Absence makes the weeds grow longer

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Its been a busy time for the green wellie brigade recently. We’ve had a camping trip, a country show, a new school, a woodland themed baby shower cake, and an impending house move, all of which is leaving very little time for the allotment. Let’s start at the beginning…

The Camping Trip

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This year for our annual summer holiday we decided to go camping. We hardly get the opportunity to travel very far so we chose a campsite near Stonehenge with a stop off on the way at another campsite in Northamptonshire. Now, what could possibly go wrong with a camping holiday in the UK in August? Oh yeah, the weather! It was the soggiest camping holiday ever! Putting the possibility of trench foot to one side, we did some pretty cool things:

Campfire cooking and melting marshmallows

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Making friends with the ducks at breakfast

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Seeing Stonehenge

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Getting into the Banksy exhibition, Dismaland

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Traveling on a hovercraft to the Isle of Wight

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Visiting the Garlic farm

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Going caving

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Making friends

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In typical holiday fashion it was glorious sunshine on the day we traveled home.

The Country Show

Once back, I had 2 days to get ready for our local country show. Now, when I say local country show it’s just over an hours drive away! For the last few years I’ve only entered the industrial sections (baking and handicrafts). I was tempted to enter a few veggies this year, but when it came to the crunch I lost my nerve and decided to use this year as my assessment year and I’ll try and enter some next year. I’m so thankful I did this as the standard was really high, some of the onions were HUGE! As I had quite a few things on, I narrowed my selection of entries down to 10, including 2 knitting, a jam and a curd. On the whole the baking went well, I only needed to remake one item, but the knitting had me up until 3am. It was all worth it in the end, I came away with 3 firsts, a second place and 2 third places.

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First place in cupcake section

First place for handmade bread rolls

First place for handmade bread rolls

First place for hand knitted cardigan (3am knitting at its finest)

First place for hand knitted cardigan (3am knitting at its finest)

Second place for my hand knitted sheep

Second place for my hand knitted sheep

Third for my white loaf

Third for my white loaf

Third for my strawberry jam

Third for my strawberry jam

But wait, that’s not all, there were 2 cups up for grabs, one in the cupcake section, and one for a hand knitted sheep. Now, I’m not going to lie, I was going for the double cup win, I can’t help having a slightly competitive nature. I came second in the knitted sheep section but first in the cupcakes so I walked away with this beauty!

Bling bling

Bling bling

Out of all the sections I entered I was most thrilled with my third place strawberry jam. The jam section is probably one of the toughest categories with all the judges from all the sections having an input, so for my first year entering the jams I was delighted to place at all.

New school

My son went back to school last week and it’s his first year in middle school. This brings a new uniform including a blazer. He’s growing up far too fast for my liking. It all went well and I’m pleased he’s enjoyed it so far (I’m sure it’ll change once the homework starts flooding in)

First day of middle school

First day of middle school

The cake

I’ve always enjoyed baking, and for a few years I made cakes on request for friends and family. But with the rise in price of baking ingredients it just wasn’t economical for me to continue so about a year ago I hung up my whisk and I’ve not baked cake for anyone other than my son and I. My sister was arranging her best friends baby shower on a budget, and had the goal of making the gifts rather than buying them. My sister is very creative but doesn’t bake, so with a bit of bribery persuaded me to help her out or witness a cake massacre. I can’t stand to see good cake go to waste so I put on my apron and set to work. Here’s my contribution to the handmade baby shower with a woodland theme.

Woodland cake

Woodland cake

Side shots of the cake

Side shots of the cake

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The Allotment

Today was the first day I’ve been able to get to the allotment in about 3 weeks. I can’t believe how much the weeds have grown. That’ll teach me to pile so many activities into a short space of time! Thankfully I had a few helpers with me. My best pal came along with her two little diggers and we set to work unearthing the last of the Charlotte potatoes. We had quite a few onions to lift so they came up too.

My feeble attempt at carrots was revealed today.

One of the 4 carrots that grew

One of the 4 carrots that grew

I’m blaming it on the heavy clay soil.

We picked beans, kale, apples and blackberries and it was fantastic to be able to share the bounty.

Sharing the crops

Sharing the crops

Trug-tastic

Trug-tastic

After laying my own onions out to dry off I checked on the garlic that’s been curing for about a month. While I was at the garlic farm on the Isle of Wight I vowed I’d plait my garlic when the time was right.

That time is now.

Garlic plait that nobody is allowed to touch...Ever.

Garlic plait that nobody is allowed to touch…Ever.

6 thoughts on “Absence makes the weeds grow longer

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