Monday, 16 February 2015

Life Saver

I had a thought the other night when I was looking through old photos of the allotment and getting that urge of growing things again... I never discussed a time saver I discovered a very good piece of software... it was from GrowVeg

It was very handy indeed as it will map out your plot areas and gives you reminders when to plant certain things out and at what time.... below is a link to the page for more details... note... If you buy this product I will get a small fee, this will just help me maybe buy a new spade one day ;)

Take the free trial, I did and I used it since day 1 of my allotment days

http://www.growveg.com/affiliate-referral.aspx?aff-id=1180&redirect=freetrial.aspx

Catch you all soon

Stuart

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Long Time... No See

Hi guys,



Well it's been a while and no updates from me... I’m sorry for that and I promise I will keep posting more regularly. However much has changed in the last year. I have a son who will be one later on in this month. My wife and I can’t believe how quick it has gone! Also as some of you may know I gave up the allotment to spend some quality time with Ted.

I may have given up the allotment but I didn’t give up on gardening all together. I created three new raised beds in the back garden... not much went into them last year but this year will be different as I want to get Ted into gardening from a young age. So with my three raised beds a boarder or two and my greenhouse I am sure I will have enough to keep him entertained.

We had some eventful times with Ted in the last year due to an allergy his got, his allergic to milk protein; you can read more about his situation on my wife’s blog https://mummytalesofanallergybaby.wordpress.com

This is only a quick hello and notification that I shall be uploading more posts etc with the idea that I will explore my trials and achievements with trying to show a toddler how to grow his own food!!

At the moment we are re-fitting our kitchen and our old one is in the garden waiting to be taken down the tip!

See you soon

Stuart

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Edible Garden Show...

Now this was the first time myself and my wife went to a 'grow your own' expedition, and what an experience! I loved it, not only was there loads and loads of stalls offering great products but experts talking about our craft. My favourite by far was James Wong, I watched both of his talks. The highlight of my day was meeting the very same man and getting him to sign his new book 'Homegrown Revolution', which im in the process of reading and getting some great ideas from.

James Wong
 
Mine and Lauren's book signed by James Wong

James Wong is very passionate about his new cause 'Homegrown Revolution' I can understand where he is coming from, why grow something that you can buy from your local green grocer for a fraction of the price... he recommends growing more expensive and unusual foods like New Zealand Yams, Tasmanian mountain pepper and many more things. I shall be trying a few of the things in the book and we also bought three Ka-Pows! Yes you heard me Ka-Pows! A Ka-Pow! is a soft berry that is grown on a bush and it is much sweeter than a strawberry. Lauren and I were very excited about this one as it is a limited edition and only available at the show. I can't wait to prance around my allotment site with these berries ;)

A Ka-Pow! (before I potted it up)
 
Our Ka-Pow!s all potted up!
 
As you may know or not, I have been given a new plot, it is double the size of my existing plot so this weekend I shall be transferring all my timber in my new plot and then I can plant my Ka-Pows!
As you can see I am very excited about all the new and exotic things I want to grow in the future but don't get me wrong I will still be growing all the staple allotment foods like beetroot, runner beans, onions, leeks and peas as these are far superior than the supermarket! I also enjoy growing these types of food. 
 
Other than the experts there was a heck a lot of stuff to do and see, the small holding marque was good, there was a lot of chickens and pigs in there so that was a lot of fun seeing all the different breeds. 
 

 


 
There are a lot of animals I would love to keep, but I am so tempted to keep chickens... the wife isn't too sure! 
 
At the end of the day we were exhausted and our hands were full of bags of goodies. So it was a great day I am only disappointed that the show is moving to London for next year, I wish them all the luck in the world for next year but it is a bit too far to travel for us so we will be hoping other similar shows will be more local for us to access! 
 
Thank you for reading...
 
Please follow me on Twitter @adventuresallot
 
 

 

 



Sunday, 3 March 2013

A Trip or Two Down The Allotment

I had a couple of trips down the allotment in the last few weeks to get things moving with my new raised beds... first thing I needed to do was get some compost for the strawberry bed and the root bed. I opted for the councils recycled material compost or as they call it 'soil conditioner'. I picked up 40 bags of it from our local tip.

Each bag contained 40 litres, I had to make 4 trips. The paths at the allotment was so bogged down I couldn't risk taking the car up the tracks in case I got stuck. So I had to carry each bag 100 yards. I can tell you I was exhausted after doing that 40 times! To make it worse I kept slipping on wet sloppy mud! Further more after loading my last 10 bags and about to leave the tip... the guy who took my money then told me that I could of actually got it delivered to my plot! I took the chaps number and said I would do that next time... Not my favorite allotment trip!


