Monday, 14 June 2010

I nearly made 30 miles

Just a quick update on my cycling training in preparation for this weekend's London to Brighton bike ride. I managed a 28 mile ride on Saturday, and only stopped because I ran out of miles.

Hopefully this works - here's a map of the route...

View Interactive Map on

I also conquered my nemesis - 'the hill'. According to the roadsign at the top of the hill it's a 15% gradient, but it only shows up as a 5% on the map above. It felt very much like a 15% gradient, so we'll stick with that!

Then, if that wasn't enough physical exertion for one weekend I decided that I should get to the plot and do some much needed weeding and planting.

I started off by burning the prunings from the apple tree that had been a bit of an eyesore at the front of the plot - which took about an hour all in. I had to keep feeding the fire, so a constant stream of broken branches and twigs were supplied by my goodself - and I got a bit of a roasting too - but more on that later.

I planted my Celeriac "Giant Prague", my Spinach Beet, two lots of beans - Madeira Maroon (on 8ft Ash canes trimmed from the tree next to the house) and another row of 11 plants, HSL I think, but the name escapes me at the moment.

I'd also intended to plant out my Chicago Warted Hubbard, courgettes (all green bush) and Patty Pans, but kind of ran out of time as is often the case.

Of course, with all this weather we've been having of late (sunshine and showers) everything seem to be growing well, including the weeds of course, but just as a note of proof here are some photos of how things are doing.

The car boot, loaded and ready to go!

Rows, and rows, of potatoes.

Foreground - Kestrel, then Pink Fir Apple, then King Edwards and in the distance, Golden Wonder.

The HSL Crimson Flowered broad beans are blooming nicely, so should hopefully get a decent crop from these with plenty left over for seed saving/swapping.

The self saved seeds from last seasons crop are also doing pretty well - Martock.

I am also growing two different types of HSL peas, Victorian Purple - which are living up to their name.

And 'Poppet', with the most agitated looking tendrils I've ever seen!. Not much in the way of bloom, or pods as yet, but fingers crossed.

And lastly, Stephens - well, technically they're mine, but....

I had also meant to create a little bit of a herb bed, but thus far I've only managed to plant/grow some dill - but what a fantastic smell. I was down on the ground pulling up some weeds when I caught a whaft of this fantastic scent. One of the 'branches' had snapped - I don't know how, but I felt obliged to snap it off completely and the smell seemed amplified. Lush!

Everything else seemed to be doing ok - the onions are starting to swell, the garlic leaves are just beginning to yellow. I pulled up a bulb to see ho they are doing - and it was smaller than I expected, but I'm still hopeful of a decent harvest. The Swish chard has filled out nicely and my first sowing of beetroot are starting to form little bulbs.

I'll plant out the courgettes and hubbards one night this week hopefully.

In other news, the pond is full of life and full of blanket weed. I keep turfing it out, but it keeps on coming back. Still, the snails seem fairly happy.

Just in case you thought there would be no rhubarb news - have faith, I did have some rhubarb action at the weekend.

Before I set off to the plot yesterday I made a rhubarb and custard cake, recipe again from the BBC Good Food website:

Ok, mine doesn't look quite as light and fluffy, but it tastes pretty darned good. So much so, I might just make another one.

1 comment:

Rachel Lucie Johns said...

Hi Wayne,

sorry, but I have to tell you that you didn't win (on your wife's behalf) my blog giveaway.

However, as a thank you for taking part, there is a discount code for 15% off anything in my etsy shop until 14th july.

Email me at:
mail [at] for the code and instructions.

Love your blog, and your veg looks like you are doing rather on the superb-side for an amateur. Then I noticed you live in Bedfordshire, where I grew uo, and the market garden of Britain, my geography teacher in Ampthill used to call it...

Rachel x