Home Grown Produce – Allotment Update – July 2018

Allotment Update July

This is something I have been meaning to do since the start of the year, a monthly allotment update. So here I am starting bang smack in the middle of summer instead with my July update.

I think July is a much nicer time of year to start documenting my efforts actually. As everything is growing mega fast with all this balmy hot weather we’ve been having. Each time I go out to the plot I have a little fist-punch moment when I see something growing. Here’s the good, the bad & the ugly:

Allotment Update July 2018 – The Successes:

Spuds. The potatoes this year are looking awesome. I’m growing two varieties, the salad potatoes are pretty much ready to be dug out, and some larger ones that I’ll use for roasting. As I’ve planted two varieties next to each other they have cross pollinated and I’ve got potato berries! Which can be used to grow a potato crop from seed. Also worth mentioning, I bought all my seed potatoes from Aldi for £1.50 a bag and they have grown so well! Definitely going to be back for more.

Allotment Update Potatoes

Allotment Update Potato Berries
As you can probably tell from my strawberry recipes, the patch provided me many goodies this year too. I’ve also got an abundance of gooseberries that are ripe at the moment (queue some jam making!).

Allotment Update July 2018 – The Almost Ready:

Sometimes you have to just be patient with your crops. There are my raspberry canes that I transplanted from their old home (when I was a newbie I didn’t know you’re supposed to separate them so planted them all in one blob, oops). I’m not expecting much produce this year, but at least they have a permanent home now.

Let’s not forget the tomatoes. They are going wild with the hot weather so I absolutely can’t wait to tuck into these bad boys. Credit goes to the other half for looking after these crops!

Allotment Update Tomatoes

Allotment Update July 2018 – The Failures:

Brocolli. I’ve really tried with brassicas but I haven’t had any luck. I tried to grow these lil fella’s from seed and they got totally munched on before they even had a chance to grow much. Fail. Will have to try to cover them next time around.  I’m not too put off about this, as it’s the only crop that’s gone wrong this year. Four years at the game and I’m finally getting the hang of this. I haven’t even bothered with a picture because there’s absolutely nothing to show! So here’s me with some radishes instead..

Allotment Update Chrissy

 

Allotment Update July 2018 – The Total Disaster:

This. Just look at this. This little patch used to be home to our rhubarb, but it’s been neglected and now mother nature is claiming it back. It’s a bit of a nightmare really as it’s a bindweed hot bed.  I did try to tackle it last weekend but it’s just too thick, theres too many nettles and I just don’t have it in me. Next best thing is to leave it to die back naturally and cover it over for next year. I don’t even get that much rhubarb out of it because it is competing with the grass, so I think it could do with a rest.

Allotment Update Wild

I could ramble on enlessly, but let’s leave it here for the July update. I’ve got some adventurous plants on the go too, which I’ll enlighten you about in my next post 🙂

 

Yum

Why I’ve stopped buying and started selling

As part of my ongoing effort to make my life more eco friendly I have started to look at my consumption, so I’ve stopped buying and started selling instead. And here’s why.

6 reasons to stop buying and start selling

1) Owning more stuff doesn’t make me happy

I think we can all associate with that nice feeling of having something new, but it does begin to lose it’s appeal. Have you ever gone through your place and filled a black bin bag with unwanted goods? Chance are that if you look closely there will be a few things totally unused in there. So, that moment of fleeting happiness of having something new? Well, it ended up being a waste of your money and of the worlds resources.

2) I’m running out of space

That’s one of the big problems of buying new stuff all the time, you have to find somewhere to put it. My triple wardrobe, chest of drawers and ottoman are bursting (let’s not forget the boxes of shoes and bags under my bed). Living in clutter is no fun. I want my home to be easy to tidy and look after, which it never will be if it is constantly bulging at the seams. Ridding myself of all this meaningless stuff is going to make it so much simpler. No more searching for something and finding it buried at the bottom of a pile.

3) I’m being marketed to 24/7

There used to be four seasons to shop for, now there are 52 mini seasons. There’s mid season sales, end of season sales, black friday, cyber monday. 10% off your first order. Buy now pay later. Not a day goes by that I am not being marketed to and encouraged to spend. I’m making a conscious effort to see this for what it is, rather then getting straight onto my laptop for some ‘bargains’. Chances are I don’t actually need anything new and I’m just being inticed out of fear of missing out.

4) Selling my stuff gives it another life

It’s so easy to do a spring clean and just throw out the things you decide have no purpose anymore. I used to do the same. Chances are though that there is someone out there looking for that very thing you are chucking out. On a whim I decided to set up an eBay account see if this really is the case. It made me feel good to see that my unwanted purchases were being used by someone else instead of contributing to landfill. But I will admit, I didn’t expect it to be so successful! People literally buy anything; my broken nintento DS, the old thermostat from my house, etc. I genuinely sold these things, and people paid a fair amount for them. At one point I was posting out 10+ parcels in one go!

5) Consuming less helps the environment

This is a big one for me. So much about our modern way of living doesn’t make any sense when you look at it in the context of looking after our resources as a planet. The mass shopping we all partake in plays a role in that too. The manufacture of goods causes a lot of pollution, then you add to that the emissions from shipping it from the factories to our shelves. Oh and the plastic it all comes wrapped in. I could go on, but alas I won’t go off on a rant right now! All I’m saying is I don’t want to play a part in that and spending less on products I don’t even need is a pretty easy and realistic way I can ensure I’m doing my bit.

6) And lastly, I’m saving loads of money!

Now if there is one final point to end this blog post on, it is this one. I am saving a fair amount of money. There’s no more H&M orders on my bank statements and as I’m not impulsively going out to the shopping centre either that’s saving even more. Plus the extra cash coming in from selling my old gear is being put aside to fund a charity hike in Romania. Not too shabby, especially considering that this has taken minimal effort. If you, like a lot of people in the UK, are living from paycheck to paycheck, it really could be a good thing to start doing. Just make one conscious choice to think before you spend and you too could be benefitting from a slightly healthier bank balance!

Being a conscious consumer can be pretty easy, you just have to figure out how you can adapt your lifestyle in a simple way. If we all did this it would make a big difference!

Yum