exciting thing was the appearance of some beautiful jars of honey from the beekeeper who keeps bees in the little wooded area at the end of the allotments. The bit my kids aways used to call "the wild woods" - just think, those bees have fed on our flowers!

The proceeds from the stall were going to a charity that aids disabled gardeners, and when I did my stint in the morning, the money tin already had quite a few notes in it. Marion (on the left of the photo) had organised the event and stayed all day, with a rota of assistants coming and going. It was a very sociable affair and actually more conducive to having a good chat with allotment neighbours than when you're in mid dig.

I nipped up to my own allotment this afternoon to water, it's still very dry after this lovely Indian summer of the last two weeks and it all needed a good soak. It was boiling hot and very hard work lugging the watering can up and down the beds so I was ready for a good soak myself when I got back home.

Happy gardening ( and oh!, the bliss of a hot shower afterwards!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Harvest Hats" event

Yesterday was the annual allotment tea, held as before on Cylla's beautifully eccentric plot. I'm afraid the photo I took of her manages to look like the chicken sculpture on her shed is balanced on her head, but hey, I've never claimed to be a good photographer, have I?

This year we had a talk on companion planting by organic horticulturalist, Tim Foster, shown taking second place behind the laden tea table. Again, not a deliberate composition! Tea and talk were both very much enjoyed by all.

J and I culled a couple of mini sunflowers from our allotment to decorate our hats and Lesley very
kindly recorded us for posterity. I had a bit of trouble with my sunflower, it kept falling down over one eye so as soon as we got home I unpinned it and put it in a jug with some others on the kitchen table. They look gorgeous.

Our contribution to the allotment tea were individual normandy apple tarts (I've now nearly finished the bottle of calvados we bought on holiday in Normandy in 1988, when I was pregnant with Edmund!) and individual plum tarts, made with honey baked plums. There was so much food that we all ended up bringing stuff home again, but I'm not complaining!

Happy gardening (and happy harvest)