Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mulberry and Potatoes

7 August 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Harvest: Tomato Gardener’s Delight = 3oz = 80g; Beetroot Bolivar = 1lb 4oz = 580g; Potato Madeleine 12lb 15oz = 5.9kg.

8 August 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Harvest: Runner Bean Enorma = 2oz = 60g; Potato Madeline 4lb = 1.82kg; Beetroot Bolivar = 1lb 8oz = 700g.

11 August 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – A fine mist of rain was falling across the garden. William Morris rolled out of his carpet from where he had been sleeping under the Mulberry Tree. His hands were covered in dark stains from the juice of Mulberry fruits. Ella Montt now understood why he liked the Mulberry Tree so much; the fruits are many and delicious! Mulberry Trees can live for a long time, and they will often look like they are falling down to one side, this is so they can re-root themselves in to the soil to insure their survival. Towards the base of the tree the Mulberry will grow long trailing branches that are also seeking to root themselves.

Ella Montt cut the Nettles and Comfrey growing in the Brick Composter and scattered the leaves over the compost. The Companion Planting’s wild beauty was tamed with a piece of string, because the Cosmos Cosmea was blocking vital sunlight access to the Squash plants. Some of the Pot Marigolds were removed for the same reason and their plant residue was added to the Composter. The Plot was saturated with the vivid colour; green was punctuated by orange, yellow, pink, white and scarlet (the latter from the runner bean plants).

EB stepped out of the reading room window and walked across the garden with a fork. She dug up the first batch of potatoes. As the potatoes were removed from the soil, active earth worms were revealed. The condition of the soil had changed with the introduction and growth of the tubers. The change was a much desired improvement in vital soil fertility. It can take several years to improve soil for optimum growth and equally it can take just as long to deplete the soil of vitality depending on the growing methods employed.

Harvest: Potato Lady Balfour = 5lb 3oz = 2.37kg; Herbs, Mint, Sage, Chives 2oz = 40g; Runner Bean Enorma = 14.5oz = 410g; Bean (French Climbing) Blauhide = 2.5oz = 70g, Blue Lake = 3oz = 80g, Neckarqueen = 1oz = 3og, Barlotta Di Fuoco = 2oz = 50g.

15 August 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Harvest: Kale Red Russian Curled = 1oz = 20g; mix of Perpetual Spinach and Rainbow Chard = 6oz = 160g; mix of Beans = 3.5oz = 100g; mix of Peas = 11.5oz = 330g; Tomato Gardener’s Delight = 5.5oz = 160g; 1 Onion Red Baron = 2oz = 60g; 4 x Courgette Cocozelle = 1lb 9oz = 700g; 4 x Courgette Patriot F1 = 6lb 0.5oz = 2.74kg

Wild and Self-Seeded

3rd August 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Ella Montt almost randomly broadcasted a mix of seeds in the cleared area where the Peas had previously been. The area was still surrounded by shading netting. The mix of seeds consisted of Carrot Amsterdam Forcing, Calabrese Baumont F1, Cabbage Wintergreen, and Oriental Tai sai. It was hard to know if any of theses seeds would germinate and grow. Ella Montt’s success as a grower seemed to vary. Through the combination of both Allotment Plots, a level in vegetable self-sufficiency had currently been met and stabilized. The soil at Allotment Plot 326 is more fertile than Allotment Plot at MERL, yet vegetables such as Peas and Beans seemed to be just as successful at either Plot. What has become noticeable at Plot 326 is the ability of the Plot to produce substantial amounts of Courgettes and Squashes (which are also forming). Allotment Plot 326 has prolific self-seeded wild plant growth that is not yet tamed. Allotment Plot at MERL’s plant growth looks wild. Its cultivation although tamed by the edges of the Plot, has no regimented construction or uniformity. The plants do not exist in straight lines, (as archival ‘how to grow’ gardening material suggests), or if the lines are apparent, they dissolve in to wild often self-seeded, Companion Planting.

Harvest: a mix of Peas = 5oz = 140g; a mix of Perpetual Spinach and Chard = 6oz and 160g; 1 x Courgette Cocozelle = 1lb 10oz; 5 x Courgette Patriot F1 = 2lb 9oz = 1.18kg, Potatoes Madeleine = 1lb 14oz = 870g.

