Well, I have been neglecting this blog, it's true. But something has been keeping me busy. As you can see form the photo, Anthony is growing up fast! Between looking after him, working, and writing/developing other blogs my time is rather full. But as you can also see, I have not actually neglected growing my food. And if you want to learn to grow your own food, you can never be too young to start. Anthony started right before his 1st birthday, when he learnt to walk. One of the first things he did when he could walk unaided, was to learn about watering plants. He has always liked water, but he really took to watering like, well, a duck to water I guess!
He is astonishingly strong, and can lift quite a full watering can (he's now 20 months), after having learnt with a tiny one last year. Here, you can see him using an ancient atomiser to spray seeds we'd just sown together. We let him put the compost into the propagator trays, we put the seeds in ourselves, and we taught him how to use the old atomiser to water the delicate seeds. It's pretty easy to get kids involved with gardending and having fun with it, as they almost without exception, love getting dirty - so anything involving soil is usually a winner! You just have to make sure they don't eat it, rub it in their eye, or pour it all over their head ;)
Here, we sowed:
- leeks - Musselburgh variety, and will transplant them to the allotment at the appropriate time;
- tomatoes - Ildi, Red Pear, San Marzano 2, Tigerella, Orange Berry, and Costoluto Fiorentino.
We also managed to get a mini harvest from the allotment, of onions and leeks that we left on our old allotment form last year. That is one of the reasons why it's awesome to grow a lot of leeks, because they can just stand right through the winter, and then you just pick them when you want. Onions can stand sometimes, but depends on the variety. Japanese onions are often better for overwintering.
The allotment is now just down to 20 poles, as we used to have 2x 20 poles last year, but we gave it up after I decided to go back to work 2.5 days per week. So we have just been digging one vegetable bed so far, and we planted 5x elephant garlic, 29x garlic, and 55x onions. This is nowhere near enough onions, so we will plant more soon.
Anthony loves being at the allotment, there is plenty of long grass to roll around in, and last Summer there were TONS of utterly delicious blackberries, which he adored eating. Hopefully, this year will be just as good for blackberries and our other plants will also do well. We planted 11 fruit trees in 2013, and they are not supposed to give us fruit for at least 2 years, but we did actually get ONE apple, one solitary apple last year. It was a bit weird to see just one fruit growing there, but as we didn't expect anything at all, it was a pleasant surprise.