Big Dig and a bit of decorating

Finally spring has sprung and this weekend was absolutely beautiful! We have been have a bit of a freshen up of the clubhouse and it’s all looking spick and span and smelling of fresh paint. We decided that the rain had been putting people off for too long and so this weekend we made soup and lots of cakes and got a good crowd of diggers. The sun was out and the spring flowers have started to show their faces. Everyone was very enthusiastic and lots of hard work was done and lots of scones with cream and jam and rhubarb cake was eaten. It really felt that optimism was in the air and that everyone had a new hope. It’s been a long, wet, lonely winter but things are looking up! I might just have been inspired to order this years turkey chicks and piglets as well. Very exciting…

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It’s raining, It’s pouring!

2014 has been pretty damp so far. Luckily it isn’t prime growing time so nothing is suffering too much. We are getting a bit behind in this year’s prep though as it is far too damp for digging. Hopefully it will stop sometime soon and we can get cracking. At least a hosepipe ban is looking pretty unlikely.

I am feeling sorry for Lizzie and the Chickens who are all looking pretty miserable. Lizzie didn’t even come out of her ark this afternoon for her dinner. You know things are bad when a pig chooses to stay in bed rather than eat! The ducks and geese seem to be having a lovely time splashing about so at least they are happy.

I guess we can all stay inside and keep warm and dry and start planning what we are going to grow this year (and dream of those summer evenings playing boule.)

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Turkeytastic

Yesterday was our turkey prep day and the weather was absolutely hideous. I was starting to feel that there was some sort of conspiracy against us this year as every time we have arranged something the weather has been bad which makes things tricky when you are going to be outside all day.

It’s really important to me that our animals lead a happy, healthy life and if they are to become food that they have the best life possible beforehand. The turkeys have done really well this year but I never look forward to the big day when they go to fulfill their destiny. Looking out at the weather it just felt wrong and I was very worried that people wouldn’t come out to help and get their bird.

In fact what happened was that I was reminded what an amazing place allotmore is and how many brilliant people are involved. The team worked hard all day and everyone got their turkey, the animals were treated with respect but their was an air of celebration and festivity as well. A lot of mince pies got eaten and even some christmas songs were sung in the rain. You are all amazing!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone and I hope 2014 is a good one for you all x

 

 

 

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Lets get quizzical!

We were asked by the very lovely Carolyn Eley if allotmore would like to enter a team into the Dan Eley Foundation fundraiser quiz. ( of the finest minds we have stepped forward ( ok, that did include me and Chris so maybe not the finest) and last saturrday night we did our selves proud by coming 6th, The Wilfred Noyce centre was packed with teams so we are pleased with our position. It was really good fun and lots of money was raised for the very worthy causes of The Dan Eley Foundation and Godalming based Skillways. Next time we’ll try to do even better!

Jo the Mushroom Lady ( i’m sure she loves being called that) and I have been planning a willow weaving morning to make some Chritsmas wreaths. The plan is to go for a forage about in the woods and collect some festive trimings and then head back to the clubhouse to get creative. We had originally planned to do it this weekend but it hasn’t been cold enough to start harvesting the willow until now so we have to delay by a week. The good news is that I got the call from Carole and Ian over at Compton allotments and they have started the harvest so we should be ready for next week. I hope you are all feeling festively creative.

This weekend is the Godalming Christmas Market and lights switch on. As usual we will be taking part so wrap up warm and come on down on saturday. The indepent market is on in the Borough Hall as well so there might be some lovely and original christmas gifts to be found.

Also let us know if you are interested in our Turkey day.

 

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Autumn apples and mega mushrooms

We have been enjoying the slip from summer to autumn at allotmore recently. Our lovely mycologist Jo came and took us out on a mushroom hunt a couple of weeks ago. Its a great year for mushrooms this year and we found a whole range of interesting things. We spent a lovely couple of hours in the sunshine wandering, identifying fungi and then collecting the edible ones. We then headed but up to the clubhouse, got the camping stove out and cooked up a lovely risotto and the brave tasted some of the varieties of mushrooms we gathered.

