An Allotment in Hungerford............
I’m pleased to say we expect to have home-grown parsnips on our Christmas
dinner plates this year – the first time in 3 years (I hope I’m
not speaking too soon!). All being well, we should also have cabbage and
carrots too. I’ve seen a tasty looking recipe for stuffed cabbage
with chestnuts, parsnips and carrots – with some bread sauce I think
that would be delicious and Christmassy. We vegetarians don’t always
need a nut roast to replace turkey at Christmas!
Thanks to the slow arrival of Autumn this year, we got away with some delayed
plantings of squashes, carrots and mangetout. Our cabbages and beets were
hastily sowed into modules and then basically abandoned for a few weeks;
they dried out a few times and looked very sick when we decided to just
‘stick them in the ground’ rather than assigning them to the
compost bin. Thank goodness we did – they produced delicious beetroot
and the Tundra cabbages, a winter variety, are looking really healthy at
It’s been quite a difficult year, what with illness, dodgy weather
and bloomin’ slugs marauding the site again. I’m sure some of
the huge slugs are of the invasive Spanish variety; we’ve seen them
eating unusual items like rhubarb and potato leaves. We need to make sure
our site stays wildlife friendly to keep the number of these unwanted visitors
down! Recently we visited Tenerife, where we enjoyed feeding the indigenous
lizards with foodscraps. I wasn’t surprised to learn they are a real
nuisance to Canarian farmers – imagine the difficulty in trying to
protect the lovely fruit and salad veg from them. But I’ve never seen
a slug in Tenerife – Spanish or otherwise!
We used a nematode product, ‘Nemaslug’ to protect some of our
potatoes from slug infestation this year. Nematodes are tiny organisms (microscopic
– a typical handful of soil contains thousands) which can be parasitic.
It certainly seemed to work for our two rows of Desiree, which grew gigantic
and made fabulous mash – one potato providing ample servings for the
two of us!
We’re not expecting a cold winter (as I write), but a few sharp frosts
would be useful to kill off some of the pests which have survived since
last winter and can also add flavour to our winter veggies. I don’t
think it’s a fallacy – certain vegetables increase the sugars
and other substances in their cells when the temperatures drop; the sugar
solution acts like anti-freeze and makes the vegetables taste even better.
So a cold winter is welcome on the allotment site – especially if
we’ve caught up with all the jobs we should have completed in Autumn
and don’t have to go out much!
If you fancy the idea of growing your own contact HAHA on 0754 118 7274
Our Marsh Lane allotment life is recorded online through my blogs: