Sunday, 17 June 2007

Food Miles ? 17.06.07

Hi and welcome to this weeks update. Before I go too far, may I extend a warm welcome to my regular visitors from overseas, specifically from California, British Columbia, Israel, and Poland. Its nice to know I'm reaching an audience far afield, and I hope you will keep returning.

We've had a mixed bag of weather this week; some heavy rain and some glorious sunshine, all of which have been good to the plot. So where do I start ? Food miles seem to be a favourite topic at the moment, i.e. How far did your food travel to reach your dining plate ?
Well you'll have to bear with me as my maths is not that good. I'm guessing then that these new potatoes (v. Rocket & Nicola), have travelled the monumental distance of 0.003Km ! Straight from the plot on Friday afternoon and served up for tea. They were absolutely delicious, and well worth the wait.
I'm going to be harvesting more of these from the plot over the next couple of weeks, which will make space for the next sowing of crops for Autumn / Winter. Watch this space to see what is going where!

Fresh dug Beetroot (v. Boltardy) were a great accompaniment to the spuds, and although only golf ball size they too were delicious.

Pulling a few at this size gives the rest of the row a bit more room to increase in size.

They went down a treat too, so much tastier than the shop brought version that has probably traveled half way round the world to reach us.

So go on, get growing. You won't believe the taste !

You wouldn't have to go far back in the blog to see how much my maincrop (v. King Edward) spuds have grown. They're easily 2'6" tall now and seem to visibly grow as you watch them.

I'm again a tad concerned as I don't think I've left them enough room to flourish. Time will tell. Even if they turn out a bit small, they will not be wasted.

Elsewhere on the plot, it's a bit quiet at the moment, concentrating mainly of maintenance rather than any planting.

Looking back toward the patio area, its nice to see the Runner Beans growing so well. Maybe losing the broad beans a couple of weeks ago was a blessing in disguise? It turns out that no-one in the house apart from me likes them anyway - so I guess I would have had a lot to eat if they had survived.
The dwindling blackfly population is good news too. I've been watching "Springwatch" this week on the BBC, and have discovered you can buy "Ladybird Boxes" to give the sweet creatures a place called home. As soon as I find one, I'll be buying and will hang it nearby. Hopefully it will be a good investment.
You'll notice too that I've added some links to my "Favourite Places" section, just some of the wonderful sites I've found this week.

My mixed plot is going great guns too! As I mentioned earler, I've thinned the Betroot out a bit, still plenty to come yet.
The carrot's are putting on great growth, as are the parsnips.
The leaves on the Garlic are just starting to yellow, as are the shallot's. Both will be monitored over the coming weeks so that they are harvested when at their best. I'm pleased to note too that the raised beds are retaining the moisture better than i expected.

The toms are going great too, and I've taken this pic to show not only the toms, but also the companion planting which I've used to attract the bee's.
I've also added the Basil plant, which hopefully will deter the Whitefly from the area, and keep the toms trouble free,seems to be working so far.
Please don't look too closely at the terrible patio! I inherited it like this and over the winter I plan to completely re lay it, and hope I can do a better job than this!

Rather than 4 separate images of my hanging baskets, I tried a collage on my imaging software. What do you think ? Always keen to try new ideas. The Baskets are all growing well, and the bee's love them. I read in the week that Bumblebee's are especially attracted to Trailing Lobelia, as the nectar is so easy to get at ? Don't know if thats the case or not. Either way, they are lovely to look at.
A nice little pic of my Clematis! This plant previously belonged to my Nana Read, and adorned the porch of my grandparents house in Coventry. Can anyone please tell me the name of it ? I would love to know. When I see this plant I always remember Nana & Grandad, and their love for the garden.

Keen as I am to grow the veg, it's also a very rewarding thing to grow some colour! This little bed was started by "Top-up", and bearing in mind the amount of gnat bites she got when it was done, I'm extremely grateful. The Gladioli are growing well, as are the Dahlia and Cineraria that I've added. The mulch is also holding in the moisture. Thanks mum.

And finally for today, a pic of "Reads Retreat".
The shed was looking a bit drab and dreary recently, but a fresh coat of wood preserver has sprung it back to life.
I'm thinking of getting a name board for it, so if anyone makes signs, please get in touch !That's about it for this week. I hope you've enjoyed my news, and I hope to see you all again soon.
Please leave me your comments. I hope to add an email link soon to handle all your enquiries !


1 comment:

Stuart said...

Great post Big Gaz. Do you have any 'before' shots for your shed? It looks great regardless.

Excellent idea with the beetroot as well. You will certainly allow your others some room to move.