Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Midwinter allotments
















I dragged the urchins down to the allotment this morning in search of sprouts for the Christmas lunch. It had that feel of winter decay. Everything gently returning to the earth. The sprouts weren't brilliant this year, a bit on the small side. But they'll do nicely just the same. We picked a bunch of holly and ivy for the house as well while we were there.

I also dug up the ocas, which we were given back in early March at a local seed swap. They were quite small and it took a while to wash them off one by one. We had some tonight, steamed, and they were rather lovely. But quite a lot of work for a small harvest. There were plenty of tiny tubers, so maybe they would have been happier with a longer growing season. I'll have a think about whether to grow them again. If I do I think I will try them in a big potato bucket against the warm south facing wall of the house. That might help. One point in their favour - they were in great condition, unblemished and unnibbled.

We are settling nicely into the holidays now. Getting up early, shrieking at every opportunity, snacking ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY. It makes me wonder how they survive at school with literally hours between meals. Fortunately they're quite good at having fruit and vegetable snacks. Me, not so much.

21 comments:

  1. There is something very soothing about your winter allotment pictures - all is quiet while nature waits for the days to lengthen and the growing season begins again. The ocas are fascinating and it would be interesting to see if growing them in a tub makes a difference. I love all the different sheds, I think I have a thing about sheds.

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  2. there's a certain sort of restfulness in a sleeping garden....it's almost as lovely as a busy garden.

    i got a seed catalogue in the mail today. you can imagine. the dreams have begun. ;)

    xo

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  3. They do look for snacks a lot when they're at home. I told them: yogurt tube, string cheese, clementine, those are your options. Baby carrots with hummus if I feel like getting up to help you, ha. I've never seen ocas before, how interesting. The color is pretty. Your first photo is just gorgeous!

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  4. I loved your sun setting over the forest image.. lovely. And I so admired some of those tidy allotment plots! But most fun for me were the ocas! As a Scrabble and Crossword lover, the word oca is very useful and to see their cute little rosy selves was fun for me.

    ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
    *M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
    ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  5. That top photo is beautiful. How nice to have home grown sprouts for Christmas lunch. Did giggle about the boys eating all day long. It's much the same here, although with less fruit and a much later getting up time :o). Xx

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  6. As always beautiful photos, how wonderful to have home grown sprouts ours were a complete failure. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

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  7. How lovely to be able to pick sprouts for your Christmas lunch. I've never been very successful with sprouts; they tend to get eaten - and not by us! Those ocas look beautiful. I've never tried them but they look interesting. Have a wonderful Christmas. xx

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  8. Hey CJ,
    I've often wondered how the boys manage at school, when constant grazing is not allowed. My older two sniffed out the goody bag that Mum sent me home with. I was hoping to ration its' contents, but I don't think it will last the week. And to be honest I can't be bothered to find multiple hiding places for it. How lovely to have home grown sprouts; you'd pay a fortune in Waitrose for sprouts on a stalk.
    Leanne xx

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  9. A nice post and lovely pictures. Good to see that your ocas did okay and you liked the taste, I'll probably grow a few again next year. Flighty xx

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  10. The allotments look rather magical in your photos, even the wintry decay looks lovely. I thought the oca were Jerusalem artichokes of sorts. As much as I love home grown tubers of any kind, the washing is tedious to the point of annoying. We have some very brush and water resistant carrot dirt to deal with... As for snacking, I just had the most delicious little cookies with my coffee, enjoying time to myself, listening to 1980's Italian pop music (it is a secret, this music, none of mine would approve, too cheesy). Have a lovely pre-Christmas time. xx

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  11. That oca is interesting - I've never heard of it. Enjoyed the allotment photos. My garden was not properly put to bed this year. Oh well, always a fresh start in the Spring.

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  12. I always enjoy your allotment photos, especially the sheds. Ocas are something I've never come across before, but they look good. Yes, there's a lot of snacking going on in my house too - mealtimes have become very flexible indeed this holiday.
    Cathy x

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  13. You are braver than me CJ and good to see your shortest day harvest. I fear I'm turning into a fair weather allotment grower as I didn't grow parsnips or sprouts this year and I'm looking forward to buying them from the local greengrocer for our Christmas dinner (and coveting the shed in your second photo). Downhill until midsummer, thank goodness.

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  14. What a nice post, and lovely photos. I love the blue shed in the second one. My sprouts are small too but I think they will be good. My allotment is a bit messy, I didn't manage to get it all dug over and I didn't prune my raspnerries.

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  15. Hello. I love your blog. Nice to see your allotment pics as here in Christchurch< N.Z. it was 30 degs C! Couldn't cool down. We call the oca yams. I think they are from Sth America and that they need a few frosts on them to be ready and I think the tops dying down is a good sign. Have been intending to grow them and have some neglected sprouted bought ones I may put in. Once you've had them in the soil you'll probably have them forever popping up. Lynda

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  16. WONDERFUL images, allotments, even in winter are the most amazing places. Just popping in to wish you a very peaceful Christmas :) xxx

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  17. I love that little blue garden shed.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday and a new year filled with joy!

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  18. Lovely photos! There is something very calm and serene about winter allotments and beauty to be found even in the starkness of bare branches and seedheads.

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  19. We have already had a week off school but I worked so I feel like there has been no break at all. Lovely photos today CJ.

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  20. Your photos are gorgeous. My garden is a mudslide (not helped by the dog) so it's nice to see something pretty here, even in the dead of winter. Hope your sprouts were good. X

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