Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Adios Alicante

According to WIkipedia Alicante (Spanish: [aliˈkante]) or Alacant (Valencian: [alaˈkant]) is a city in Spain, the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of Alacantí, in the south of the Valencian Community. It is also a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city of Alicante proper was 334,329, estimated as of 2011, ranking as the second-largest Valencian city. Including nearby municipalities, the Alicante conurbation had 462,281 residents.The population of the metropolitan area (including Elche and satellite towns) was 771,061 as of 2011 estimates, ranking as the eighth-largest metropolitan area of Spain.


Or the alternate Wikipedia entry - Alicante is a golfball sized, red tomato with a full-bodied taste. The early/mid ripening, indeterminate, regular-leafed plant is an old variety, ideal for both greenhouse and outdoor use. Historically, it was used as the breakfast tomato, boiled and served with bacon & eggs. Very tasty, full-bodied, a favourite with us because of its high productivity & taste.

Well those of you that know me will realise that I have associations with both versions of Alicante mentioned above. but as this is a gardening blog the title obviously alludes to the tomato.

The summer was not good for tomato's this year. I planted a large number of plants outside and they started off well, but the constant rain early in the season meant that before long, I had a battle to keep them from blight. Sadly  I failed, and had to pull up the plants. Luckily though I had three Alicante, in the greenhouse and since June they have been producing numerous delicious fruits, just as Wikipedia described them. 

I have kept them going as long as possible, but this week noticed that they were getting towards the end of their days. I still had lots of green tomato's but now none were turning red. 



So it was with heavy heart that I decided that it was time to wish them Adios.. 

The good green tomato's were picked to make chutney and the plants consigned to the recycling green waste. 



And in 10 minutes there was just a big space left in the greenhouse. 



They were an extremely successful plant for me and I shall be growing them again next year. I have decided not to bother putting any outside, but put more in the greenhouse. 

Elsewhere in the garden, the chicken run was looking decidedly grubby. I clean the hen house religiously every week, but the run was last cleaned out at the beginning of the summer. The combination of hardwood chips and chicken poo had now reached the stage where it needed to be shovelled out. 

To do this we had to take the top off the run so I could stand inside to get a  good shovel action going. 


You can see how compacted and nasty it looks, and by goodness its was a bit whiffy.. 


It took me quite a few hours and numerous trips with the barrow but eventually it was all out and replaced with pristine woodchip..



The girls seemed pretty happy with their new floor



Thats about it for outside this week. Inside though things have been going on in the Kitchen. 

I decided to try and make bread from scratch. We used to have a bread maker and for a while enjoyed the bread from it, but as we don't eat a lot and the loaves were pretty big, lots got wasted so we got rid of it. Making It myself, I thought I could just make enough for a day or so .. 

It was pretty simple, although I think I cheated by using my Kenwood with a Dough Hook.. The dough grew nicely in the airing cupboard. 



 And after a couple of hours I managed to produce a fairly decent looking loaf of bread. 




Lunch was a nice round of home laid egg mayonnaise sandwiches!! 




They were lovely,in fact I have made another loaf since this, will have to ration it though as I am going to be needing new clothes if I put on any more weight!! 

And my final baking session in the kitchen this week was this years christmas cake. I used Delia Smiths recipe as its easy to follow. 

The fruit got a good soaking in Brandy overnight. 



 And then mixed with everything else to make this. 


4 and a half hours later the smell was wonderful and the cake came out nicely. Cant wait to get stuck in to it.. 


Well thats about it for this week. We haven't been on any adventures with Gibson, as he is still getting over his very recent surgery. After looking like a bit of a sloppy drunk for 24 hours, he soon bounced back to his normal self. Unfortunately we are not allowed to let him off the lead or go very far with him for another few days. He has so much energy, and can't understand why he isn't doing all his normal fun things. Luckily he has healed very well and hasn't been bothered at all about his stitches. Hopefully normal walks will be resumed next Monday. 

Finally we had an amazing sky last week. It was bright pink. I have never seen anything like it, I tried to capture it on my little camera but it did'nt come out too well. Still its not a bad picture.



A local restaurant, The Jetty at Christchurch had better luck and posted this on their facebook page. 



Have a great weekend and don't forget to put the clocks back on Saturday night. Winter has officially arrived.

1 comment:

  1. After not having grown tomatoes outdoors for several years - due to blight, we were going to have another go this year but didn't - thank goodness. Fortunately in the end most of our tomatoes turned red but we are just about at the end of the harvest now.

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