Welsh Girl's Allotment

Hello World,(a bit ambitious as only my mam knows I am here yet !) This is my blog detailing my quest for an allotment, its cultivation and hopefully bountiful crops. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY A HELLO !!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shop til you drop ...

A bit short notice but I thought I'd let you know that Lidl's have some amazing offers starting in the morning, http://www.lidl.co.uk/uk/home.nsf/pages/c.o.20070301.index.ar6 and another batch on Saturday http://www.lidl.co.uk/uk/home.nsf/pages/c.o.20070303.index.ar6.
The Genie and I have syncronised watches and as soon as the littlest gardener has been delivered to school we are off to stalk the aisles of Lidl's for bargain. I have made two lists what I want and what I need, I need cloches, gloves and secateurs and if a few more things accidently find their way into the trolley so be it ! Saturday however calls for serious restraint hence the fact that hubby will be coming with me to ensure I do not go too mad, I really want all of the fruit trees but I must be practical - grrrr.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Catch them young !

My daughter has decided she needs a plot, this has both amused me and filled me with pride. I placed her in charge of checking our toilet rolls every morning to see if anything had germinated and look of amazement on her face as she checked and things were sprouting was priceless. She has drawn a plan and made a list of what she wants to grow, on first inspection it is two pages of different coloured squiggles - she is only 3 after all ! but to her this represents her plan and she can't wait to put it into action. She has decided on strawberries,potatoes,peas,melons, cucumbers, carrots -purple and orange, sunflowers, marigolds and nasturtiums. She is already showing the hallmarks of a true gardener as every day this list keeps expanding and today she added pumpkins. The genie has begun to clear a small section for her and we will cordon it off and make a little sign for her so that she knows its her bit, this will be a good excuse to make a scarecrow and have a few gnomes about the place as I can blame them on her influence !

Beautiful Sunny Day ... yesterday

Yesterday dawned sunny and bright, perfect allotment weather, the genie telephoned at 9.30 to tell me he was on his way, after doing boring housework I arrived almost an hour later just in time for the first coffee break, you can see our temporary patio area where we enjoyed coffee on the sun terrace in the shelter of the container ! It was alas, too good to last and work had to be done, the genie continued turning over the new plot and I set to cleaning the path down to the container as it is mossy and very slippery, and quite dangerous

This is the plot that was once home to the bonfire and is now almost ready for planting, to the bottom right of the picture you can see a ring of black row markers - these indicate where the rhubarb is, the Genie found another root of the rhubarb sprouting away so that has been repostioned with a bit of chicken manure and a few good words in the hope that it will grow. We had an enlightening conversation - Daughter of Genie " Do you like rhubarb Dad ?" Genie "Not really " Daughter of Genie " Neithe do I why are we growing it then ?" accompanied by shoulder shrugging and chuckling all around ! We came to two conclusions No.1. Rhubarb is a bit like runner beans whether you like them or not it is the law that you have to grow them on an allotment and No.2. the next foray into wine making will be Rhubarb !! need to find a nice recipe I fancy rhubarb and ginger mmmm

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Another allotment in danger


I have picked up this story from the allotmentsn'stuff forum - see side bar for link to this forum.

Yet another allotment site is under threat of concrete and tarmac, this is becoming a regular occurance, on one hand we hear that waiting lists for allotments are at an all time high some people having a nine year wait and yet here we are again trying to save an allotment from the developers .This particular allotment site has been in use for almost sixty years in Canturbury in Kent but is earmarked for development - Grrrrr

Seed Planting

Planted a few seeds last week, courgettes,cucumbers,tomatoes,melons and peas into toilet rolls and peppers, tomatoes, datura (big showy flowers) into black pots with a bit of water and a food bag. I placed the toilet rolls by my wood stove and the food bag/pot combo's on the radiator in the spare room ...

Her are my fireside peas after six days (Hatif D'Annonay from Real Seeds in case you were wondering)

On the left we have courgettes, a bush variety from Real Seeds, next are the yet to appear melons and peppers, the cucumbers have gone crazy and reaching for the sky and next tothem are spindly little tomatoes.
The peppers and toms in the spare room germinated after 3 days and have been moved to a cooler window sill. The cucumbers will need repotting I think otherwise they will get out of control !!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb

Self explanatory really ! This pile of what looks like animals droppings is actually the previous plotters rhubarb, sorry for the bad photo I think the flash got a bit carried away.

