Monday, 22 August 2011

Gone to seed...

Last night, after two weeks away I decided to brave the allotment. Whilst we were in France The Boyf's mum had been looking after the plot, watering and harvesting so we knew nothing would be dead...quite the opposite in fact. Everything from the broccoli to the chard has gone to seed.

Now, I feel the normal reaction to this would be disappointment but the hippy in me was pretty pleased. Who knew broccoli turned into such beautiful flowers? It almost seems a shame to eat it. The bees were absolutely mad for it and that makes me just as happy as having a plate of steamed broccoli...well almost.

Interestingly, for those who are inclined to neglect their veggies, chicory also transforms from a horrible hairy bitter vegetable into a lovely flower...although I won’t be wasting space with them again as they’re yicky.

My chard, another vegetable I have been particularly uninterested in this year has grown to absolute mammoth proportions, at least 6 foot. Do you think I could enter it into the tallest sun flower competition?

I also found this beauty growing up my runner beans...I think it could be a beetroot or a radish gone wild...pretty though eh?

My wildflower section, which is my favorite part of the plot was absolutely blooming when we got back. Full of bees and bugs and lovely things. I cut lots of little bunches of flowers to take home and fill the house. And the sweet peas are still going!

I have decided next year to focus more on fruits at the allotment as I think it’s the most value for money and I get the most pleasure from them, jams, pies, compote....yum yum yum. Alongside the usual raspberries and strawberries I have also been growing goldenberries, which taste like a cross between a tomato and a pineapple apparently- they’re the things you sometimes get on the side of your pudding in restaurants, in the Chinese lantern like leaves. Mine have been falling off the plant too early which is no good, but at least the chickens are enjoying them. I have collected and frozen a few but I’m not really sure what to do with them! I have also picked up a goji berry for a couple of pounds in a garden centre sale, I don’t know if it will grow but we’ll see. Does anyone have any recommendations for interesting fruits which are fun to grow and productive?

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