Sunday, 24 May 2009

Sunny sunday

What a glorious day. I was up early to sort out seedlings at home, then I cycled up to the allotment, where the broad beans are in full flower. The blackfly have descended en masse, and there were several ladybirds scuttling round hungrily.

The first strawberries are reddening - I must get some straw to protect the precious fruit.

I'm so proud of my garlic. I've never grown it before, and I'm glad it likes conditions on the plot. It's such a luxurious looking crop. The main tasks today were planting out the squash and more pea seedlings. The mega-weed of last week shows, but there was more to be done around the fruit patch. Q rang later as I was on my way to Walthamstow, and he's going to tackle cleaning the onion bed.

On my way out, I stopped to chat to my lovely lottie neighbour Laura. She's a non-hybrid woman, growing everything from last year's seed. She was busy watering her carrots. Her potatoes are already in flower - no flowers on mine yet.
After hurtling back home, I headed over to Walthamstow farmers' market. It's small but perfectly formed, and today was the day of the annual plant fair.

First stop was the Seriously Italian stall. I first discovered them last year and was completely wowed by their gnocchi and pesto. It's the only pesto in a jar I've ever tasted and liked. Today I got a jar of the five-herb pesto.

Bread was on my shopping list, and I got a loaf of olive sourdough at the Le Moulin stall. Butter was on the list too, and I spotted some at the Lincolnshire Poacher stall.

The chap manning the stall was very cheerful. The Poacher guys have been making cheese since 1992 and they've won numerous awards. The cheese is unpasteurised and organic, made with milk from Holsteins. The Poachers have invented a special brush that the cows can use to clean themselves - you can see it in action here. Oh, and the cheese tastes yummy.
Next up was the serious business of the day - the plants.

There were more plant stalls today than last year, which is a great sight.

I loved these Zwartkop aeoniums - and I wasn't the only one - they'd attracted quite a crowd. I bagged one to take home, thus gaining another reason to hope for a long, hot summer. At the next door herb stall and bought a pot of dill for the garden herbiary.
I was thrilled to see that Muck and Magic, purveyors of extremely fine meat, now have a stall, so I bought a small joint of smoked gammon. My favourite of all my mother's Sunday lunches was boiled bacon, parsley sauce, broad beans and potatoes. No beans yet, but I've got some in the freezer.
Getting the gammon was a good excuse to stop at the Millwhites stall. I tasted several but my favourite was the dry Dabinett. The stall guy said that he makes the cider in Hertfordshire with apples from Somerset. It's a lovely brew. Then it was home to think about lunch and moving some pots around in the garden.


Chow and Chatter said...

what a fantastic garden you have and great blog will follow Rebecca

mangocheeks said...


You have been busy. Both the alotment and a visit to the farmers market. I envy the fact that you are using your bike, I haven;t ridden mine for awhile and am looking forward to it.

Very impressed that you have strawberries that are reddening, I am only starting to get flowers on mine, but thats the price of being up North, everthing is a month behind. I am also envious that you have had some ladybird visitors. I haven't seen any so far, so wait in anticipation.

Thank you for sharing the info on your local farmers market. I will check out some of the links, I was excited to read about the five herb pesto.

PS send us some sunshine - please!

fran39 said...

Thanks guys!
Mango - we've had rain all night (thank god) so I hope there's been a swap and you've got the sun today.

goodshoeday said...

Am becoming more and more convinced that I need to get a lottie - so that'll be a 3 year wait or something! And thanks for the review of the Walthamstow farmers market - I've not tried it and really should as I'm only a few miles away. must check out the dates and give it a go.

Haringey Sustainable Food said...

I'm glad you like Walthamstow farmers' market. We're struggling to start one like it (certified, LFM) in Crouch End. And I wonder if you belong to the Sustainable Haringey food group or "Growing in Haringey" or the Tottenham Food Coop. Please send a quick email to me at whereupon we'll find out if you're a familiar friend or, if not, you'd be a wonderful and welcome colleague.