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help!!

September 5, 2013 by Jaime   Comments (6)

HI could anyone tell me if it is possible to get whitefly come in from an open window on a second floor? or is it possible the whitefly was on my plant when i bought it?

Your favourite I believe G?

September 1, 2013 by dave   Comments (4)

I had this given to me today by another plot holder with a poly-tunnel.

First time I ever clapped eyes on one of these you will have to tell me what to do with it as you the expert ;)

Perhaps this will help! Apparently it is a lemon cucumber 

My specs ha ha :)

From My Allotment Diary (Wednesday, Aug. 28th, 2013)

August 28, 2013 by BigGee   Comments (1)

It's been a struggle over the last week or two. Work on the lottie has been limited to minimalist effort watering & feeding in the polytunnel in the evening, harvesting bits 'n pieces as needed and not much more.

 

I've been dogged by a continuous headache, feeling exceptionally tired and exhausted & generally not feeling very well at all. Visits to the lottie have been more of a necessity than a willingness to go there for pleasure.

 

Whether it's a virus that's hit me or the side effects of a new treatment I've started I don't know. The symptoms have coincided with the time I've been injecting Liraglutide (Victoza) for my diabetes problem, but that may be a coincidence, so I'm waiting to see how things pan out. Either way I've been feeling exceptionally rough with no enthusiasm to do much. Nausea has also been a problem, but that probably is the effects of the daily injection - apparently it's a common side effect in the early days, as is headaches, but the fatigue may be due to other factors. Ah well nothing to do but press on.

 

We've had a busy time of it in any case, with lots of visitors coming to stay & having our four year old grandson Cai with us during his summer holidays. You forget how an active four year old takes it out of you! He goes home tomorrow - that'll give the peas a chance to grow again! We took him out to Aberystwyth castle today & spent the day picnicking and following him around the castle playground! A good job our No. 4 son Teifion was also with us, so that helped, but just sitting in the sun and strolling about felt like a hard & difficult day's work for me.

 

At least I've managed to write the news-letter and got it e-mailed out last night to all our members in the Chat-Shed & on the Aeron Vale Allotment Society web-site. That's another chore put to bed till October! Click on the download icon below if you'd like to read my efforts:

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talk of October, the nights are already visibly drawing in, another six weeks or so and the old clocks go back an hour - I'm REALLY looking forward to that (not). The thought of it depresses me even further.

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From My Allotment Diary (Monday, Aug. 19th, 2013)

August 19, 2013 by BigGee   Comments (3)

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imageJust a quick blog to show off one of my cucumbers that I picked over the weekend.

It's meant to be a shortish variety called 'petite'. Now either a different variety of seed sneaked into the packet of 'petite', or there's been a genetic throwback somewhere!

imageThis specimen has reached 23" and it was still growing well before I picked it. It's brothers & sisters seem to be long and slender as well. Amazing, if I wanted long slim cucs I'd probably have landed up with gherkins! On the other hand, this year I thought I'd try a short cuc (after all most long varieties only get half eaten in in one go in our house) so I tried this 'petite' that I hadn't grown before and look what I landed up with!

I think it's called "Sod's Law" - I'm not complaining though. Next year I'll be back to lemon cucs & one green variety. They're yellow round ones that actually have a slight lemony taste - they're beautiful & sweet. Unfortunately the cold spring meant that the germination rates for the lemon cucs was a disaster - que sera, sera I suppose - as Doris Day once famously sang!

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From My Allotment Diary (Friday, Aug. 16th, 2013)

August 16, 2013 by BigGee   Comments (0)

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My head's buzzing this week! In fact I'm so disorientated that all day yesterday I thought  it was Saturday, when in fact it was Thursday!

It's all down to going from being 'home alone' for a week, whilst Josie was away in Birkenhead, with peace & quiet, time to do things at my rate and in the order I choose -  to suddenly going to the other extreme where I feel like Burt from that ancient old TV soap opera spoof called "Soap"!

Everything is in turmoil and permanent flux around me. First Josie came back on a Tuesday,  she arrived at 6pm at 6.30pm our No. 3 son's partner arrived with Cai, our grandson who was staying with us again till yesterday (that's Thursday NOT Saturday). On Wednesday our friend Ying from Thailand who lives in London turned up with her son Kriss who's over from South Carolina where he's in a military academy with Southern Rednecks! Not because he wants to be a soldier (or a Redneck) but because his mother thought he could do with the experience and needed to lose weight!. He's a fantastic bright lad of 18 who's just got a fistful of 'A"s in his maths & science "A" level exams - he hopes to come back to go to university over here, possibly at Swansea, he's reached the rank of lieutenant in the academy, but I digress. Anyway, he and his mother turned up on Wednesday, closely followed by our No.4 son who was Kriss' best friend when they went to Pennant primary & Aberaeron secondary schools together. So he's staying as well. In the mean time Ying who has a 7 year old daughter who's been abducted by her estranged husband & taken to Beirut - as her father is Lebanese is in a fix and wants help to take her case to the European Court of Civil Rights. Right, are you with me so far? Good - let me take a breath.

Yesterday another friend of Josie's who lives in the Irish Republic got in touch to say that she's flown over from Eire to Liverpool where her parents live, because her mother had a 'funny turn' as she quaintly puts it. She's now travelling down from Liverpool to Aberaeron to stay with us for a few days before she goes down to Fishguard to catch a ferry back to Ireland. Getting her to make sense of the list of bus times, numbers & connections from Josie (who has them at her fingertips since she got her bus pass) is in itself a task and a half - Jan's now decided to come by train via Shrewsbury, probably a shrewd move under the circumstances!

In the meantime my mother phones up last night to ask me to take her to hospital next Tuesday (a day I was supposed to go 60 miles in the opposite direction to Prince Phillip hospital in Llanelli for an appointment of my own, that's now been cancelled so that we can take my mam to Aberystwyth hospital). On top of that grandson Cai is coming back again in a week to stay with us while his mam & dad go off to Turkey for a holiday. I feel as if my brain's in a pickle jar. ALL I ever wanted was a quiet life and my allotment plot. Are you confused? You will be after you finish reading this blog.

At the moment our house could quite easily be mistaken  for the reception lounge of an United Nations conference hotel! In the meantime I'm desperately trying to find holes in this turmoil to disappear down to my lottie to do some overdue work, then, on top of ALL that, guess what? It rained yesterday afternoon! Would you believe it!

Anyway, down to more sane moments in my life, here are a few photos of the lottie up until a few days ago (before the chaos bomb exploded around my ears).

I've picked my first apricot. It's a Flavorcot and despite the cynics (who are ALL wrong) you CAN successfully grow apricots in Wales - here's the proof:

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You would not believe the taste!

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This fruit HAS to be picked and eaten fresh to get an idea of how wondrously sweet and exquisite the taste is. If you think the supermarket apricots are nice, you'd wet yourself if you tasted this!

The apples are also quietly ripening. This one's called 'Scrumptious'

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As for the rest of the produce, it's suddenly exploded in growth. But it's been an odd season. Very slow to start with (after the horribly long & cold spring) and then we had all the heat & dryness come upon us. Everything looks good, however it seems to be 'going over' very quickly. Young fruit & veg seem to be maturing very quickly, runner beans especially. Young short pods seem to have the texture and taste of much older & more mature produce. Things like lettuce seem to be running to seed far quicker - everything seems in a hurry to get it over with! Perhaps they know something we don't!

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The green 'debris net' mini net tunnels are home to the giant savoys & other brassicas that I showed a picture of in my previous blog.

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Even the sunflowers have decided to "grow up" early. They've flowered at just over 5 feet instead of the usual 10. They should be the same height as the runner beans.

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The gap is where I've lifted all my shallots - they're now hanging up in the polytunnel drying out ready to rope

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Onions won't be long before they're in ropes.

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You know the wise advice "don't eat yellow snow"? Well when it comes to peas it's a case of "don't eat the purple podded ones". Fine exhibition at over 6', lovely purple & white flowers, flaming awful bitter tasting peas! One to strike off the list for the future - unless you want to grow them to add colour to your flower borders!.

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The corn finally got it's skates on. Only about six weeks ago I was contemplating whether to dig it up and grow something else in the space, because it seemed to be getting nowhere. I'm glad I didn't though! My mate Stephen often muses about the evening we stood in judgement whether to execute or stay the execution. I decided to give it another week or two - it must have been eavesdropping on the conversation and got frightened into life!

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More runner beans than you can point a stick at! These are Armstrong - the 'Aeron Purple Stars' are close on their heels. These had a four week start on the others. Dave - if you're reading this - YES we have purple pods! How are yours developing? Any pure purple/ black pods?

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See what I mean about the lettuce bolting?

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The cucumbers are coming on a treat in the polytunnel.

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Plenty of toms, but unlike the rest of the produce that can't wait to mature faster than usual, the old toms are very stubborn to turn colour.

And here's a few photos of the 'processing plant' complete with child labour in the form of a grandson who was captivated by the runner bean slicer that he was in charge of - with his grandmother's heart in her throat, in case she had to take the tips of his fingers home separately to his mother! No problem he went back with ten digits in situ! WOMEN!

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The one of the left is No.4 son - a bit early in the morning for teenagers (it's only 11.30am).

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A satisfied lottie owner and manager of the processing plant!

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Mystery bush

August 12, 2013 by dave   Comments (6)

One of our ladies planted a fruit area a couple of years ago and the labels have erased and she does not know what this bush is wondered if you could help identify it.

Our First all new open day with less serious show.