4th August 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – It had rained all morning giving relief after a few hot, dry days. Ella Montt redefined the Plot, removing plant residue to the Brick Composter. The greens of the vegetable plant material and Companion Planting blended with each other to produce a mass of interdependent organisms. It was hard to see where one plant ended and another began within the confinement of the Plot and the density of planting contributed to the survival of the fittest. Ella Montt followed the paths of each Squash plant to their roots and then encouraged the vines to grow up the bamboo canes to seek more sunlight. A few of the Squash and Tomato plants that had been transplanted earlier in the season looked like they will not survive. The effects of too many cold nights have taken their toll. Plants that had taken longer to grow and that had been transplanted at a later date were pulsating with life on their way to maturity.

Harvest: Runner Beans Enorma = 8oz = 210g; French Bean (Climbing) Neckarqueen and Blue Lake = 3.5oz = 40g, Blauhide = 1oz = 20g; Rainbow Chard = 1.5oz = 40g; Wild Rocket = 2oz = 50g.

Raindrops fell to Earth

20th July 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Harvest: 4 x Courgettes = 1lb 13oz = 640g; Shallots Red Sun = 1lb 7oz = 640g; Peas = Ezeta’s Krombek Blauwschokker = 10.5oz = 290g, Oregon Sugar Pod II = 2oz = 40g, a mix of Kelvedon Wonder, Ambassador and Meteor = 3oz = 80g.

21st July 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – As Ella Montt arrived at the Plot, menacing black clouds over-head, opened and vertical raindrops fell to Earth in profusion. Ella Montt went to the Library Reading Room to ponder rock phosphate, which is used as plant fertilizer, and is also a “non-renewable” resource that is in danger of running out (like oil), because of human consumption. Earth as a planet is a living thing, and it is possible that it can regenerate its self and produce more oil and rock phosphate, but how many thousands or millions of years is needed to break down and compress enough vibrant matter to renew these resources that have been depleted so recently?

Ella Montt looked out of the window across the garden towards the Plot. It was still raining. The pollen on the plants flowers was wet. The Bees were hiding trying to keep their wings dry. Humans who use non organic methods of cultivation can contribute to the decline in Bee populations by using common household insecticides that contain ingredients that are toxic to Bees. The rain continued to fall.

Harvest: mix of the first Climbing Beans = 40z = 120g.

24th July 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Harvest: 1 x Courgette = 7oz = 200g; Potatoes Madeleine = 2lb 14oz = 1.31kg; 2 x Plum Victoria = 3oz = 80g.

28th July 2011 – At Allotment Plot at MERL, it was pleasantly warm. The Companion Planting, particularly the orange Pot Marigolds were flowering vibrantly. Sunflowers co-existed next to Cosmos. Mint and Strawberry runners were making their way across the Plot, establishing new plants at punctuated points of root construction. The Plot was in need of water, so Ella Montt fetched the watering can. Tomato, Squash and Climbing Bean plants were also opening their petals to receive winged visitors interested in taking part in their sexual reproduction process that will lead to the Plants becoming bearers of fruit. Although it was summer, the nights were still sometimes very cold for the time of year. Cold temperatures at night can be a plant growth inhibitor. Ella Montt scattered Rocket and Wild Rocket seeds near the Celery. Two Jays and a Magpie attempted to visit the Mulberry tree. Ella Montt made a signal to EB, (who was leaning out of the window), that the Potatoes would soon be ready for harvesting. EB nodded in return.

Harvest: a mixture of Climbing Beans = 7oz = 200g; Rainbow Chard = 2oz 50g, Mint and Sage.

29th July 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Ella Montt pulled up most of the Pea plants and placed them in the compost. On the soil, where the Peas had been growing, was empty Pea pod shells, left by other Beings that liked to eat Peas.

Harvest: a mix of Peas = Ezeta’s Krombek Blauwschokker = 1oz = 40g, Oregon Sugar Pod II = 3oz = 80g, a mix of Kelvedon Wonder,  Ambassador and Meteor = 3.5oz – 290g; Dwarf Beans Royalty = 1oz = 40g; 5 x Courgette = 4lb 6oz = 2kg.

31st July 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – Harvest: French Bean (Climbing) Blue Lake = 0.5oz = 10g, Blauhide = 0.5oz = 10g, Neckarqueen 1oz = 20g; Runner Bean Enorma = 1.5oz = 35g.

31st July 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Harvest: 4 x Courgette = 2lb 2oz = 900g.