November Review

Ok so there’s still a week to go in November! Have you achieved everything you wanted to? If not! 7 days left! Get going! 

Short and sweet…

I haven’t got too much to say this month, the mornings are dark, the evenings are darker and well it’s been bloody cold! The rain has relented in the last week though so I can’t moan too much….

So, what have I done this month? 

At the start of the month I sowed some more winter lettuce in my polytunnel, ‘pure craziness’ I hear you all cry. Well then call me crazy! I’ve done it! And when I’ve got a year round supply of the crispiest lettuce leaves and you’re eating soggy supermarket dross from the back of your fridge, I’ll show you who’s crazy… 

No-dig manure

I’ve put some real effort into prep for next year, no-dig style. I’ve barrowed loads of mature onto my plot, hoping it will finish off any small weeds over the colder months and saturate my soil with smelly goodness.The plan is to go again with another layer of compost  on top when I get round to ordering some! 

On the topic of compost! I’ve started a proper compost bin for the first time. Now, I do have 4 already but they’ve become more glorified bins for weeds and plants. With this latest venture I’ve actually made an effort to follow the principals of compost making. Layers, browns, greens etc. You’ve heard it all before. I even purchased a compost thermometer, check me out!! Black gold is the aim… we’ll see! 

In other news my dahlia tubers are all up and stored away. I’ve even prepared a new home for them ready for the spring. I’ve planted upward of 200 spring bulbs; I have the back strain and dirty knees to show for it. 

Christmas wreath

Off the plot I’ve started making fresh Christmas wreaths ready to go into some local farm shops, I’ve made a few available online. (shameless plug) 

The good, the bad, the ugly….

Let’s start with the awful news, poor old Ethel left us this month, she declined rapidly over 24 hours. Despite my best efforts including a night in the house, wrapped in blankets she gave in. She was a beauty, had a great life and a peaceful end. 

Not quite so heart-breaking but annoying non the less, is the disastrous Xmas potatoes. They just haven’t grown, plain and simple. Rubbish!! And I’ve got to wait the best part of a year to put this right! I will have Christmas potatoes next year! I swear!!  Seriously though, I tried them in the ground in my polytunnel and despite a few green shoots of hope. Nothing. I need to go back to the drawing board for next year. 

I have enjoyed some fresh produce this month, it’s November and the last of this seasons bounty is providing me with some joy. Carrot and beetroot were both enjoyed, mainly just accompanying a Sunday roast to warm the cockles. 

All the garlic and onions have been planted, green growth showing already. The first frost will have helped the garlic, fingers crossed I’ll have garlic bulbs a-plenty next year. 

Away from the bad news emulating from the brood, the 3 young guns are still firing away maintaining a supply of 3 eggs a day. Will these warriors slow down? Time will tell! Friends and family are certainly reaping the rewards. 

What’s next? 

Allotment committee meeting this Saturday and mulled wine morning the following. I know how to live! 

Sprouts

On the plot, it will mainly be prep for next season. I’ve got big plans! I must prepare the beds with more manure, I have a ton being delivered on Dec 1st and will continue to top up the wood chip paths. 

I have done a much better job with my sprouts and parsnips for xmas dinner. I’ll spend the 24 days leading to christmas dinner checking and double checking on arguably, the most important veg of the year. I’ve promised the family fresh sprouts! I must deliver! I’ll keep you updated. 

In the coming week I’ll post up a video tour on my YouTube channel The Essex Allotment or if you don’t already, follow my daily antics on Instagram. 

Hope you’ve had prosperous month! 

Alex

The Essex Allotment

3 thoughts on “November Review

  1. Hello! I follow you on Instagram but I didn’t realise you have a youtube channel as well so I’ll go check that out later. So sorry about your chicken, Ethel. I began keeping chickens 12 years ago (at home not on my allotment) and it still upsets me every time one passes away. I had an Ethel many years ago, an ex battery hen with a wonky leg. Your wreaths are gorgeous by the way!

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