It's July and our allotment is in full swing. After all the digging and rotivating, we're now enjoying the fruits of our labour. The past few weeks have consisted of blazing sunshine and heavy downpours - perfect growing conditions for vegetables and flowers. Sadly also perfect growing conditions for weeds. At the moment the veg are winning the battle over the weeds, but it's a close-run thing.
One of the things I look forward to most is getting the first crop of potatoes out of the ground. Some time ago Magoo appointed herself as chief-potato waterer. She has done a sterling job and takes full ownership of the crop. She wants to see each and every potato come out of the ground. I can't really blame her, there's something magical about putting one seed potato in a trench and then digging out a cluster of tasty new potatoes a few weeks later.
Magoo loves fishing out each potato from the soil, even the teeny tiny ones. Getting your hands in the earth is what it's all about.
Once we're home she loves to wash and prepare the vegetables we've bought home. Magoo set to work with scrubbing the potaoes ready for our evening meal. She is lucky to have the experience of seeing her food travel from ground to plate in a matter of hours.
We also picked the last of the broad beans. It's the first year we've grown them and they have been really tasty. The only problem we had was the plants became covered in black fly. My Mum used an organic spray on them which helped alot. But I've read that you can squish them off with your fingers or blast the black fly off with water. We will definitely grow them next year, but will get on top of the black fly earlier.
We need to leave the broad bean plants in the ground for a while because they perform the clever trick of fixing nitrogen into the soil. Anything that boosts soil quality without chemicals gets a thumbs up from me.
Again Magoo likes to prepare the beans. We love to pop the pods open together and pick the beans out of their fluffy jackets. One of the things I love about broad beans is the downy beds Mother Nature gives them to grow in. I think that's why broad beans are such a great crop to grow with children. The whole preparation process is so tactile.
As one crop comes to an end we can start to put in a new one. We've taken out all the garlic and planted purple sprouting in it's place. Crops on the horizon are peas, runner beans, squash and courgettes - they are getting bigger day by day. We're also growing some pumpkins for Halloween. Well, you have to plan ahead when you've got an allotment...
I'm linking up with these amazing blogs:
Country Kids #countrykids over on the www.coombemill.com blog.
"How Does Your Garden Grow" over on the beautiful mammasaurus.co.uk blog
Let Kids be Kids over on letkidsbekids.co.uk
Image of the Week over on www.trulymadlykids.co.uk
Magic Moments over on theoliversmadhouse.co.uk