Onions!

This eve we popped out to check the allotment area to see what was what as the show was melted and the area was clear. We started raking up certain areas and suddenly discovered some small onion stems coming up! The last tenants left onions over the winter time! So we went to work! We found many small red and white onions to collect in our bowl-they should be able to keep us going for bit at least : ) Podge the Cat even tried a bit of digging as you will see from the photos above! We are happy with the onion find as they have cost us nothing so free food! Once we got them inside we gave them a good wash and cleaned them up. We have laid them all out on a tray to dry in the sun tomorrow-so they will last longer! : )

Planting Seeds!

This weekend we have been trying to at least plant some seeds to get them started so we have some small plants to grow on and then transfer outside when it is better weather and Spring properly arrives! We are currently potting a number of seeds indoors every weekend in the hope they will begin to grow and be ready for the coming spring time. Also once they have grown a little we are aiming to harden off the plants everyday on the balcony to get them accustomed to the outdoor climate so we can fully plant them outside and have success!

In this last batch I had a great mixture of seeds to try:

Baby Leeks-provided by http://www.thompson-morgan.com/ who have a great selection of seeds and plants! Also I got to use my new paper potter from them too-great fun and uses old newspapers to make free pots!

Some Electric Daisies (edible flowers) to zing up the allotment from http://www.suttons.co.uk/ who have a great variety of seeds including heritage seeds and James Wongs new collection.

Last but not least my Thyme and Rocket seeds to try from http://www.allotinabox.com/grow-your-own/ who sent me a great set including the name tags, seeds and a planting wheel to help me : )

Overall, I am very excited about testing this varied combination of seeds out-will keep you posted on which work best and how they get on growing and when we transfer some of them outside whilst others will be just as suited to the windowsill, wish us luck growing!

Katy : )

Granddad Basils Beekeeping

Some of Grandad Basils beehives-flusky the cat bravely sitting on one!

Some of Grandad Basils beehives-flusky the cat bravely sitting on one!

Some more stories from the Nuttery Runacres smallholding. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed talking to Dad and Auntie Diana about it.

Granddad Basil started bee-keeping whilst at the Nuttery Smallholding. Granddad had up to 20 hives in total! Dad was telling me that the system worked well-he kept 6 hives at the Nuttery and moved the other ones around the village to aid pollination  Often these hives were  kept in other friends or locals gardens or spare fields. Granddad made all the hives and inner frames for them up in the ‘bee-shed’ which I have spoken about before! This shed was an old pre-fab building moved to the Nuttery and kept Granddad Basil happy for hours! Luckily Granddad loved it lots as Dad and Grandma could not get too involved as both were allergic to bee stings!

Additionally, the veg and fruit patch kept my grandparents, Auntie Diana and Dad very busy too! The plot had about 2 dozen blackcurrant bushes for a good 20 years before they got worn out! Also 3 long good rows of raspberries-dad remembers a good year when they harvested over 300 punnets of fruit to sell at a local Green Grocers up Bramford Road, Ipswich. Still, there was plenty of fruit glut left for jam making! There was a large strawberry cage-Granddad Basil had got hold of some ex-fishing nets to cover the plants and protect them. Again, the veg patch did just as well with the glut of asparagus being sold or swapped for sweet chestnuts with one of granddads work mates! The rhubarb patch kept Grandma busy with new recipes for pies, jams and crumbles. Moreover, among other goodies to eat there were cabbages, carrots, potatoes, onions, other brassicas and over 20 yards of runner bean plants to harvest!