I failed to do a July allotment update, partly because not a lot happened but mostly because I wasn’t here, I was on Inis Meáin learning Irish, as is my custom.
That only took up 95% of my mental capacity, so I used the remaining 5% not for normal things like ‘remembering to sleep and to feed myself’, but instead for ‘noticing the plant life on the island’. I was quite taken with how the potatoes are grown, for example, with seaweed being used as compost (and I can attest to the fact that this makes them taste especially good). My own potatoes aren’t doing fantastically well this year, but they were fairly low down the priority list.
I had a great time despite the neglect of my own allotment, and I’ll be going back to the Aran Islands later in the year. Not sure if there’ll be anything notable in terms of plant life but I will, as ever, remain vigilant.
Back to my own allotment, then, and the best thing that’s happened is this:
I had no idea artichokes grew that quickly – compared to just a couple of months ago, or even back in May, they’re huge, and I’ve now got to look up interesting artichoke recipes because I think I’ll have a few to eat before long.
The asparagus is still doing OK – it’s less obviously successful than the artichokes but it’s survived (I thought a lack of water had killed it off totally while I was away).
Of course, the most important bit of harvesting all this food is eating it. This is the first year I’ve successfully grown garlic, and I even had ‘kind-of’ carrot success (full disclosure: I bought a Rainbow Carrot set designed for children from Homebase) after growing them in containers.
I managed to make a stew that was maybe 90% home-grown (I bought the dill because mine all perished while I wasn’t paying attention, and I also added fennel because I had some to use up):
(I’ve made more colourful meals, it’s true, but it’s the taste that counts). So despite my ongoing occasional neglect of the allotment, it’s still worth having since it gets me the odd free meal. Tune in next time when I’ll exclusively be eating home-grown potato wedges.