This weekend was our annual apple day and we were very lucky to have been lent a macerator and press by Transition Guildford which made the process a whole lot slicker than it has been in the past.  People brought their apples from home and we gathered lots of windfalls from the hospital orchard and a whole lot of juice has been made which in time will make a whole lot of cider for our spring time barn dance. It was a really lovely day with our youngest apple picker being two years old and the oldest (and best chopper) being 93. Lizzie the pig and the turkeys are very pleased with the pressing waste as well. Lizzie is a real apple lover and I reckon this is her favourite time of year.

Chris has been working on another project recently and had a really good weekend at the Surrey Wood Fair last week. If you are interested you can read all about it on his new blog. http://allotmoredomes.wordpress.com/ 

 

 

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August already

How did that happen? Chris and I snuck off to the seaside for a week and came back to find everything in full bloom in fact the courgettes are out of control and the competition pumpkins are starting to get really big.

We have taken some more pigs off to the abbatoir and spent a few days at the butchers and making hundreds of sausages so we are fully set for bbq’s now. We have also made a new pig pen so when Lizzie returns from her hols she will have a lovely bramble patch to eat and the current pen can be rested so the ground can recover. We still have two of our boy pigs left as they were getting beaten up by the bigger ones and had such a miserable time I felt they needed to have a nice time for a while ( i’m still far too sentimental to be a proper farmer). The kids from Rodborough who came up to do their Run the Farm for a Week end of term days have named them Percy and Wobbly Bob and they are very sweet and friendly. I’m dangerously close to being too attached to them!

The turkeys are now in their big shed and as soon as we can sort the fence out they will be coming outside. I think they are just about big enough that the buzzards won’t be too interested.

Allotmore has been basking in the sunshine and it seems that the plants have all been enjoying it, we’ve got a bumper crop of spuds and other root veg seem to be doing really well. Long may the summer last!

Our august evenings are coming up, the first being the meteor show next sunday, followed by Moro Night and then a BBQ. I’ll update the website with details if anyone fancies coming along to any of them.

 

 

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Chicks everywhere!

It’s all go here at allotmore with chicks all over the place. We hatched some very sweet aracuna’s recently, we found a clutch of pheasant eggs which we popped in the incubator and we now have 3 pheasants, this years turkey chicks have arrived, we have 12 unwanted bantams arriving tomorrow to be rehomed with us. Not sure where they are all going to go in the short term but we will work it out. The geese have finally given up on trying to hatch their eggs, we have two girl geese so it was always a hopeless effort but they have been putting a lot of time into it and are looking a bit shabby now. We have lots of teenage cockerels from our previous hatch at the moment as well. Some of them are very handsome and it seems a real shame to be getting rid of them but I have tried to find them homes and no one wants them so they will have to make handsome coq-au-vin. The Rhode Island Red cockerel is growing up to be a vicious beastie so I think a few people will be glad to see him go. The kids can’t collect eggs at the moment as he won’t let them. He’s really not doing himself any favours!

Chris and I went away for a few days and have returned to the plots being in full swing. The combo of rain and beautiful sunshine has been great and there are lots of very healthy looking crops out there. The surrounding field is looking very wild and beautiful as well and our neighbouring highland cattle really add to the view on a misty morning.

We had been feeling a bit down lately, mostly because of the weather meaning that people weren’t able to get planting but the last week has seen a flurry of activity and lots of new visitors which is brilliant. The lovely Louise at Godalming Town Council suggested that we put something in Round and About which has meant lots of new people got to hear about us. Thank you Louise! http://www.roundandaboutssh.co.uk/ramblings.html

We had our annual Big Lunch pizza party which was a huge success, the sun shone, people ate and drank and made merry. It was what allotmore should be all about! Now we are planning our Midsummers Barn Dance on 21st June. It is all set to be a good night out although Chris is making the debut of the brewing clubs ales and ciders so it could mean a few bad heads the next day!

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