Thursday, 24 July 2008

Allotment July 2008

Four months on, and it's all looking wonderful. Nikolai built me a shed, which you can see on the left of this photo:
Leafy greens (spinach, lettuce) in the foreground, potatoes behind them:
The corn is nearly as tall as me now, and it has tassels where the corn is forming:

We've been harvesting potatoes and onions. This was the very first potato plant we dug up, an early variety called Robinta. You plant one potato, you get 14 out!! Next year, I'm going to try Maris Piper and Pentland Javelin potatoes. The Robintas are the earlies - we still have lots of Desiree and Homeguard varieties waiting to be dug up later this month.
Onions looking healthy:
You pick them when the leaves are all yellow and fallen over, which is about now. Next year I'm planting hundreds of onions!!

These are the runner beans and purple climbing french beans (foreground):

I built this stick support for some borlotti beans. A bit of an experiment, as I planted them quite late in the season. On the right hand side are two crown pumpkin plants. The idea is that they'll creep along the ground and suppress the weeds around the beans. Let's see...

And there are tomatoes:

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Why I love Freecycle

I thought I had discovered the cleverest thing when a friend told me to "go find it on freecycle", and I did. But, of course, the cleverest thing had already been discovered by everyone else, which was exactly why it worked so well.

For those that have no idea what I'm talking about, go to It doesn't take long to figure out. This is from the front page of their website:

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,543 groups with 5,477,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

The more I've used it, the more pleasing I've found it. Here's why:

1. Freecycle provides the vicarious thrill of seeing what other people throw out and pick up.
2. Freecycle satisfies your acquisitional consumerist urge AND your urge to be a green eco-bunny at the same time.
3. Freecycle gives you the opportunity to feel generous and helpful and to make others feel happy and appreciative, for absolutely no cost to anyone.
4. You can get some really cool stuff.

Happy freecycling!