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I have been putting off going to the allotment since before Christmas when it started getting cold and muddy. Yesterday we finally bit the bullet and it looked terrible; the weight of snow on the roof of the shed had broken it a bit and the pigeons had eaten all of the cabbages down to the stumps. We spent the whole weekend digging in soil improver and clearing and steve fixed the roof and built a compost bin and it all looks neat and tidy now. We even bought back a big bag of onions and potatoes which we found by accident! There are also absolutely loads of artichokes which I would dig up but I haven't figured out how to cook them yet. The strawberry plants have gone mental and now cover a huge area so we should get enough for bowls full in summer.

A sharp contrast was going food shopping where we'd spent 30 quid in the fruit and veg section (and that was just for the basics we need for the four of us for a week - the cheapest packs of potatoes, peppers, leeks, onions, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, bananas, oranges and pears - nothing particularly exciting. I had to tell the kids we couldn't afford grapes or strawberries.

I think this year I'm going to make an extra effort with the allotment, I really resent spending so much money on fresh food :( As Tony was saying.. how can a turnip from norfolk cost twice as much as a pair of scissors which have to be mined, smelted, formed, assembled and shipped half way across the world?!

Date: 2010-02-23 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Are they globe or jerusalem artichokes? The jerusalem ones you pretty much treat like potatoes.

Date: 2010-02-23 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think jerusalem, in that they aren't actually artichokes and they aren't from jerusalem (but they have a nice 5 pointed yellow flower) - according to wikipedia ( the form of starch in them can't always easily be processed by the human body!

"which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men." Yum! :)

Date: 2010-02-24 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mmm sounds lovely! Well if they're in the ground they're jerusalem artichokes and you need to weed them all out or you will have them growing everywhere like weeds. Although a lot of people don't seem to get them all out of the ground and end up with an impromptu jerusalem artichoke patch. Jerusalem is from French girasoleil or something, it means they follow the sun as they are closely related to sunflowers. Haven't eaten any yet though so I cannot comment on the effects!!! But if you have nettle soup, that is very tasty, although it can affect you in a similar way.

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