Autumn Harvest New Shoots

On the 28th October 2010 Ella Montt arrived at the Allotment Plot at MERL to find that the Cosmos plants had been frost bitten and were dead. The hardy Pot Marigold was still flowering. A frosty few days had given way to warmer weather again. There was a significant down turn in the amount of produce ready to be harvested from the Plot. The Brassicas remained small, the Chard and Kale’s production although not dead, had slowed to a minimum. What there was to be harvested would be limited to Carrots, Leeks and Parsnips for the next few weeks. It was realised that it would also need to be a gradual harvest to make the produce last through to December. The hungry gap will be coming early again and in the first months of the New Year, when the new growing seasons production will have barely started.  This fact will be relevant in the considered planning that needs to take place in deciding what to plant in the first months of the year and early Spring 2011. Although Ella Montt now has a second growing space at Allotment Plot 326, each Plot has to be managed for its own potential and it is unknown from season to season how productive each Plot will be. The garden at MERL is a more sheltered area; Plot 326 is on a more exposed field site on higher ground.

Harvest taken on 28/10/2010 was as follows: Parsnip Halblange White = 6oz = 160g; Carrot Amsterdam Forcing = 6oz = 160g; Leek Almera = 1oz = 20g; Rainbow Chard = 1oz = 20g; Kale Pentland Brig = 1oz = 20g. As the Carrots were removed more Pea Meteor were planted.

Leeks & Parsnips

It was a warm and windy day for the time of year on the 4th November 2010. At the Allotment Plot the ground seemed rather dry again. There had been no substantial rain. Ella Montt used a fork to dig some Parsnips and Carrots, then trimmed away the root vegetables leaves gathering the foliage to place in the brick composter. More Peas were planted in the space where the Carrots had been removed. The overwintering vegetables, the Onions, Broadbeans, some of the Garlic and Peas that had been planted in October were all starting to push their new green shoots up through the soil.

The days harvest was limited to: Parsnip Halblange White = 10oz = 280g; Carrot Amsterdam Forcing = 7oz = 200g; Leek Almera = 5oz = 140g.

Peas Meteor

11/11 at 11am year 2010 the casualties caused by war were remembered. The event of war affects not just the lives of humans, but also animals and environmental eco systems and this should never be forgotten. At times in war, humans have sometimes used whatever land or space they can to grow food to feed themselves, but depending on the nature of conflict this is not always possible. The destruction of the lives of people and the environment can be too great and too dangerous.

The weather on this day of remembrance seemed to echo the misery, darkness and suffering that war can create.  It was a dark day, rough with rain and gales. Ella Montt only spent a short time at the Allotment Plot in MERL’s garden, she quickly harvested Carrots and Parsnips, planted more Peas Meteor in the open space that the Carrots had left and then sort shelter.

Harvest for the day: Parsnip Halblange White = 1lb 1oz = 480g; Carrot Amsterdam Forcing = 1lb 10oz = 740g; Leek Almera = 6oz = 160g.

Today, on the 18/11/2010 at the Allotment Plot at MERL, the weather conditions were unsettled, a mixture of cloud, brief glimpses of blue sky with sunshine followed by short light rain showers driven by a brisk breeze. There was not freezing fog that started the week nor the more prolonged rain of yesterday.

The first row of Garlic is already growing well, some of the spiked shoots have already grown to about 6 inches. The new shoots from the Onions are not as advanced as the Garlic. The Broadbeans and Peas will both need to strive for survival against predators. The predators have stripped some of the Brassicas in the last week. Harvesting commenced with the removal of the last of the Carrots followed by the action of finishing planting the line of Peas. Leeks and Parsnips will need to be the staple crop enduring the next few weeks.

The Harvest: Parsnip Halblange White = 1lb 10oz = 740g; Carrot Amsterdam Forcing 1lb 1oz = 480g; Leek Almera = 6oz = 160g.

Garlic ShootsBroadbeans two