Wednesday 26 August 2015

The Good Life

Looks like we've been on one of our trips out, doesn't it? To a nice country place, with lanes and cute houses.

It's easy to be fooled.

This is actually in the heart of inner city Nottingham. It's St Anns Allotments, the oldest allotments in the world and a grade 2 heritage site. We went before a while back and came away wanting to be part of it all. So we put our names down and waited.
When we took over the plot last October, we opened the gate and beheld a field of waist-high weeds. The only thing to do was slash and burn. I have pyromaniac tendencies, so spent many a winter day stoking the flames with my eyes streaming, going home smelling like a smoked kipper.

He's done most of the hard work. All the landscaping has been done using the bricks of a collapsed Victorian building found on the site. I wanted to rebuild it, but he's got ideas of his own. That serpentine path is a thing of beauty. My job is weeding. I take it very seriously. I have instigated a war on thistles. Brambles and rosebay willow herb are in my top secret dossier too.
Peas straight from the pod. So sweet. 

Flowers everywhere. Mother nature is kind. We've had wild roses, sweet peas, bluebells, forget me nots, ladies lace. The list goes on. But we also decided to plant a flower border as you come in. I did a patch of cosmos next to a patch of snapdragons. The morning glory hasn't really taken off, but really we can't complain. Practically everything else has.
Those are beans there, Trail of Tears they're called. They are a native American bean, delicious, they squeak against your teeth when you eat them. We've planted them in with the sweet corn, just as they do. 
We've been eating like kings. I think I've consumed more potatoes this summer, than in the last three years. We've had them every which way we can think of. Boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted, sauted and fried, we've even had dauphinoise. Yeah, check us out!
Beetroot houmous, so delicious and the colour is amazing. That's broad bean pesto in the background. To die for. Seriously.
We have had to give courgettes away to anyone who crosses our path. Again, we have used every recipe we can possibly think of. Although he tells me I need to make a cake next. Haven't done that yet.
Kale with courgette and roasted cashews, with an olive oil, honey and lemon dressing. Heavenly.

Spinach daisy. We're turning into Tom and Barbara. Just need some pea pod wine...!
Apple blossom in spring and plums ripening in the sun. I like the life of a farmer's wife.


Vix said...

Get you with your Grade 2 allotment! It's blooming gorgeous and fancy it being in the centre of Nottingham, it looks like some rural idyll down South!
I love the brick path and seeing you at work, pretty as a picture.
The stuff you've grown and the delicious dishes you've created out of your produce is incredible. I couldn't even grow a tomato plant this year! xxx

Connie said...

Picture book beautiful. Just like "The Secret Garden."

Anonymous said...

What an amazing transformation you have made to your allotment. And what a bounty it has yielded!�� How satisfying to see all your hard work translate into such a delicious feast of food, flowers and colour. Having sampled the goods, have to give them the top quality seal of approval!���� xxxx

Ivy Black said...

Fabulous! What a transformation and how wonderful that it is a Grade 2! Love all your delicious photos of your produce. Still life with beetroot and spuds! Glad that someone else is fending off the courgettes. I can't use 'em up quick enough. Courgette cake is a defo. Sounds foul, tastes lovely. I use Nigella's recipe and then in her honour,I serve it with clotted cream!
Have a lovely weekend.

Miss Magpie said...

What a fabulous allotment I'm very jealous and all the wonderful food you've grown MMMMMMmmmm. I can also confirm courgette cake is lovely!

Fiona said...

I loved having an allotment, I used to share one with my brother but now I work such long hours I had to give it up. Yours looks beautiful with your path and beds made from reclaimed bricks...and look at that fabulous soil, did you dig in plenty of manure? I had gluts of courgettes and cue's and had to find new ways of eating them but all my recipes have meat in them, soz! Nothing tastes as good as food you've grown and just picked. xxx

Sue said...

I am so in love with your allotment!!! There is nothing so pleasing as pottering about in your own garden and reaping the benefits from all your work. When we have an excess of produce I go to google for ideas. Made an amazing Beetroot cake more than once!! Yay to you for gardening, a passion of mine.

Curtise said...

Oh wow, Tom and Barbara indeed - I'll be Margot then! Your allotment looks fantastic, I love Q's path, and I am mightily impressed by your growing skills. You have obviously worked so hard on it, and you're right, you'd never guess it was in the middle of a city. All the recipes look amazing, and yes, get cracking with a cake or two. I'll be round for tea, tomorrow, OK?! xxx