Sunday, 27 January 2013

Spuds, seeds and sunshine

The start of this weekend saw snow still laying on the ground but thankfully the extra coating that had been threatened by  our much maligned forecasters didn't appear so t'other half and I actually managed a "Day Out". Now a "Day Out" in our lives deserves capitals because they are quite rare - usually we plan or express a possibility of doing something not connected to home or work only to have something go wrong and plans change. This weekend it didn't :)
Spuds, Glorious Spuds!
So off we went to the wonderful Garden Organic Potato Day - okay so connected to the lotty but it wasn't at the plot and it involved a little journey so definitely gets to count as a Day Out :) After a dip into the Seed Swap area - and yes we did come away with a few packets but our resolve held and we gave more than we took so felt quite virtuous-  we then explored the potato marquee.  This little treasure house was a revelation, dozens of varieties under one roof, many of which were completely new to us. Of course, we came away with a great selection of seed spuds - two first earlies - our usual suspects the Pentland Javelin and new to us Winston, second early Wilja which is a change from Kestrel for us and for maincrops, 2 different blight-resistant Sarpo varieties from the Sarvari Trust, Mira and Blue Danube. Now if you haven't heard about the work of the wonderful folk at Sarvari please follow the link - and if you grow maincrop potatoes please consider Sarpos - they are GM free, resistant to the dreaded blight and if the ones we tasted are anything to go by they are truly tasty spuds.  The team from Sarvari gave a really interesting talk about their work and deserve much more support than they currently get.

Once we 'd finished in the potato tent we explored the gardens - still covered in icy snow they gave us a useful peek at what thrived or at least survived the winter - the main one being Chard or Silverbeet as I've heard it called and also something called Portuguese Cabbage which will require some investigation. We'll certainly be looking to plant Silverbeet at our plot this coming year as our usual perpetual spinach and other brassicas really didn't like the super soggy summer & autumn we had followed closely by a freezing January and we've missed our greens this winter.

Sole Surviving Kale plant
So that's another allotment area planned and ideas for a few others gathered, all that remains is the work so here's hoping for some dry weekends to come as this one has given us a real feeling of a new season to look forward to.

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