Sunday, 3 September 2017

One day one photo - 3: The Good Life

Courgettes and nasturtium from my allotment for dinner - hmm!
I've had an allotment since May of last year. It's been hard work getting rid of all the weeds on the whole of the patch, and I have only managed to plant crops on half of the plot. However, I have been pleased with the yield. Last autumn I harvested eight pumpkins of varying sizes from 1 kg up to 5 kg. I have only recently finished eating them all. I also harvested a load of nasturtium, which was great because it meant for a time I didn't bother buying any rocket or spinach! The nasturium were a good enough substitute. Sadly, I was a bit slow to pick them all and they ended up being destroyed when the frost arrived.

This year I have tried to be a bit more organised with my crops, though the success has been variable. The pumpkins have not done so well. I planted around eight and all but one were destroyed by slugs or foxes. I am not sure that the remaining one will sprout and ripen before winter comes. The beans had a similar fate, though one of them remained and I was able to harvest a few before it got blighted. However, the big success story has been the courgettes. They have just been sprouting the whole time, giving me about four a week. I just can't eat them quick enough. They are also pretty big - a lot bigger than the shop size! As a consequence I am constantly eating gratin de courgettes, courgette quiche, I've also made courgette soup, fritters, and the loaf I used to make with bananas is now, you've guessed it, a courgette loaf! Any other recipes for courgettes would be most welcome!

The nasturtium are growing nicely too, so I look forward to using them in salad, and making pesto with them. I also have some corn which seems to be ripening well too. My allotment neighbour, Barbara gave me some lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes from her harvest as she had a surplus. I tried to give her some of my courgettes but she declined as she said she's awash with her own yield of crops from her plot that she has had for around 30 years!

In short, having an allotment rocks! It's surprising how much food you can get just by planting a few packets of seeds that cost a couple of £s. There's something really satisfying about eating a meal that consists of homemade food that you have grown yourself.

You just have to be ready to spare a few hours to weed the place and do a bit of digging, but that keeps you fit. I am beginning to feel like the folks in the 70s sitcom The Good Life. Though I won't be moving to Surbiton any time soon!  
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