Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Trip to Lincolnshire

So Matron really can't do carrots? so I decided in the Spring to plant some round shaped carrots to see what happened. These are a variety called Paris Market, they seem to have fared well in a pot full of sandy compost. My soil here in London is heavy clay, so any long rooted carrots usually fork.. as you will have seen in my 'naughty vegetables' post! The warm weather in the past couple of weeks has amazingly brought about a new crop of runner beans! I had left the vines to produce some dried pods for seed next year, but a whole new crop of baby runner beans started to grow! Even after a mild frost! A lovely, if unexpected late crop.
Yesterday I made a long car journey up to Lincolnshire. I love to sample local produce and cooking wherever possible, I just couldn't resist purchasing a supply of locally baked Lincolnshire Plum Loaf. Actually it is just dried sultanas and raisins, but this is a lovely accompaniment to a cup of tea!
Speaking of sandy soil, there are some amazing farm shops along the roads in rural Lincolnshire. It is a flat area of North East England which is mostly rich, arable farmland. Here you can see I bought a stick of Brussels Sprouts. The biggest ones on the stalk are almost as big as a tennis ball! I have never grown sprouts, but I think I might give them a try next season. Can anyone recommend a good new F1 hybrid variety that I might try?
The reason for my trip to Lincolnshire, apart from the plum loaf, was to visit the grey seal colony on the East coast. They come ashore into the sand dunes to give birth to their pups. There are miles of mud flats and miles of sand dunes here.
Along this stretch of nature reserve grows Sea Buckthorn. Here you can see a plentiful crop of bright orange berries. This plant is also known as Seaberry or Siberian Pineapple. Much too astringent to eat, but research has shown that Sea Buckthorn Oil has exceptional antioxidant and anti inflamatory properties.
Anyway, back to the baby seals... if you look closely on the horizon (click on the picture to enlarge it) you can see where the RAF fighter jets practice their bombing skills. The seals seem un-bothered by the fighter jets screaming over their heads!
They just lie on the sand, scratching their tummies, feeding their pups and staring at the passing idiots pointing cameras at them! Smile!


At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's certainly been a funny old year with late harvests.
The baby seals are gorgeous and having noted the name of the place I shall see a house I pass on the way to the allotment called 'Donna Nook' in a whole different light (as opposed to thinking it was a bit strange to name a house after a girl!)

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

Luscious looking carrots-that stick of sprouts looks so fresh. Not like the shriveled old sprouts which we get here ( which I don't buy, as what's the point. The seals look sweet, too.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

What a great trip Matron! That plum loaf looks just the ticket after facing the wind off the North Sea.

I love it when the road side stalls sell sticks of sprouts and celery straight from the fields with the black fen soil still on it. veg at it's best.

Best wishes

At 3:38 AM, Blogger Dan said...

I was going to try those carrots this year but I never got them in. Yours look lovely. The Brussels Sprout stalk looks about as good as it gets. I have tried growing sprouts for two seasons with no luck. Maybe next year will be better. A good variety is Jade Cross Hybrid, they produce a shorter plant and also have the lowest number of days to harvest. Cool picture of the seals, I'd like to come back as a seal. I love just laying around doing nothing.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

Hope you enjoyed your expedition into Yellowbelly country. Nice you managed to see some seals.

I was trimming back some thorny raspberry canes yesterday and was surprised how much ripe fruit was still available. In fact they were so confused about the seasons some were starting new flowers.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Lovely to see the seals. It must be 3 years since I ventured down to Donna Nook.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

I get good sprout harvests but not as heavily laden as that beauty is. I think it is because I only use a fertilizer at the planting out time and again mid way through the growth period. I think you have to be pumping quite a bit of nitrogen at the plants to get such abundant and large sprouts. I may have to experiment with a heavier feeding program for sprouts just to test that theory. Jade Cross is a good hybrid variety. I grew Diablo this year (an F1 variety) and it did very well too but is taller than Jade Cross.

The seals are darling. Thanks for sharing the photos.

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Gary Jen and Ruby said...

Can almost taste that cake mmmmm.

You were lucky with the runners.

Where did you find those sprouts ? they look delish.

Still luv reading your blog

Keep up the good work

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Dee Sewell said...

I planted the Paris Market variety in pots of general purpose compost this year and kept them by the back door. They grew well there - the only problems being the cat sitting on them when they were just emerging and then it dawning on the children that there were carrots 'on tap' and stealing them! A few survived though. I'm going to try them in our heavy clay soil next year.
The Lincolnshire photos are lovely - my folks leave in that part of the world and it brought back memories of trips over.


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