I have been working really hard the last few days at the allotment.
Firstly I cleared an area at the back of my fourth plot, which I had started to clear last year. It was becoming overgrown again so I cut the brambles and overgrown trees back, so I could use this area again for my fruit and vegetable cages over the winter.
After I cleared it and put new weed suppressant down, I re-sorted the cages in order of size, and put them back neatly:
I also picked the last of my Patty pans, French beans and courgettes and pulled the plants up as they had finished producing.
I then dug manure into these beds as next year I will be growing my brassica’s here. This will give time for the soil to settle ready for planting in spring, as brassica’s like firm soil.
I made chutney with the patty pans. You can find the recipe here.
I picked all my apples from my trees today.
I wrap them individually in newspaper and I store them in my outside storage boxes, where the frost and mice cannot get to them over the winter.
Today I also painted ‘Fruit Tree Grease’ on all my fruit trees. This will help to stop the winter moth from climbing up the trees. The winter moth larvae feed on the fruit and leaves of trees and then in June they drop to the ground and bury themselves in the soil. Between November and March, the Adults emerge and mate and then the female climbs up the tree to lay her eggs. The grease should help to stop her.
Today, I also managed to buy some reduced Primroses for £1.00 for six plants. I planted them around the outside of my new woodland area. I thought they may ‘cheer’ the allotment up over the winter months.
I thought I’d show you my watercress that we are still eating. It has really done fantastic this year. Eric (the previous plot holder) told me it grows brilliantly in the big black pot and he was right.
We are having it in a salad again tonight.
Last week I was given a very large amount of Crab Apples.
I made Crab Apple Jelly which tastes really nice. I also made Crab Apple Ice cream Sauce that tastes even nicer (though I do say so myself). It is a homemade version of the sauce that the Ice cream men put on your ‘Mr Whippy’ Ice cream, though I’d like to bet it has more fruit and vitamins in it.
I did use a jam thermometer to make the sauce, though I’m sure you don’t really need to. As long as you heat the sauce but don’t let it boil, I’m sure it would be fine.
Crab Apple Ice cream Sauce
2 Cups of Crab Apple Juice (follow the instructions to get the juice here)
4 Cups of Granulated sugar
Put the apples and sugar in a saucepan and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar.
Continue heating until it reaches 160F / 71C – Do not boil (I used a jam thermometer for this).
Pour into sterilised jars.
(To sterilise jars, put them in the oven for 5 minutes, gas mark 4 ).
The sauce will keep in a fridge for up to six months, but it can be frozen successfully too.
The sauce can also be used to drizzle over waffles, pancakes, hot biscuits and any other dessert you fancy.
Thank you for reading my blog today.