Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Allotment in September

A quick visit to my allotment provided me with some lovely late ripening fruit and a chance to check that everything was ok up there.

Above I let a sucker from a floppy stuffy rose grow out in preference to the man made variety and over the course of 1 season has provided me with much more interest than the cultivar could. Look at all the lovely rose hips! Im hoping for even more next year! I did wonder about what I could use them for- but havent found a recipe that has interested me enough yet to try so left these for the wildlife.

The Globe artichokes flower heads had just gone over but are still looking beautiful and hopefully will provide some birds with some food.

I got my first and only pear from my small tree! Im hoping for more next year! :)

The sunflower seed heads were placed on the compost heaps and its easy to see were a hit with someone! Either a bird or mouse has come and pulled them up and eaten them there and then! Great to see!

And lastly a surprise for some very late strawberries! They were delicious!


I went to the Museum of London to see the new Pirates exhibition all about Captain Kidd.

And even saw an original Jolly Roger which I learnt was red as opposed to the black flag you associate with pirates these days.

The rest of the museum is amazing and would highly recommend a visit over to the docklands. Its very pretty round that part of London.

Saw a lovely Tortoiseshell Butterfly soaking up the late summer sun!

What happened to October?!

Sorry about the gap in the posts- the last few months have flown by!

Ok so its actually late November- so i completely missed out October!

What happened in that month? Lets see what I can remember!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Signs of Autumn..

One of my colleagues brought in a Colchium bulb into work- they are also known as Autumn Crocus (for obvious reasons) or Naked Ladies!. The plants are famous for not needing to be planted in any soil in order for them to flower- simply placed on the side as a bare bulb and let the plant get on with it! As can be seen above- beautiful! :)


An Urban Farm in Dalston?? Yep thats right- in a disused shop in the east of London is FARM:shop which combines the ideas of sustainable food, the local community, ecology as well as hopefully a viable business!

The shops aims to grow much of its own vegetables on the premises, and uses hydroponics to be as sustainable as possible.

Tilapia are grown in vats - from which the water is used to fertilise the plants in a closed system.

There are even 3 very happy chickens kept on the roof of the shop! They provide eggs for the shop below to sell.

Hydroponics are used to grow greens for the cafe.

The fish in the tanks under the window and the water is circulated through the plants. At the end of the summer the fish are to be eaten.

Its a great idea and the staff were really friendly- highly recommended to pop in for a cuppa!!

2 mins from Dalston Junction station.

Leadenhall Market

I work close to Leadenhall Market and it was lovely to walk through it this morning when it was practically empty- which is unusual! It used to be a meat market and theres is a story about a Goose who escaped the slaughter of his compatriots and remained in the market as kind of a pet being fed by local bars- apparently he lived to the ripe old age of 38!

Such an amazing place in the heart of the City of London- now filled with pubs, cafes, restaurants and gift shops. Plus a great cheese shop! Yum! :)

Its even been used in the Harry Potter movies as a set for Diagon Alley.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Hackney City Farm

I'd never visited Hackney City Farm before- so as I had a day off today I decided to go and visit it. Its located in a corner of Haggerston Park in the East of London- probably about a 5 min walk from Hoxton overground station.

Its not a huge farm but I would really recommend visiting! They have a whole range of animals- from smaller pets like rabbits and guinea pigs, a goose, pigeons, and loads of free range chickens and ducks. And they have a flock of sheep, some pigs, a couple of goats and a donkey.

There is also a vegetable garden, a cafe, and a shop where they sell eggs and plants.

The chickens are pretty much allowed to wander everywhere which is lovely to see! I was particularly liked a large white Silkie cockerel who was crowing pretty much constantly! When he found a piece of corn- he used a different sound to call his girl friends over - who all came running to see what he had found for them- it was really sweet to see how he looked after them!

I wonder if these are the animals I met at the Phoenix Garden Agricultural show last month?.

Def go and visit this lovely place if you are in the area!

Open: Tues- Sun 10-4:30 Free Entry.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

My Hero

Its not often you get to meet your hero.... :)

The Allotment in September

Ok so the allotment is just beginning to look a little tired as we come to the final full productive month in the year. But there are several plants at their peak in september- the autumn fruiting raspberries and blackberries are ripening their fruits in the late summer sun- making a very welcome snack to have when im up there. I must grow more soft fruit next year- these blackberries are delicious!!

The Rainbow chard at the front will beginning dying back as the cool nights approach but the kale behind should keep through the winter.

The apples are ready to pick- if you can find some that havent been munched on! Luckily we have a whole tree to pick from!

The Romanesco Cauliflower is growing well- although a few of the tips are distorted from where they had been pushing through the leaves- but should straighten up- cant wait to try this!

Black Tuscan Kale should last through the winter with fresh leaves to pick in mild periods.

Brocolli should be picked soon before the frosts begin

My yellow courgettes are in full pelt- how long can they keep going?!!

Are these edible? My Mushroom ID skills are not up to much- so dont think I can risk it which is a shame.

YUM! A couple of our really tasty apples from the tree!

With the cooler nights already arriving- many of the plants will stop fruit and leaf production- so all that is left to do is dig out the rest of the potatoes and start tidying up the summer crops, and begin to plan what I want to grow next year! :)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Urban Physic Garden

I was walking through Southwark the other week and stumbled across a new urban garden- built on an old car park. Unfortunately for me I was in a hurry to meet my sisters as we were going to the theatre so didnt have much time to look around- so went to speak to the guy working there to ask when it was normally open to the public and he told me that actually that day was the last day it was open as it was being shut down- which was a shame- i dont find out why this was- perhaps lack of funding or short term lease of the site?? Either way- im sure it must have given the workers of the area a lovely place to come and walk around at lunchtime for the short time it was open. I think more places like this should be encouraged to be set up.

Everything was made in rasied beds and the floor covered in bark chips- a very simple idea and the whole place could be taken apart and rebuilt else where easily- and as no digging is required it could be set up in a whole range of derelict sites.

And the theatre was actually very good- went to watch Kevin Spacey in Richard III- im not really a Shakespeare fan- especially after a long day at work- it was a long show (just over 3 hours) but good fun!
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