August 10, 2013 by dave   Comments (3)

Here are some pics from todays show. We had an auction at the end. We made just over £300 in total.

Cakes in cake show

Harvest time AGAIN my onions and spuds

August 9, 2013 by dave   Comments (2)

My onions were ready to harvest here are some Pics. Intend to dry them in green house.

The second lot of garlic soon be ready

Purple pots.,

August 5, 2013 by Betty Boop   Comments (1)

 

 

Read the August Newsletter and enjoyed it G. but talking of purple potatoes - love the colour but don't think I could eat a whole one !  B.B

P.S. Love the hat - we all want one !

 

 

From My Allotment Diary (Sunday, Aug. 4th, 2013)

August 4, 2013 by BigGee   Comments (2)

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Haven't been caught in a downpour since last year! It got me this evening though.

I went down the lottie at around 6 - ominous clouds about and a Met Office yellow warning of rain around 6 - 7, but I had to water my toms, cucumbers & melons & shut my polytunnel doors for the night. On arriving, I stupidly decided to do a bit of picking - before the rain, I knew it was on the way, but decided to out run it and pushed my luck - mistake!

We're going to the Doctor's in the morning for me to get taught how to inject myself. I'm starting on Liragluctide for my diabetes. So, as we're out and about we've decided to call on my mother, who's got a bit of a chest infection, we thought we'd call to check up and spend a bit of time with her. Anyway, whilst I was down the lottie tonight I thought I'd pick a bit of fresh veg for her (that's what all good boys do for their old mums isn't it?). So after getting a nice white ball-head cabbage, some beans, shallots, a cucumber and some spring onions, for Mam, I decided to push my luck even further, by digging up some salad blue potatoes, for her & us. Having done that I then had this urge to go & cut a Savoy cabbage for Josie (she's a big cabbage eater - as due to her food allergies she can't have anything with too much sulphate or phosphate in, cabbage seems fine). Now having said she's a big cabbage eater, I don't think she'll polish this one off in one meal - even with my help!

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Anyway, whilst in the middle of my race against time before the rain started, my mate Stephen turned up. As is our wont on occasions like this, we decided to have a cuppa & a chat - whilst sitting in my polytunnel - another BIG mistake - because by now the impending thunder clouds were catching up and about to get the 'drop' on me!

I donned a straw hat that was hanging in the polytunnel (a precaution, in case my 'rain run' timing was a bit out). So looking like a regular Cuban Organoponicos gardener, I went to cut my Savoy. That's when the heavens opened!

Now picture this. My cabbages are under a 4 foot high by 16 foot long net tunnel & held down with tent pegs (the netting that is, not the cabbage), what I'm trying to say is - it's a time consuming faff. So when the rain started coming down like a waterfall, I was trapped, crouched half in & half out of one of one of my net tunnels - still fighting with a huge Savoy with a stalk like an oak tree trunk.

As Stephen could do nothing to help, he decided to take off full tare for his car, with an overgrown courgette I had given him sticking out of his hand like a big green truncheon - flashbacks of a scene from the Keystone Cops flooded my head. I gave up racing the rain & decided to take my medicine like a man - without fighting - so I quietly got on with the job whilst getting soaked to the skin. Could be worse, it's hot & humid & a summer drenching with warmish rain is not that bad really. At least that's what I kept on telling myself for consolation!

Here's a photo of me on my arrival home, clinging dearly to my Savoy! (Not the biggest in the tunnel by the way - just the nearest to reach in a downpour)!

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It wasn't just the night of the Savoy in the rain! Some Salad Blue potatoes also made it home. They are an old heritage potato variety, that are believed to have originated in Scotland back in the late 1800s.

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They are instantly recognisable by their striking blue (purplish) skin and flesh (don't dig them up in the twilight they are almost impossible to find in the soil at those times). A real jaw-dropper to show off to friends, this makes it a potato that could be used for special dinner parties to impress your guests! Not being snobs ourselves, we don't go in for that sort of stuff though!

Apart from being a second early 'salad' potato it has good uses for mashing, whilst chipping qualities are also good. When baked it retains it's dark blue coloured flesh. Salad Blue potatoes are also said to have natural antioxidants which are meant to benefit the human body.

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When boiled they do lose a little of their dark blue pigment, however they then turn a beautiful light blue/ turquoise colour.

Finally, they are absolutely gorgeous tasting - a rare thing with flashy show-off varieties (like the not so nice tasting purple podded peas that I've grown this year). I highly recommend Salad Blue to everyone, so give them a try next season - you won't be disappointed - I promise.

Maybe with this thing for blue & purple I'll plant a full plot of purple/ blue veg one of these days, including my own discovery - the Aeron Purple Star runner bean . . . hang on I feel hot . . . I think I'm hallucinating . . . must have caught a chill in the rain . . . . EVERYTHING'S turning blue!

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