I don’t think I’ve written about the allotment yet this year. I’ll be totally honest, this month has felt like a bit of a struggle. Rain has bought a relentless wave of slugs, garlic rust and weeds. To top it off, I fell off my bike three weeks ago which has mean’t we haven’t been able to do any serious work on our plot. Our enthusiasm has been waning and we’ve spoken about how we’d feel if we gave it up. But we’ve decided this feeling is just down to June being a crappy month for us. And just when our spirits hit a low we were rewarded with a crazy amount of strawberries, garlic, chard and a marrow. The beans have suddenly flowered and the potatoes are almost ready. When I look at how far our plot has come on in a year and a half I feel an enormous sense of pride — even if it is a bit rough around the edges. I think the reality is that growing your own food is fun but hard work. And as with anything that’s hard work, sometimes you just want to give up. I’ve painted a bit of a bleak picture but I promise it’s not all bad :)
Scott under the fruit netting, picking strawberries. I like harvesting fruit because it’s something we do it together. Quite often at the allotment we split strategies so we can tackle more jobs while we’re there.
Every time we go picking I do a weigh in and add the figure to a spreadsheet before storing them. So far we’ve picked a whopping 9kg! And that figure doesn’t include all the strawberries we’ve lost to slugs. Picking so many has forced me to get creative with preserving; I’ve made cordial and sorbet as well as strawberry and vanilla jam.
The runner beans are flowering after a shaky start with slug damage. And the borlotti beans aren’t far behind.
We have blueberries, although not as many as last year. I forgot to prune the bushes.
A plot owner told us one of the plots at the end of the allotment was going to be rotivated ready for a new owner and to help ourself to raspberry canes. I dug three up and planted them in our fruit patch. The hot weather came and they struggled. But look — a raspberry! There are a few so I’m hoping they’ll recover from the shock of being moved when they shouldn’t have been and produce some nice fruit.
I use our rhubarb to make some rhubarb and strawberry cordial. Isn’t the colour amazing!?
Look at our tiny tiny cucumber! We’ve never grown cucumbers before so if you have any tips I’d love to hear them.
Potato flowers mean a harvest is not long away now. Hopefully they’ll be whoppers after all the rain we’ve had this month.
And that sums up June on our plot. Soon our bellies will be full of homegrown food and I’m preying for a bean glut so I can make runner bean chutney again. Has anyone been struggling with anything I listed above, whether in your garden or at the allotment?