Snails, Garlic and other Allotment Stories…

It has been another challenging time over the last few weeks with the extreme weather conditions, again!! Very hot and very wet – the good thing is that just about everything is growing pretty well.

The two exceptions are the peas and mangetout as the snails seem to really love them. In line with out ‘test, try and see what happens’ approach they have now been sprayed with a garlic solution, which was recommended to us as a humane method since the pesky critters hate the smell. Let’s hope so and that they backoff!! Hopefully we have acted in time – we’ll let you know if it worked.

You will see from the pictures that many of our crops are thriving: runner beans, potatoes, beetroot, carrots, courgettes, salad and  kohlrabi. No, we didn’t know what kohlrabi was either until Kirsten introduced us to it. It is also known as a German turnip, is a cruciferous vegetable and belongs to the brassica family. It has a long leafy stem and round bulb that’s usually purple, pale green, or white, but is always white-yellow on the inside. Kohlrabi’s taste and texture are similar to those of broccoli stems and cabbage, although it is slightly sweeter. The bulb is widely used in salads and soups but can also be roasted or sautéed. Fingers crossed we’ll have a good harvest this year.

The one thing that we have not been successful with so far are aubergines. Imagine my astonishment then when I found yesterday that a beautiful purple little sphere was seen developing. Early days, but we are ever hopeful!

The fruit bushes have been ‘netted’, and the summer raspberries are just ripening, hoorah, good for jam, well, we are WI!! Gin is good too, but we can be seen just picking and eating them off the bush, they are so moreish!

The plots either side of us had been empty for a while (is it something we said?) However, new neighbours are moving in, and amazingly we are being asked for advice. Who’d have thought?!!

One last thing to mention, is that we were chosen to be part of the Britain in Bloom’s judge’s route. There are about a hundred sites across the town, including the canal basin, the cricket club and of course the High Street and Welland Park. The judge was really interested, asking many questions, and took photos and notes. She particularly liked our pond and ‘upper terrace’ area, together with the fact we are attempting different crops this year (we’ll let you know how the loofah, peanuts and okra pan out in a later post). In addition, she was interested to hear the story of our allotment.

Well, that brings you all up to date, we now are looking forward to harvesting, and researching interesting ways to use everything. If you fancy having a look for yourself feel free to pop round and see us – we are at 41A Cricket Pitch View at the Stevens Street Allotments. Weather permitting we are usually there on Mondays from 11am.

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