As you can see I had no energy to place them down nicely
Then I lugged those 40 bags down the plot to empty them into two beds. My strawberry bed took 12 bags and my root bed took 28 bags, my root bed is not yet fully filled but it will do for this season I think!
The root bed...
The strawberry patch...
The main reason why I bought this compost is the price... £2 for 40 litres is very good price so I came to the conclusion that I will use it as a bulking agent and at a later date I would be able to add better quality compost or farmyard manure. I will also be using seaweed extract liquid that I got from Shropshire Seaweed.
Last week a local brewery delivered a few sacks of spent hops! So of course I nabbed myself 3 sacks and one sack went into the strawberry bed and the other two sacks went into the root bed.

The spent hops
The hops before I raked them in
The hops smelt gorgeous when I first got them but after a few days they stunk, as my wife kept telling me yesterday. I have heard good things from other plot holders that spent hops work really well for them. So I took the chance and mixed them in my new compost. 

Yesterday myself and Lauren popped down the lottie to plant the new strawberry runners that I bought from Thompson&Morgan. I got three varieties... Elegance, which is a mid season variety. Florence, a late season variety and Flamenco, an ever-bearing variety which should flower from May to November. Its a good thing that myself and Lauren love strawberries. 

Me separating the strawberry runners (I think I need a tan)
We have a week off this week so hopefully we can get a few jobs done at the lottie like taking a few trips to the tip to get rid of some rubbish and getting the ground ready for planting for the coming spring. 
So all in all I have had a trip or two down the allotment....

Thanks for reading...
Stuart (@allotadventures)


 UA-38992916-1




Sunday, 3 February 2013

My first constuction project

Hi everyone, well I decided to buy some scaffolding boards and I wanted to make four main beds and two raised beds at the back of the plot. So last week I recruited the father-in laws help with driving the Transit van and we traveled an hour and a half to pick up the boards. When we got there we saw a French flag flying proud. The chap who was selling the boards to me was a Scouser, so not the typical French man. So when we loaded the boards on the van we had to ask "why the flag?" It wasn't much, he was only in the French Foreign Legion for five years! A man you want to be with in a pub!

Anyway back to the plot we went... First of all the gate was broken so we couldn't get in the site! So I had to jump the gate and the father in law passed the boards through the fence near the plot. We only had 36 of them! We had 16 3mtr boards and the rest was 6ft boards. So after stacking them all on the plot I had no energy to start so I decided to leave it till yesterday.



The plan was to have the main beds 4.5mtrs x 4.5mtrs. Lauren started to measure and it would take a full 3mtr and I had to cut some off a 6mtr board so we would have a lot of off cuts. So we decided instead to construct the beds 4.5mtrs x 3mtrs.

The first bed constructed

As you can see from the pic I constructed the first bed, with this bed I used a hammer and nails, what a mistake! It took me ages! So the wife went to her Dad to get a drill for me! Life saver! Its not a perfect bed but it does what it says on the tin. Eventually this will be filled with organic matter but I'm not overly concerned about that at this stage. This will be done through the years.

This is my sawing bench!
So with the aid of a power drill it made the process a lot easier!


The second bed was constructed. As you might see in the pic, you can see quite a mistake. Look at the gate... is there anything wrong? haha now it can not shut fully! So when I'm at the plot next I'm going to switch the hinges so it opens outwards.


So after most of the day I got the four main beds constructed! As we had to change our plans I have a lot of space still for other beds. So what I am going to do on Thursday (my next day off) I am going to see how much timber I have left and I will construct as many raised beds as possible. I say I used only half the plot for my main beds so hopefully I can construct around 6 raised beds in the available area.

All in all I had a good day, I made the plot my own and I have added structure to the place, this enables crop rotation to be easier, weeding will become easier as I will see separate areas to weed instead of a whole plot.

On another note my rhubarb is starting to make an appearance :)





Spring is almost upon us! I can't wait for the long evenings and the warm sun... and wearing shorts!!!

I hope you enjoyed reading this....

Twitter @adventuresallot




Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Allotment T-Shirt Venture

Hi guys, I hope everyone is fine... I have created an allotment themed t-shirt which is good quality fabric and printing. I hope that I can sell them and create more designs in the future. Here is a picture of what I have created :)

 The War Is Still On!

They come in small, medium, large and extra large. They retail at £7.99 plus £2 P&P.

If you want one please e-mail me on... allotmentadventures@hotmail.com or you can buy one on eBay Allotment Adventures New T-Shirt - eBay

I hope you like the t-shirt :)

Thank you for reading

Stuart


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