Monday, 4 August 2014

Seeing red.

Around the end of term I was chatting with the mums of some of P's school friends and two of them expressed a passing interest in perhaps having an allotment like ours. So, given that I was going to be passing by the council offices the following day, I offered to pop in and see whether there were any free. This I duly did, and discovered that there was indeed one up for grabs, and in fact it was in a prime location right next to the water trough. There are only two water troughs on our site, and no hosepipes allowed, so unless you really enjoy lugging watering cans about the place, this is a definite plus. However, I also discovered that neither of the ladies in question was entitled to rent it, since both live just the wrong side of the parish boundary.

So, now we have two allotments... Well, it seemed a shame to pass up the chance of such a prime piece of real estate.

The new one not only "benefits" (as the estate agents say) from a superior watering location (especially useful from the point of view of keeping an eye on small boys, since they inevitably gravitate straight to the water trough whenever we spend any time at the allotment and it's better if we can see what they're up to), it was also in cultivation until relatively recently, so the soil is pretty workable, and along with various ornamental plants it has a number of well-established fruit bushes. So far we have identified about 6 blackcurrant bushes, 3 or 4 raspberry canes, a gooseberry, a whitecurrant and a redcurrant.

We were already too late for the majority of these since, being in a sunnier position than the bushes on our original allotment, they had ripened earlier and were mostly past their best by the time we took over. All except that is for the redcurrant which was in full flush. Redcurrants are a bit of a new one on me - I've never really had much to do with them before - but we could hardly just ignore them sitting there glowing in the sun, so we picked a kg or so and took them home. I never really have much use for redcurrant jelly, but a bit of googling turned up a recipe for Swedish Vinbärssaft or redcurrant cordial, so we used some to make that and bunged the rest in the freezer. And very nice it is too - I've only tried it with water so far, but I can't help thinking that it might be even more palatable with something like Prosecco. And it is an absolutely stunning colour.