Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Weather is all my fault.

Honestly, the weather really is my fault.

Why? Because I decided to take on an allotment!

Since we took it over last September, we have hardly been able to get on it. Firstly it spent half the winter under water and then March left it under snow or frozen solid.

As the ground has not been properly used for some time, it actually looks more like a piece of field than an allotment. That means a lot of digging as we don't want to use a rotovator unless we have to. The ground is full of perennial weeds so rotovating would multiply our problem.
Honey Berries

The original reason for starting the allotment was to get our own fresh organic produce. My Dad used to grow a lot of his own, especially tomatoes, and they tasted so different to the shop bought items. Now with the increasing cost of fruit and veg, it may even be a money saver.

Potatoes are a case in point - they have doubled in price but the quality is poor. We were only going to grow a few, but now we will be growing quite a few! There is nothing quite like a few freshly dug new potatoes, no need to peel, just wash and cook.

Charlotte Potatoes

My own favourite though is fresh fruit. We have raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, honeyberries, rhubarb, strawberries and cherry plums.
The plums I am particularly pleased with. The plants are sold as hedging so they are just over £10 for 5. They can be kept to a bush size making picking really easy but can be grown as a small tree if you want to.
I will have to give them some protection to stop the birds getting them all :) The birds won't go hungry though as there are plenty of slugs about and we'll be growing some sunflowers to provide some seed.

We are praying for some warmer dry weather so that we can catch up with our plans.

Are you growing anything? Has the cost and lack of freshness made you think about growing your own?
Have you got any great recipes for using fresh fruit?

I love to read your thoughts and opinions, so please feel free comment :)

Janice x


  1. How fun! I know it's a lot of work but it is also so rewarding to dig, plant and reap the rewards. My daughter is begging to get a garden in and this reminds me how important it is!! Thanks for the motivation.

  2. what an awesome blog, I dont have an allotment, where I am the waiting list is just beyond stupidly long, but at home i have space for fruit trees and some fruit bushes, the kids grow loganberries, blueberries and blackberries I keep the trees apple, pear and plum - i love picking and eating them straight from the garden they taste so much better than shop bought lol

  3. I wish I had space to grow things. I have a concrete front lawn and the back has grass, but it's choked by the junk thrown back there by the roofing company beneath me.

    It would have been nice to see if I could grow anything during the drought we had this past year.

  4. So, an allotment is a piece of property in a community garden?

    1. It is. Just rent a piece of ground to grow what you want. Great for people like me who live in town and don't have a garden - just a tiny back yard :)

  5. Blog post right up my alley. Just took up gardening as a hobby and rearing chickens as well so I always like to see what other gardeners are up to. My inspiration for growing is not necessarily cost, but food security. I just want to feel more involved in what hits my plate and I want to do it as organically as possible

  6. Nice article. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I am not in a position to garden for the last several years. I have had some pots that have only done marginal per veggies but OK with the flowers. I live in an area that has great farmer markets, organic blueberries that I can pick. But there is nothing like a home grown tomato! Best of luck.

  7. Honey berrries. Ive never heard of those. I will have to look them up.

  8. From your post I'm guessing you're in the UK, where the weather has been simply appalling over the past year or so, the rainiest year ever (after they announced a drought in March (?!?)last year and then a really cold winter with lots of snow and the coldest March in recorded history this year. So I can only hope and pray with you that the weather is finally going to become more suitable for outdoor living again so that your crops can grown and prosper. :)

  9. Janice,
    I'd love to know where you live. So I can come and plunder those berry bushes!! ;) We have planted many fruits and we always plant veggies every year, and as grocery prices go up and quality goes down, I get a little more serious about it every year. I love to garden, though, so it's a labor of love for me. So you are the cause of all this bad weather, eh?? ;) Snow in April---after all!!

  10. Hi Janice,
    What is an allotment? I am a city girl and other than a bunch of indoor plants I haven't grown much of anything. Wishing you wonderful weather for your allotment. :-)

  11. I've always loved growing things, but ill health and disabilities mean that I can't do what I use to, but our greenhouse has raised beds with brick edges that I can sit on while working, and my brother-in-law and nephew built me a raised bed outside to grow little salad stuff like raddishes, beetroot and baby carrots. I can't dig the grount or do heavy work like that, so I grow potatoes in potato sacks. Last year wasn't a good year though, because the weather was awful. I've just bought some new blueberry plants because my father sevearly affected the ones we did have by giving them the wrong type of fertilizer. I love blueberries in the bottom of creme brule.


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