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Smarter than the average bear


Another weekend is here and rather foolishly, I have decided to not spend all of it on the allotment. I can hear the cries of ‘madness’ and ‘folly’ from here but wait all, let me explain. Man (and mrs MK) cannot live by gardening alone, and occasionally we need to go and do strange/odd/fun things (or I get tutted at along with accusations of ‘you’re always on the allotment’, or ‘we never go anywhere’).

To prevent this I nipped into my favourite shop in Harrogate on the way home on Friday and bought some treats for the Saturday. This favourite shop just happens to be Betty’s (for those that don’t know, Betty’s is a family run tea shop with 6 shops in North Yorkshire, they bake all their own bread and cakes, use local produce and are always busy. This year they are celebrating their 90th birthday so they must be doing something right).

Afterwards I went and raided the allotment and the greenhouses. We managed to get enough items for a really decent salad, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions, salad potatoes, not to mention carrots, onion and cabbage to make coleslaw. That along with some nice bread, last years pickled beetroot and some ham made a lovely picnic.

So on a nice sunny Saturday we went to a charity event at Harrogate Rugby Club, all in aid of Reach and Ataxia UK. It was a tag rugby tournament with some well known Irish and Welsh players (including some current British and Irish Lions), to drink some beer (well it is rugby) and because I know a few of the players.

On Saturday afternoon after the tournament we packed up after a few hours at the event and headed off to Bolton Abbey for a picnic and to enjoy the lovely views of the Yorkshire Dales. It was a lovely day and a lovely picnic.

After returning I did manage to sneak off to the allotment and get some weeding done and can report that the courgettes are cropping as heavily as ever and that the sweetcorn is not yet ready.

In the evening we managed to have a barbecue and sat out enjoying the late afternoon sunshine and relaxing.

Is it just me or do other people despair at carrots? They appear with such promise and taunt you with their frilly green leaves and then take ages to grow and get to any decent size worth eating. I have a lot of carrots currently showing on the allotment, but most of them are very small.

The spring onions are in full harvest at the moment. Of the 2 rows of them I fully expect to use them all, and plan to plant double that next year.

The turnips are doing well, but even the small ones are starting to be a bit woodier than the earliest ones I pulled up. Not an issue really, you just cook them for a bit longer. There’s not that many of them left either, so we are going through them

The swede look good too, although I haven’t even thought about lifting one yet..

The second lot of peas are nearly ready for cropping, the runner beans have their first few beans on them and the broad beans are growing nicely.

The potatoes are looking good, with no sign of pests or diseases on the main crop (thank heavens), and there is only 3 first early potatoes left to pull up. I do still have most of the salad potatoes to dig, so I shall start them soon.

The leeks look very well established, the onions are hit and miss, but I have hope for them, mainly because they have some time left yet.

I still don’t know what to do with all the beetroot though (and can’t face many more brownies). Come the end of August we’ll have perfected the art of roasting beetroot and beetroot soup.

The second crop of raspberries is coming along well. The apple trees are also looking like they are going to have a decent crop. I may try and make some cider, or at the very least apple wine (I remember my Mum used to make apple wine and I believe that it was on the homemade apple wine that I first got drunk one Christmas).

In the greenhouse the cucumber plant has quite a few cucumbers growing on it and the crop of tomatoes looks very good.

What I wanted to also do this weekend was go to Kielder forest but you have to leave something for another day…

But as I keep saying it was a lovely picnic and knowing that it was all home grown was wonderful. And that makes our bear smarter than the average bear …

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Sounds like your weekend was enjoyable & your allotment is thriving MK!
All that hard work has paid off in yummy home-grown fruit & veg & you pleased Mrs MK too! :0)

26 Jul, 2009


A good weekend was had by all then,well done.....

26 Jul, 2009


Brilliant Mk a stack of veggies AND a whole load of brownie points into the bargain . Well done I shall need to learn this balancing act.

26 Jul, 2009


A good weekend then!
I remember my 20 years in Harrogate with great affection:))

26 Jul, 2009


A very busy day MK :) I love Betty's,not enough of them around.Been to the one in York.
If you can't reap the rewards of your hard labours now when can you !!
Does the bear go everywhere with you ?

26 Jul, 2009


I love bolton abbey. and harlow carr [rhs garden] has a betty's tea room too. a double reason to go :o)

26 Jul, 2009


Wonderful fruit and veg Mk, makes me want to keep trying.
Oh, must tell you, apart from my two beans I also have 3 apples!

26 Jul, 2009


Thats what you said wasn't it?
Seriously though it sounds like you had a great time and pleased Mrs. MK. (will you right that bit down and send it to me if I pm you my address?)
I am going to pm you but for a different reason.
Great blog MK :-))

27 Jul, 2009

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