Crafty Garden Hoe Allotment inspiration on Pinterest

Hello, I know its been a while. Hope you’ve all been well? After a pretty shitty 2015 we’re back at Crafty Garden Hoe hoping for a better 2016. Though I’ve not been very active on the blog, or tweeting that much there’s one social media outlet that I have been obsessed with for some time, Pinterest. Amongst my other interests in craft, design, baking and other lovely thing I have board called “Allotment Inspiration” where I pin all things inspiring for the allotment and gardening in general. Why not join me? Grab yourself a cup of tea and loose a few hours in Pinterest with me.
       Follow Emma’s board Allotment Inspiration on Pinterest.

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Long were the Salad Days: A Summer Salad Challenge

Homegrown salad all summer long, that’s the dream huh? Sadly for me it’s never been a reality no matter how enthusiastic I’ve been in the beginning it just takes a row of pigeon pecked lettuces, slug ravaged seedlings or bolted spinach to break my heart and dwindle my motivation.

Continue reading “Long were the Salad Days: A Summer Salad Challenge”

Oh no, not another marrow! A marrow & ale chutney recipe for when you’re not expecting a marrow.

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It happens to us all, we go away on holiday, forget to pick a courgette or discover a hidden monster of a marrow under a forest of leaves, that’s not to say many of us grow marrows on purpose. We fall into the first category, preferring a nice courgette or zucchini over a hefty marrow. We try to avoid having a marrow monster on our hands, but sometimes you just can’t avoid the odd marrow. Of course that’s not to mention those ‘gifted’ to you. We’re a generous bunch us allotmenteers, and I bet a fair few of use have been offered a marrow from a plot neighbour at some time or other, offered with look of marrow induced panic in their eyes (please take the marrow PLEASE!). And so that’s what we did accepting a marrow from Con, one of the loveliest, gentlest of the old-timer allotment holders at our site, you just can’t say no to Con, he’s such a quiet man and it must have taken a lot to think of us and offer up one of his marrows. It was delicious, we made a lovely stuffed marrow with wild rice and made the mistake of telling someone down the plots. Since then we keep finding flipping marrows left for us on our shed step!
Continue reading “Oh no, not another marrow! A marrow & ale chutney recipe for when you’re not expecting a marrow.”

Roll up, Roll Up for the Greatest Allotment Show…

Last Sunday, 1st September was our allotment sites annual show. Held every year as a joint event with the NGS gardens for charity open day, however this year was to be a little bit different to previous years. All thanks to two of our plot holders featuring on no less than Gardeners World! It’s not the first time our plots have featured on television, Nigel Slater came and filmed for his Simple Suppers series, but that was sadly before our time. This time however the camera crews had came to film a special couple, George    & Serge who have a special allotment plot which won them an award of merit from the ‘Gardening against the odds’ award. Their plot is gorgeous, part English country garden, part Potager and part sculpture garden. It really is beautiful. So thanks to their feature on Gardner’s World (Friday 25th August) and an advertisement of the show by no less than Monty Don himself, the show was a hit, attracting some 700 visitors to see Serge & George, take in the exhibits, tour the site and enjoy homemade cake and teas.

Continue reading “Roll up, Roll Up for the Greatest Allotment Show…”

Straw-mendous Strawberry Jam

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If I was to pick just one jam to take away to a desert island (or should that be dessert island!), it would be strawberry. I adore it. It peps up my porridge in winter, the jewel on the crown of a cream tea, essential for a Victoria sponge and who would say no to simple strawberry jam sandwich? And whats more its dead easy to make, virtually makes itself. The varieties we have in our strawberry patch are a mix of ‘Cambridge Favourite’, ‘Florence’ and an everbearer ‘Albion’. ‘Florence’ are my favourites. They are a lovely big mid-season strawberry, dark red all the way through. The plant is large and bushy and hold their fruits high but also disguising them from foe.
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Bountiful. A review of the season (so far…)

Forgive me, I’ve hardly blogged about the plot this summer. Recent weather aside (it’s a wet and windy Saturday afternoon as I write this), it’s a been a glorious summer and to be honest with you, we’ve just been so busy enjoying it down 18a. After a unseasonable cool start to the season full of worry whether we would ever get any kind of crop going, we approach the end of the growing season with a bumper crop of unexpected allotment loveliness. After a rather crappy first 6 months of 2013 for myself personally, the allotment and the abundance of nature there have helped me overcome my blues and banish my little rain clouds. So what’s been going on down 18a? Well let’s see…
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An Apple a Day. Apple Day 2012

So today Sunday 21st of October 2012 was Apple Day. The day itself was a grey, damp and rheumy one but that didn’t matter, today was the apples big day. To celebrate Apple Day our allotment kids club, The Young Gardeners Club had a special little meet up in the community hut. Apple Day was started in Covent Garden on 21st Oct. 1990 to demonstrate the significance of the apple to British culture, landscape and wildlife. It is now celebrated countrywide and is part of the festive calendar. The Young Gardeners Club celebrated by making apple juice using a borrowed traditional apple press and bevy of surplus apples kindly donated by plot holders. So you can imagine there was a wide array of varieties, flavour, textures, shapes and sizes of apples on offer. With many of the fruit trees potentially being 75 years old or more there where plenty of heritage and unusual apple varieties to show. A great opportunity to teach the kids about the vast varieties and diversity of British apples. And more importantly that the uniform flavourless apples found in the supermarkets are not necessarily the norm. They had a good turn out, I didn’t realise there was so many children at our plots. The apple juice flowed and someone even made an apple cake! A successful first Apple day for the Young Gardeners Club. Continue reading “An Apple a Day. Apple Day 2012”