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Plough Field Allotments.


Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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By Mrs FM


Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit


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Alan J Hartley



The Last Harvest.

After the tops had gone on the Cape Gooseberries, due to the odd cold night, I decided to harvest them. It was too cold outside to sit on my own and pick the berries from the plants, so I simply pulled the plants up, roots and all and stuffed them on the back seat of my little car. As you can imagine about 30 or so fruit bushes the size of a decent Black Current bush, pushed into a car, filled the car twice over. On getting home I roughly pulled them out and piled them up on the drive to sort later. That afternoon, perched on a stool it took me nearly 2 hours to remove the fruit pods that filled 5 large buckets and a washing up bowl. In the evening and some of the next morning, it took a further couple of hours for my 89-year-old mother and myself, to remove the fruit from their pods while we sat at a table. The end result was one large fruit tub of very ripe, fat juicy berries and one not so ripe, as well as 5 more of smaller green berries! All the stalks and other rubbish were gathered together and started off a big fresh pile on the compost heap. There are about the same number of plants again at my other allotment site, but I have decided to leave the plants to die and dry off in situ, in the hopes that the frost will hold off long enough for the berries to ripen naturally. Later, I also removed about one bucket of soil and leaves from the back seats and floor of my car when I cleaned it!

I have a few small fruit trees on my plot and should have put Grease Bands on them a few weeks ago, but it is a job that I have always dreaded doing at home. The grease, or really adhesive, that they are covered in is of a very special non-setting type. Whenever I have done the job previous years, I have always tried to use the cheap plastic throw away gloves, but the problem is that they stick to the grease bands and inevitably tear to shreds and I end up getting in a gluey mess that is nigh on impossible to remove. Not this year though, because I found out about the miraculous and secret use of Talcum Powder. After getting my hands covered in glue, a good dusting of Talc and they simply washed clean with some soap! I guess simple fine, garden dust would work just as well and I have since been told that white spirit will do the job.

Everybody has been warning about another very hard winter again this year, so I have dug up my small fig tree and potted it. With the impending arrival of the horse in the neighbouring field it was going to have to be moved anyway, so I decided to keep it over winter in the greenhouse, at home, along with several other small ones. The greenhouse has been lined with polythene, but is not going to be heated. Perhaps in the depths of winter, on the coldest of nights, and in late spring, I will put just a little heat on to start some early seedlings.