Thursday, 10 January 2013

Planning in the dark

With the weather set to take a chilly turn this weekend and the days just too short to risk sowing anything yet most of our plotting will need to be of the mental kind for a while longer. So what do we have and what do we need?

We're exceptionally lucky and have an allotment plot that is about 150ft long by about 35ft wide giving us plenty of room for the standards plus a few experiments.

After five years we have a range of well-established fruit that was already on the plot when we took it on plus other varieties we've popped in.

Dreaming of Summer
 The old ladies include gooseberries - although I've no idea of the variety they make a wonderful pinky-amber coloured jam; blackcurrants - again these are mostly of unknown varieties but unsurprisingly they also make a lovely jam which is much loved by my mum-outlaw; 2 old cooking apples and 2 eaters including a pretty pink-tinged early variety that's quite sweet to taste and a little Cox-like tree that's a bit tarter on the the tongue; a crab apple that we tend to leave for the tweeters; a very decrepit greengage and a rather beaten up plum that we keep trying to rejuvenate without much luck but due to their age and sheer staying power deserve lots of respect plus some hedgerows filled with blackcurrants and bullaces that supplement the cultivated crops wonderfully.
Hubble Bubble.....wild plum (bullace) and apple jam

In addition we have a range of raspberries that always seem to thrive where we don't want them and struggle a tad where we do, an enormous bully of a whitecurrant that is more useful as a hedge than anything else, several hazels that have been acquired from friends and freecycle but have yet to produce any useful nuts (at least that we've managed to get to before the wildlife) and a couple of blueberries that haven't really thrived but we can't quite bring ourselves to give up on. Finally there are the strawberries but after the year we've just had they are all about ready to be replaced so there we are that's the first item on this year's shopping plan. Musing aloud- sorry carefully thought out planning -really does work :)

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