On a tangent did you know that Rhubarb and Custard that classic children's cartoon has been remade and is showing on Channel 5 in the mornings, Richard Briers still narrates it and it is still as bonkers as ever, my daughter finds it hillarious that I used to watch it when I was her age.
I thought it was just being re-run until one morning Rhubarb had a lap top - it then occured to me it was a re-make !!!

Wine Making

As usual blogger is playing silly buggers with the order in which my photos appear so they are actually in the reverse order that I want them to be so bear with me as the process will now seem backwards !

After following up a recent offer on Freecycle for 12 demi-johns my first wine is on the go. I chose a kit for my first attempt so that hopefull it couldn't go wrong - time will tell ! Yesterday we were ready for the racking stage, not a s painfull as it sounds it merely translates as decanting the wine from one demi-john to another whilst leaving the muddy scuzzy stuff behind in the original jar

The first photo shows the final stage one demi-john with scuzz remianing and one with my wine
The second photo shows the wine being decanted from one jar to another, I had a sneaky taste to get the flow going through the siphoning pipe(thanks for a lend mam!) and it is actually quite nice! - it also highlights how messy my kitchen is - please try to ignore and concentrate on the demi-johns !!

...and this photo show the first stage, which the wine has reached after about 2 1/2 weeks of plopping away, please ignore close up of mess on the work top !!
So the wine has been racked and is now going through a three day stage after which I need to add more chemicals and allow to mature, I haven't looked into all the chemicals I am adding to this wine but I think for my next attempt I will follow a recipe and use a more natural approach.

Hoe Hoe Hoe - especially for the Genie !

This morning I have visited the plot and have hoed my onions, this has been a job that has been delayed due to many factors including general apathy, laziness, idleness and any other adjective associated with the bone idle family. I have come to the conclusion that I am more of a glasshouse orchid than a winter cabbage when it comes to plot matters - I prefer a bit of sun, no wind and I like it to be dry, however my Dad is a true winter cabbage who knows its got to be done so stop whining and get on with it - it must be a generational thing !

Strawberries, onions, garlic and winter cabbage have all been hoed, however you can see a small strip where I have planted my garlic too closely together and as a result I couldn't safely get there so they can fend for themselves for the time being.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Here we go !! the first growing season on the Welsh Girls Allotment is under way ! Everybody else in blogland is chitting and not one to be left I thougth I would as well. In the pics you will see Saxon and Sante both purchase from Alan Romans.

Chitting to the uninitiated involves exposing the seed potatoes to non direct sunlight and a bit of warmth to encourage sprouting before they are planted. Chitting is a very personal thing I have learnt, with lots of people thinking it completely unnessecary and other planning it like a military operation. I have chosen the 'oh @*&$ those bloody potatoes are still in the bags' approach and stuck them in egg boxes on top of my stereo today

This photo is of my Saxon's, whilst potato shopping I was flummoxed by the range of potatoes with different qualities and tolerances so I took the girls way out and chose these purely for their name! Saxon are an excellent band 747, Strangers in the Night, Denim and Leather, these are all songs that will be going through my head as I plant them.

This is a picture of my Santes, I chose these as they are good when they are small for salads -apparently - time will tell.

It is plain to see that really speaking one potato looks much the same as another so I have labelled the trays so that I know which is which and my husband in under strict instructions not to meddle with them.

I have also bought Home Guard from my local pet shop, for no other reason than I like the story behind the name, they were introduced during World War 2 as part of the Dig for Victory campaign, I have an information sheet on them somewhere and when I find it I will put the info up. I have not put these out to chit yet as I have nearly finished half a dozen eggs and when do they can have that box!

Manor Garden Allotment

Most of you have probably aware of the petition to save Manor Garden Allotments www.lifeisland.org in London. The plan is to bulldoze the allotment to make way for a footpath and apparently a big screen to enable to get to and from the Olympic village and to watch competitions on the screen. It is ridiculous that when the Olympics are over this area will be given over to public space and parkland, never mind the fact that the land was given to the people over 100 years ago by Major Arthur Villiers to be used soley for allotment purposes. At a time when request for allotments is at an all time high and the government are continually harping on about healthy eating climate change and being greener it is ironic that they choose to raze to the ground something that addresses all of these points.

