Monthly Archives: May 2008

Allotment rhubarb season started

Last weekend, we started the allotment rhubarb crumble season. Delicious! Its such an easy thing to grow and cook and I don’t understand why rhubarb is so expensive in the shops – £1.88 per pound or about £3.86 per kilogram. The last two years I had less rhubarb than the first year, by minimising the four or five rhubarb plants to just one gigantic one, which seems to have died now and needs to be split into all the little rhubarby knots developping out of it. The first year I had so much rhubarb I did not know what to do with it – I distributed it to neighbours and friends and fellow allotmenteers and had gigantic loads of plastic bags full to give away.

Last year was a slight disaster when trying to grow tomatoes and peppers and aubergines, I think it only works when you have a garden or allotment close-by your home, so you can water these every day, if needed even twice in early morning and evening. Edinburgh is in a big allotment crisis, like the rest of Scotland, and so my allotment is about 30 min away on the bus/bicycle and about 20 min with the car. I just can’t go there every day. And to aleviate the waiting lists, the allotment plot distributor has started splitting them into halves, which makes the plots a little bit too small for putting up proper big sheds and green houses, as well as trees or ponds or expand into growing flowers or to try any effort in being self sufficient in staples like potatoes and onions.

So this year I am trying to grow simple veggies like cucumbers and courgettes again, also I have started on an asparagus bed, with asparagus seedlings raised myself over the winter from Organic Gardening seeds Jersey Knight and Connover Colossol. Its a great way to save money on seeds rather than buying crowns if you have the time to wait a year or two longer before harvesting the spears.

I am still having problems with the big aphid invasion in my flat, my kiwi plant looks extremely unhappy this year after being covered in an abundance of green leaves last year, it only has about 2-3 leaves left now.

I started a herb spiral but have always had some problems with growing herbs on the balcony or in my flat. They just seem to die when they are seedlings, and I never was able to raise kitchen herbs but for one parsley which died, too.

This year I am planning on trying to grow a lot of salads for me, my friend and my guinea pigs. My allotment neighbours have small kids and one emptied the whole seed packet out in a row, they have had a gigantic salad supply therefore over the whole winter. The kid seems to have something going for it with this idea – a lot of my seed packets are in danger of being outdated, and I am seriously considering to therefore apply the same approach.

Last year I got some seed bands – biggest disappointment of my life. It’s not worth the money, hardly anything germinated at all.

I am quite gratefull that two friends of mine are looking after most of the allotment plot this sumemr as I won’t be there – and they keep it imaculate and seem to be very successfull gardeners.

Somebody nicked some tools out of our shed – including the hoe of one of my allotment plot partners grandfather. It is a bit weird in that the person seems to carry these away one by one, we did not get a door with our weird shed which we always have been regretting a lot.

Guinea Pig Dreams

I had a dream this weekend, but a less dramatic one than Martin Luther Kings. I dreamt that my three guinea pigs had multiplied into a colony of 40 and come all with their own cages or so, and I went on holiday and quickly needed to find people to look after and keep them. So, my task in my dream was to match up guinea pig personalities with friends’ and collegues’, and it was a quite weird task.

Luckily Minilli, Guinea Lee and Misty weren’t appearing in my dream. The three pumpkins are doing well though I haven’t yet managed to integrate Misty into Minillis and Guinea Lees close-knitted community. She seems now more up to it, so might be trying this evening.
The guinea pig books I have all say not to try to put adult unknown guinea pigs together as they live in family colonies, but I hope it will go well, as they have been staying in different cages for the last three weeks. So maybe they are regarding each other as family now. Guinea Lee has been trying to impress Misty with a chauvenistic guinea boar appearance, striding along with impressive sounds.