Well, another productive afternoon spent on my adopted allotments! My friends Ellen and Holly have allotments in a beautiful site near the suspension bridge and they are very happy to have an occasional digger/weeder/general helping hand. We spent a whole day a few weeks ago saving Ellen from eviction after her 3 month stint working abroad… during which the weeds took over in a most aggressive fashion. Great fun – I am so glad just to have an excuse to be outside getting in the dirt and fiddling around with plants. I also had the pleasure of meeting Harry who is nearly 98 and still gets down to his allotment that he’s had for about 60 years, or something crazy like that. We spent a happy half hour weeding his swamped bean canes while he told me stories about his life and favourite pastimes including ballroom dancing with his late wife and discussed the finer points of sloe gin making.
Anyway, I helped him out today in his absence by getting his runner beans weeded again – they were looking much happier already and had plenty of flowers and baby beans coming. We also turned over a new bed for strawberries on Ellen’s plot and I came home happy with a pannier full of apples, runner beans from another allotment neighbour and some pretty goldenrod to brighten my front room that was culled in a further clear up.
These places are so full of lovely ingredients coming out of the ground – Holly and I picked so many plums and greengages and runner beans that I was set off on a huge preserve making trajectory for a few weekends in a row. Ellen picked a whole lot of Victoria plums from her plot and made a mammoth and incredibly tasty plum crumble to keep her troops going too. Holly and I felt dinner was probably unnecessary after that: