Slow painting

Saturday 17 July 2010

Compost activity

This is what happens when you leave a compost bin undisturbed for several weeks. Ants and their eggs. Boy did they move when we opened the lid. Eggs were grabbed and hurried off to safety.

We're curious to see what we'll find tomorrow when we take the compost bucket along.

And at some point we must get round to using some of the compost. It's very strange - the compost bins seem to have become self-contained entities. We add stuff, stir it around occasionally, add some more, but the connection between finished compost and spreading it on the plot seems to have got lost somewhere. Does anyone else have this experience, or all you all growing super veg as a result of your frequent compost spreading?

Edited to add that we're off on hols - exchanging damp and lush Scotland for hot and dry France. I intend to visit a few gardens while we're there. My husband doesn't know this yet.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Jam tomorrow

Lucky that I laid in supplies of jam sugar when we were north last week. Moray is a great jam-making area, with raspberries and strawberries grown commercially in the Laich of Moray (the coastal plain), and many gardens with their own supplies. Jam-making is THE summer occupation, to the extent that jam sugar vanishes from the shops at peak periods. I bought up sugar to make jam from my Dad's raspberries, but then decided that it would be so long before they were ripe that I would export it back to Edinburgh.

Today was our first visit to the allotment for 2 weeks, what with having been away preparing for my Dad's return from hospital, and then being busy with other things on our return. It rained all day yesterday, and is forecast to rain from tomorrow for the rest of the week. We discovered blackcurrant bushes bowed down to the ground with the weight of ripe fruit, and luscious red berries in profusion in the strawberry bed.

If it does rain tomorrow, I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing than stirring a bubbling pot of blackcurrant jam in a warm kitchen.

Poor neglected allotment blog. Life has just got the better of me. I've taken photos every time we've visited the plot, but haven't had time to post them. But at least the plot is looking presentable, if hardly overflowing with produce. One of the reasons I started this blog was the offence I took at an article in Garden Organic's magazine asserting that it wasn't possible to maintain an allotment on a part-time basis. The author didn't represent the stance of the Garden Organic organisation, I have to say, but I was certainly offended by his views. So here we are, part-time allotmenteers with next year's jam supply coming along nicely.

Can I point out our traditional allotment recycling? The white baskets holding the strawberries once held flower arrangements (my Dad is a great sender of flowers for my birthday), and the clear plastic container was a salad drawer from our old fridge.