A Judy Update & A Kind Visit

I just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to an allotment friend that popped round last weekend with some of her produce.  I do miss my old allotment companions and so it was lovely to catch up with her and the goodies she left me were very welcome:

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Judy (our rescue dog) – an update:


Judy is continuing to do well in her training classes and we are working hard on ‘recall’ with her at the moment.  At home she is lovely now and we all absolutely adore her cheeky ‘Jack Russell’ ways.

Last weekend we took Judy to the vets for her yearly vaccination and the vet was wonderful with Judy as he knew she was a nervous dog.  When he went to update the vaccination card that the RSPCA had given to us with all her previous vaccines on, he pointed out to us that the card shows that poor Judy had been in the RSPCA three times!  He showed us the three vaccinations they have given her and he explained that the RSPCA only give them when they enter their kennels.


We hadn’t really studied the card before, but we realised that you can also see three different name and address stickers underneath ours……so we are the fourth owners!  From the dates on the card we can see that Judy was in the RSPCA at four months, again twelve months later and then again two and a half years later……thank goodness we found her when we did.

This explains everything to us, as she was bound to have lots of problems after the upbringing she has had.  I don’t know if the RSPCA have a policy of not telling people the dogs background or whether they hadn’t checked her history, but it would have been nice to know.

We will never know what our poor dog has been through but we do suspect that she was hit at some stage, as she used to cower if you went to stroke her unexpectly and she hated walking sticks, litter pickers etc. and she had nightmares over and over again where she would wimper and move her legs like she was trying to run.   This is improving as she is starting to trust us, especially with the training as well…..and she rarely has a bad dream now.


  I know now that I certainly wasn’t experienced enough to deal with a dog with problems like Judy and I’m not sure if the RSPCA knew this or not…..She could quite easily have ended up back there if it wasn’t for the fact that I was so stubborn and determind to find a way to train her.

I have had to learn such a lot in a short period but I am glad to say Judy is now responding to the training and other dog walkers now comment on how much she has improved, which is wonderful.

The hard work is starting to pay off and I couldn’t imagine life without her now as she is always by my side.




This week in my garden:


This week I sowed some lettuce, summer radish and winter radish.

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I also planted some lettuce plants that I bought from a local nursery.  I may have to put a cloche over them if the nights turn cold in September, but they should be fine:

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In the meantime I needed to protect the lettuces from the birds so I used some enviromesh as my nets aren’t quite wide enough for this bed:


I also sowed some carrots in my greenhouse (it says the latest sowing should be July on the packet, but as I think they will be fine as they are in the greenhouse)


As it is now the middle of August, I decided to give my outdoor tomatoes a bit of help to ripen…..so I removed a few of the lower leaves so the sun can ripen the tomatoes easily:

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The outdoor tomatoes are doing really well this year, but unfortunately I can’t say the same for my greenhouse tomatoes.  I have been battling with whitefly in my greenhouse all summer and now four of my plants have finally started to die off, maybe from a virus transferred by the aphids?


I picked the tomatoes and then I have removed the plants and destroyed them.  A lot of them were ripe and ready to eat, but I’m sure the green ones will still ripen (though some will be small), so I have put them in my mini greenhouse as I don’t want to waste anything:

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I noticed in my garden this week that the ’60 day’ raab and the phacelia (green manure) that I sowed last week has already germinated……I suspect that is because we have had quite a bit of rain this last week:

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This week I have had our first spinach harvest and it tasted lovely fried in a bit of butter…


I dug up the last of my second early potatoes (marfona):


And I have continued to harvest runnerbeans…..


….and spring onions, lettuce, chives, kohl rabi, outdoor tomatoes and the odd cucumber.  We have had some lovely salads:

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At home this week:

I made some pickled red cabbage this week from some of the cabbage I picked last week:

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I made some pickled onions from the spring onions I picked last week that were going over slightly:

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And I have continued to freeze the runnerbeans that we haven’t cooked and eaten straight away:


I also cooked the beetroot that my friend gave to me and sliced it and froze it.  This way I can take a few slices out of the freezer at a time, for my daughter who doesn’t like beetroot that has been pickled in vinegar.



I also went blackberry picking this week and managed to find quite a few to freeze.  These will be used for pies and crumbles, but mostly for ‘smoothies’ which my daughters love:


Finally this week I did my usual batch bread baking session.  I made white and wholemeal rolls and a loaf of bread to slice.  Most of these will be frozen to eat over the week as usual.

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So over all it has been a very productive week!


