Sheila Taylor - Plot 30a
I really recommend making good use of the leaf mould.
Firstly I used barrow loads of it as mulch for the raspberries, blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes. I had a load of manure delivered in February and put loads of it where the potatoes were going to be planted. It was only half a load, but as I have half a plot, there’s plenty for next year as well. I hardly ever dig, except when digging things up, so it just went on top of the soil. I just planted the potatoes underneath it. It was pretty fresh, but they didn’t seem to mind! Then more barrow loads of leaf mould went on top of the manure - loads - and all the work was left to the worms.
I earth up the potatoes as they grow. Result - absolutely gorgeous soil, and the only digging was harvesting a really good crop of potatoes.
Do use this free and useful resource.
Paul Price - Plot 4
In the summer newsletter I told you about growing Salsify, also know as the Oyster Plant, a vegetable that we haven't grown before. Well this week we started to harvest it. It looks pretty strange with small roots growing from the main root, a bit like a hairy parsnip! The roots damage very easily so after a disaster with a fork, I used a spade to carefully lift them out of the ground. The problem is, if you damage them, they quickly lose their moisture and shrivel up.
They are a bit of a faff to prepare (so Jean tells me) as they discolour very quickly once pealed so it's good to have a bowl of water with a little lemon juice in to plunge them into. Just quickly peel them with a potato peeler, trim the tops and bottoms and that's it. They will sit happily in the water until you are ready to cook them.
The first ones we tried were roasted at 200C (gas 6) for twenty minutes in a little olive oil with a couple of crushed garlic cloves, similar to how you would roast parsnips. They were delicious! Neither of us care for parsnips as we find them too sweet, but we both loved these. Next time I will cook them in a little butter and wine to bring out the oyster taste. We will definitely be growing them again next year.
Plot holders cogitate and ruminate about allotment life.
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