Saturday, 31 October 2015

Welcome To Our Allotment...

Welcome to our allotment.... I have been taking lots of photos over the past few months with the  intention of blogging about my allotment plot. So I thought it's about time I share them with you.

This is my baby boy when he was about 18 months old, he's now 4 and half. Love having a big boy but still I miss this little man watering his sunflower plants. 
And of course Little Lady giving the orders. She is very good at overseeing all the goings on at the allotment.

Four years ago when Little Man was only a baby we decided to take on a small allotment plot at our local field. The main reason, other than to grow veg, was to create an outdoor space for my children to play. This was my idea of a perfect place to learn about the world. I wanted more than our back garden for my little boy. I wanted for him what I had when I was growing up, freedom to explore on his own without a care in the world. The great outdoors where you could create memories spending hours on end playing. This is a relatively safe space where my children can get muddy, do real digging with real little person tools, plant their own seeds and watch things grow. This is where they can build dens, play games with the other children on the site and explore with all their imagination.

We are really lucky that our site has lots of other families with children about the same age. We often get together and like to share ideas, plants, seed, veg. It really is a wonderful community to be part of. Everyone looks out for each other and helps a little where they can. Our site is also full of animals. We don't have our own chickens or goats or anything like that but do enjoy visiting the resident animals at our allotment site. They are always very keen to eat our leftovers too.

Since we first arrived we have expanded our plot quite a bit taking on two other plots next to ours and now we have a rather large space. Our plot is a constant work in progress and it isn't posh, please excuse the weeds. It changes each year depending on the latest project ideas and for of crop rotation. Our original plot is home to all our fruit bushes; raspberries, gooseberries, currants bushes among some. We also have a huge globe artichoke plant, rhubarb, strawberries plants and recently planted asparagus. We make lots of jam and freeze fruit for puddings and cakes to enjoy during the winter months. 

The other two plots are where we grow the real veg. This year we have grown all the usual things you would expect to see on an allotment but have added in some extras for their beauty, colour and interest. I have tried Kohlrabi, Borlotti beans, climbing purple french beans this year. We have also attempted and failed at growing sweet potatoes and baby corn. The baby corn was really easy to grow and would have been a great success but we didn't harvest it early enough unfortunately. You can't win them all. This is something you have to accept when you have a big allotment, or any veg patch in fact, sometimes things fail miserably. Last year we had no onion at all. They all failed. All because I planted the set too deep and we watered too much. This year I simply sat them in the soil, just enough that they didn't fall over, we didn't water them and they grew, every last one of them. We have onions coming out of our ears! Instead potatoes weren't great this year.

We are now about to start packing up the plot for the year. Everything but some kale and a few brussel sprouts growing over winter will need clearing ready for next year. We are already planning what we will do in the spring.  I am hoping to improve the play equipment we have for the children and would like to add a playhouse for Little Lady. This will involve finding one for free as we try not to spend money on the allotment but hopefully Freecycle will come up trumps for us. We also want to build a bug hotel and a mud kitchen. Planting plans will be the same as always with the hope we might tone down our aspirations and be a bit more sensible but I doubt it. 

Thank you for taking the tour. 

xx Sarah xx

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Finding time...

Life has been lovely and full of fun but exhausting all the same. When I look back at when I started blogging, not that long ago either, when I was managing a post a week I can't believe I was finding the time and creating so much to blog about. 

Right now I am doing the Mummy thing. I am focusing on their needs. New schools and new routines have been started this term and it's taking a while to get to grips with all the change. I have increased my hours at work and my lovely Fella has changed jobs as well. All at once we are in a new chapter... 

I have been having fun on Instagram. It is such a quick way of sharing pics, ideas and lovely things. So, thought I might share some of my favourite pics and also give you a glimpse of my most recent project. As always I'm not finishing much at the moment but have started a scrummy new Harlequin blanket that just get me sooooo excited.

It's inspired by the colours in my garden. We still have a few flowers in our gardens here, not sure they realise it's late October. I love seeing these colourful flowers and often pick a bunch for the kitchen table.

I am a little under half way there with this blanket already. Playing with colours as I go but thinking about perhaps creating some sort of repeat within the stripes as that really appeals to me right now.  
 I have been using Drops Karisma,  a dk weight yarn using a 4mm hook. It's an easy pattern which I found here. I have to say Drops Karisma is a lovely easy yarn to work with and the colours are really lovely. 

I had so much fun taking these pictures with my phone camera. Although I am starting to be less than satisfied with the quality that my phone give me and keep noticing the Nikon DSLR we bought when Little Man arrived with the full intention of learning how to use it and taking regular photos of our growing baby. Well we have used it on occasion but, of course, like a lot of things when you have a baby the idea went by the wayside. I can see it now sitting idle, can't remember the last time we used it. Really need to put that on my list of things to do...

So, there you are, another project started. But as the evenings are drawing in so quickly now I should hope that I will find myself parked on the sofa under a warm crochet blanket in front of the TV with crochet hook in hand far more often than the Summer months allowed.

Family updates

Little Lady has started at Daycare one afternoon a week and loves everything about it. No tears, no "Mummy not here!!" She is having a wail of a time splashing in puddles, digging holes, dancing to music and doing all the fun and muck creating things they love to do at her age.

Little Man is officially at school!! He is a summer term baby so we were worried as he would be one of the youngest and could be finding it harder. Of course he loves it all and comes home covered in glue and mud every day telling us about graphemes and phonemes (say again??).  Each day I ask him what he did at school and of course this information is highly classified and therefore he can not disclose anything that actually happened. So, due to my persistence, he has started to invent quite funny and elaborate stories about his day; "We zoomed off in a spaceship to the moon and it was very cold and nobbly!". "Today we had PE and the teacher gave us these special shoes which you can walk on the ceiling with and she put cushions all over the ground and we did walking on the ceiling!" And finally "Today we did bottom printing!!" So all the usual then. 

He has had quite a lot of homework already this term including finding autumn things to show and share, a colouring competition and the challenge of making a Scarecrow for the harvest celebrations they will be having this week. This was the most fun task as we had to work together as a family to make it. It was Little Man's design and he helped to find all the creatures that made homes in the Scarecrow's clothes as well as stitching on the sewing machine. Hand sewing the buttons for the face, arranging and fixing the gloves for hands and placing all the little creatures around the Scarecrow's clothing making little nests for them to live in. He named him Max the Scarecrow. 

Thank you for stopping by

Sarah xxx