2nd October 2012 – Allotment Plot 326, it had rained in the dark hours of the night. The Plot now was singular; the attention had shifted from two to one. The allotment plot remained part of history reaching back several hundred years to the evolving industrial revolution and the dawning of the age of the Anthropocene, which is seemingly a human generated glitch in the Earth’s surface covering.
When Ella Montt dug in to the soil of the Plot, she found odd random residues of past human activity. During a pause of activity, Ella Montt stared in to the centre of a yellow flower, a humanly named Evening Primrose. She was intrigued by its design construction that trapped rays of the sun within its infrastructure. The Borage flower was of even more of a fascination, its almost stark alien beauty bowed often towards the ground.
Harvest: Raspberries = 3.5oz; Beetroot Bolivar = 7oz = 200g; Potato Nicola = 1lb 5oz = 600g; Broccoli Raab = 2oz = 50g; Calabrese Beaumont F1 = 3oz = 80g; Onion Red Baron = 10oz = 290g; Climbing Beans = 4oz = 120g; Chard Canary = 7.5oz = 210g; Swiss Chard and Perpetual Leaf Beat = 1lb = 450g; Pak Choi = 8oz = 220g; Red Mustard and Mizuna = 4oz = 110g.
6th October 2012 – Allotment Plot 326, it had rained heavily during the evening and through the darkness of the night. Ella Montt started to shift objects around on the Plot. The soil was moist and Ella Montt began to prepare ground for this years Garlic, Onions and Broad Beans to be planted to overwinter. Curiously an ornamental pheasant was foraging along the allotment track. It was a displaced creature and passed unknown boundaries to arrive at the allotments. The pheasant did not stand still long enough for William Morris to pen its exact likeness, but he made note to add it to a wall paper design collection at a later date.
Harvest: Raspberries = 2oz = 50g; Climbing Beans = 2oz = 50g; a mix of Pak Choi, Red Mustard and Mizuna = 3.5oz = 100g; Squash Vegetable Spaghetti = 2lb 6.5oz = 1.1kg.
7th October 2012 – That morning, at another location, it suddenly became necessary to harvest all the Tomatoes, which were mostly still green.
Ella Montt’s Emergency Green Tomato Chutney
All ingredients are organic:
2kg Green Tomatoes, 300ml Apple Cider, 100g Fairtrade Dates, 100g Sultanas, 1 teaspoon each of Coriander Seed, Chilli Powder, Cinnamon, Turmeric and 2 teaspoon Black Mustard Seed, 400g Fairtrade Sugar, 3 Cloves Garlic, 1 large Onion, 25g Sea Salt, Black Pepper, juice of Lemon and Lime. Mix all ingredients except sugar in a stainless steel saucepan, leave to sit for one hour, then cook, simmer for one hour, add sugar cook until chutney thickens, stirring so that the chutney does not stick to the saucepan, the chutney should be bubbling hot so don’t burn yourself! Place the hot chutney in to pre-heated glass jars then seal the lids. Ella Montt’s tip; as the glass jars gradually cool down tighten the lids. Leave to mature (if you can wait!) for about six weeks, then eat as desired.
12th October 2012, Allotment Plot 326, it was breezy sunny day with clouds, with perhaps rain coming later in the evening. Rain in the week had saturated some areas of the Island, turning human streets in to rivers. Ella Montt started to empty out a large bag (from the human construction industry) that she had filled some time ago with roots dug from the Plot. The bag also contained soil that had been attached to the roots. An assistant appeared to help empty the bag, because it was so heavy. When the bag emptied, it revealed at least eight Field Mice and one or two Common Lizards that had been living within the shelters of the soil and roots. The wild creatures ran across the Plot and disappeared beneath other soil coverings to find alternative accommodation. Ella Montt continued with the ground preparation for overwintering seeds.
Harvest: Raspberries = 7oz = 200g; Red Mustard and Mizuna = 6oz = 160g; Spinach Giant Winter = 4.5oz = 125g; a mix of Chard and Perpetual Leaf Beat 14oz = 400g; Climbing Beans 4oz = 110g; Squash Vegetable Spaghetti = 1lb 14.5oz = 860g; Pot Marigold Seed = 5oz = 130g.
16th October 2012, Allotment Plot 326, it was a breezy sunny day (again). It had rained in the last few days and there was promise of more rain in the crystal ball forecast. There had been some degree of frost, the evidence of which could be seen in the Climbing Bean plants that were now damaged. The Climbing Bean plants had been planted too late to achieve a good harvest. The Squash plants had also been frosted and their vibrant matter was in the process of breaking down in to the soil. Ella Montt had a sad face, but she dug an area and cleared another. There was no sign of the Field Mice or the Common Lizards. Ella Montt planted the first seeds to overwinter.
Planted: Broad Bean Supersimonia = 35 seeds; Onion Radar = approximately 90 sets.
Harvest: Raspberries = 4oz = 100g; Squash Green Hokkiado = 1lb 4.5oz = 580g.
23rd October 2012, Allotment Plot 326, Ella Montt was still mourning the loss of Allotment Plot at MERL, but at 326 life, or lives, still continued. The soil had recently been drenched from avid rainfall. The soil now had time to soak up the water and relieve itself if possible from any drought symptoms that might still be lingering. The Climbing Beans were now dead, as was the Squash. The plants were frosted but their roots remained in the soil. Fog had descended and the air was heavy with tiny droplets of moisture. It was Autumn. In the crystal ball forecast weather screen temperatures showed that they would plummet within a few days. Frost had been summoned as a requirement. Ella Montt harvested leafy vegetable matter, knowing that the plants might be damaged when the temperature dropped. The Raspberries were still fruiting.
Ella Montt planted some more Broad Beans and three types of Garlic. Whilst planting, Ella Mont lost count of the number of Garlic cloves, because she became distracted by finding some potatoes hidden in the soil. A few weeks ago the soil had been dry and difficult to dig, now it was heavy and sticky.
Planted: Broad Bean Aquadulce = 35 seeds; Garlic Elephant = 5 cloves, Vallelado = 125g and Sprint = 250g.
Harvest: Raspberries = 5oz = 140g; Potato Nicola = 11oz = 310g; Spinach Giant Winter = 7oz = 200g; Swiss Chard and Perpetual Leaf Beat = 15.5oz = 450g; Canary Chard = 7oz = 200g; Squash Green Hokkaido = 1lb 6oz = 640g; a baby Squash Butternut = 0.5oz = 10g; Mizuna = 4.5oz = 130g; Pak Choi = 6.5oz = 180g; Red Mustard = 4oz = 120g; Tokyo Bekana = 1oz = 20g; Broccoli Raab = 2oz = 40g.
30th October 2012 – Meanwhile, across what is sometimes know as The Pond a state of emergency existed as elements of weather collided with velocity. A storm broke the teacup shattering it in to pieces. The ocean rose up with the full moon high tide flooding land masses, breaking trees and human dwellings. Many humans, their companion animals, plants and wild life lived in the affected areas. Some were left unscathed, but for others recovery would take a long time. Ella Montt clothed herself in black and clutching a pumpkin she howled at the moon; it was after all Halloween.