A wintry allotment

And a happy New Year to BOTH my readers! Not too convinced by 2016 so far,  but it’s early days yet. I spent about three weeks over Christmas away from Northumberland and my allotment. I think this enforced separation was good for us both, really. I never wanted allotmenteering to feel like a chore – that would defeat the whole point – but in autumn, things started to get a bit overwhelming, even though I was visiting every weekend plus the occasional lunchtime. It feels good to be able to start everything again. Even if I am struggling to reaccustom myself to the weather up here.

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I took my family the rest of the oka, and sent my grandparents the sprouts I was too afraid to eat. I was afraid because they’d had a caterpillar infestation (sprouts not grandparents), and had no idea what this would do to the sprouts, but they looked fine. I am probably a bad granddaughter for offloading dubious sprouts on my grandparents, but they said they enjoyed them.

I got a few nice gardening-related presents for Christmas:

I get through gardening gloves ridiculously quickly, so these ones are especially welcome as they look a little more durable than most, but still flexible enough to do weeding etc. Grow your own sloe gin is more of a kit containing blackthorn plant seeds, and I’m not under the delusion that I’ll be tucking into sloe gin from them any time within the next decade, but it’ll be nice to extend the small hedge I’ve been planning.

I’m enjoying this ‘plan everything’ time. I’m trying to be less ambitious because I have so many seeds left over from last year that I just didn’t have time (or space, unbelievably) to plant. My resolutions for 2016 include making jam for the first time (I’m trying to become even more of a middle class stereotype, after this all I have to do is work out how quinoa is pronounced and join the WI). That’s the only one strictly gardening-related. I went to Liverpool for the first time since I was very small over Christmas and have resolved to return, for example, but it’s the jam-making I’ll concentrate on for the purposes of this blog. I’ve bought most of the stuff I need for this next growing season and will now wait patiently until the ground is less frozen before planting everything.

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