Thank you for reading my blog today, I will be back next Friday as usual.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

34 thoughts on “A Judy Update & A Kind Visit

  1. I so love these Judy updates! Thank God for your “stubbornness”, as now she is living a more normal, loving existence.

  2. Really glad you persevered with July she looks happy now. I have tomatoes problems too, think it’s botrytis from rubbing supports even had sclerotia on two outdoor plants, probabally the weather.your are amazingly productive very impressed. I don’t like vinegar on beetroot so I’m going to try you boil,slice and freeze method. Thanks for posting.x

  3. Lovely to hear how Judy is doing, what a shock to find you are her fourth owner. What a thoughtful visit from the allotment friend. Its a good idea batch baking for the week ahead.Have a good week.

  4. You and Judy sound like you were meant for each other. Its so nice, so…SATISFYING to read about you guys!
    Lol, I was eyeballing your bread, and came to the conclusion that it would only last us four or five days! Hehehe! This is why I don’t bake bread for all of us! I would never have time for anything else! Lol!

  5. Hi – it was so wonderful to hear how well Judy is now responding to the training that you sought to help her so much (and you!). She has had a very difficult background before you adopted her – deep shame on the RSPCA for their awful system. I am appalled to hear how you have just found out about previous owners and poor thing being sent back and forth. No wonder you had such a difficult time with her. You were meant to have her with your common sense and empathy. You’re brilliant. She is just lovely now, thanks to you and your clever trainer. By the way, what a busy busy bee you’ve been as always. I don’t know how you do it. I think you’re a rare gem. It’s always breathtaking reading your blog. A year fitted into one week – every week! Best wishes to you, your family and gorgeous Judy, Patricia x

  6. It’s amazing what rain can do. On Friday I had no courgettes and today I have two!

    You’ve got a brilliant harvest and I’m so glad Judy is settling down. I used to have a dog called Judy, too 🙂

  7. Hello there,really pleased Judy is getting on so well.Well done to your daughter for her AS results a stressful time for them – much more stressful than when we were at school my son had his results too!Can I just pick your brains please which raspberry canes would you recommend to plant now and do you think getting them from a seed catalogue is ok?and also we are a family of 5 how many canes would you recommend ?We do love raspberries and space isn’t an issue luckily!Many thanks and have a good week.

    • Hi there Louise and thank you for reading my blog.

      It really is up to you how many you plant…we love them so I would plant as many as I could fit in lol. Summer raspberries seem to give a higher yield but autumn raspberries spread the harvest. You usually plant raspberries in the winter (Nov to early March). There is some great info here that may interest you: http://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-raspberries Any container plants can be planted now, but usually you buy the raspberries bare rooted and plant them between Nov – early March provided the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged….make sure the area is weed free before you plant the canes (as perennial weeds are hard to remove afterwards) and work some rotted manure or compost in the ground first.

      Hope that helps you Louise

  8. Hi, I have been on your blog for a few months now and really love reading your posts on a Monday Morning before I start work, I tried your Black Fly Brew and it did an excellent job, and I must say the allotment smelt wonderful, needless to say I have had an absolute bounty of runner beans, to the stage I didn’t know what to do with so many – I have given some away, pickled, frozen and have just this weekend attempted to make a Runner Bean Wine (supposed to taste like sherry), I have made you beetroot cake recipe YUM ! and the ice cream YUM too but 2nd batch I added mint extract instead of vanilla and some choc chips unfortunately to say I didn’t get a look in my partner and son scoffed the lot before I got a look in. Well done for keeping you blog going I haven’t found one as good as yours, interesting, informative and extremely helpful

  9. Your Judy updates brighten my day. I’m so glad she’s found her forever home. Your gardening skills inspire me. What a lovely blog! MRS LH

    • Thank you Mrs LH, that is very kind of you to say. I have had such lovely comments about my blog recently and I was so wrong to think people wouldn’t enjoy it after I gave my allotments up….I am very pleased that so many people enjoy it.

  10. Judy is lucky to have found her forever home with you. Many people would give up as is shown by her records. That rescue organization should be made aware of how hard it is for the dog as well as the humans.

    • Thank you Julianne for saying that. It has been really hard for us and in February we did nearly give up on her. The rescue centre didn’t lie…but they didn’t give us the full story, but I suppose if we had known we wouldn’t have adopted Judy and I am so glad we did. However, like you said alot of people would have given up on her and it really wouldn’t have been good for her to go back for a fifth time into a rescue centre.

      Thank you for reading my blog Julianne

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