I find it disgraceful that this path will only be used for four weeks and yet the some of the plots have been tended by individual tennants for over fifty years. The public face of the Olympics is regneration of rundown areas for the benefit of the people - how is destroying the allotment to the benefit of the people and I also understand that a school is to be demolished to make way for this outrageously expensive farcical orgy of building and for what - a month of fabulous sport bringing many countries together or enourmous debt, empty buildings of little value to the locals - (puts soapbox back in the corner).

Please take the time to visit the site to learn more about the campaign and hopefully you will add you name to the petition. I personally feel that as allotmenteers, kitchen gardeners or just wannabe dreamer veggie growers we have a duty to support Manor Gardens - as who knows Manor Garden today - it could be us tommorrow.

I have noted from www.bean-sprouts.blogspot.com this morning that the allotment has been granted a reprieve but an appeal has gone in straight away - the due closure date of the allotments is April 1st so please - your help is needed

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tagged by Mr Toad !

Way back in January I was tagged by www.mrtoadsplot.blogspot.com As it seems most of blogland has already been 'done' most will know what this entails, reveal five pieces of information about yourself and further tag five other blogs, I didn't want to tag people who had already been done so I have thought long and hard about what you tell you and who to tag so here we go

Firstly many thanks to my mam for scanning all these ancient photos for me

1. Child labour was fully in force in South Wales in the 1970's although girls were not allowed down the pit to work there was no law against them hindering their Dad's whilst bringing the coal in!!
Can you believe that just thirty years ago coal was still being delivered/dumped in peoples back lanes for the householder to bucket into the shed themselves, luckily there were not so many cars around and the only reason for a car to come down our lane was if you lived there, now there are traffic bumps postioned as it is a favoured rat run to miss the traffic lights.

2. Huge rabbits were seen roaming across the valley's in the seventies, I have it on good authority from my parents that I am about three in this picture - so these rabbits are big!!. We used to keep them to eat, it was my fathers job to do the 'dispatching' but I never saw them as pets they were dinner - by the way dig my funky trousers ! lol
3. My parents have always grown their own - here is my mother circa early seventies planting 'something' !!
3. As a small child hindering/helping my Dad was one of my top priorities, gardening has always been in my blood it has just been repressed until I had a child myself !( by the way my mother must have lots of that purple wool as there is another cardi)

4. More evidence of the early influence of my parents grow your own spirit behind the beautiful little girl ! you can definately see onions,lettuce and in the background our 'greenhouse which always had tomatoes in the summer

And now the people I shall tag back, first and foremost is my mother -( nepotism alive and well)
she has set up a blog detailing the development of a bypass, [no no slap self on wrist it is a relief road] around Bargoed, she has got some fabulous photos detailing the colliery when it was active, its dismantling, reclaimation and now new destruction( in my opinion) to build a road to bypass 1/4 of mile of town any way take a look www.angel-way-the-bargoed-by-pass.blogspot.com

2. www.a-plot-too-far.blogspot.com - RobD and his family are making a similar journey to me and mine with our allotments - check out his tee-pee and play area for his children - well cool !

3. www.favoriteapron.blogspot.com, I have tagged this lady as she gives a fascinating glimspe into life in the Mid West in the USA, she was the first international visitor to my blog who left a comment, she runs a few blogs and although I haven't checked out the others this one is fascinating - think we are having trouble with the snow just go and see what she is putting up with at the moment !

4. www.thewitchpath.blogspot.com this blog is utterly amazing, there is so much information on paganism here it is mind boggling and must have taken ages to set up, I have been interested in Paganism for some time and I feel this lady has 'found me' to give the information I have been looking for - in reality she clicked on the link to my blog on the Self Sufficientish site and left a comment but it came at such a perfect time for me that it seems just the right time in my life to learn something new.

So there we are, its supposed to be five things and five blogs but you getting four - I like to be different - all the blogs I like are in my links catagory anyway with more being added when I pull my finger out - its a hard job all this html >
P.S. Back to gardening matters soon as lot of seeds have been planted potatoes are chitting and yes Dad I will hoe my onions when the snow lifts - honestly !!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow Snow and more snow !!