To Prune or Not to Prune

Dad and I stood in his garden earlier this afternoon, staring at his apple tree and trying to unravel the complexities of winter pruning.  Continue reading “To Prune or Not to Prune”

Fruits of the Season

Our neighbour very kindly gifted us some Bramley apples along with some plums the other day. So along with combatting courgettes and wrangling runner beans, I’ve had a heap of fruit to deal with. Continue reading “Fruits of the Season”

Glutton for Punishment

August, I have learned, is a month best spent in the kitchen rather than on the plot. Turn your back on the kitchen in August at your peril. While Ade skips up to the allotment for a quick water or tidy, before enjoying the rest of his weekend, I have found myself, forehead smacking repeatedly against the kitchen worktop, in increasing states of plant-provoked purgatory; ignore one glut for five minutes, and before you know it, a glut of something else has arrived.

Don’t get me wrong, you know I love cooking, but when you realise you have six bowls of tomatoes lying around the kitchen in varying degrees of ripeness and you’ve been chucking them into pasta sauces and salads like your life depends on it and you start to wonder what to do with them now that the freezer is already full of tomato soups and then the doorbell goes and your next-door neighbour is standing there, arms outstretched with two bags of Bramley apples he recently picked as a kind and generous offering to you and you thank him and think “That’s lovely, but today I’m meant to be dealing with the TOMATOES!” but you get side-tracked by the apples and end up baking them into some kind of tea-time treat as a welcome respite from all the tomato tomfoolery of late and upon retrieving the butter from the fridge you realise there’s actually half a marrow in there you were meant to be doing something with this week which somehow got forgotten amid Wednesday’s French bean deluge and then Ade returns from the allotment with a smile and another full colander of tomatoes, an even bigger marrow and some more French beans, THEN, my friends, you do start to feel a little bit frazzled.

fraught cookThe idea of taking on a second plot next year is currently making me weep. Not that I can indulge in weeping for long, I have tomato chutney to go and make afterall…
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