Operation Rhubarb

This evening we all set off for the allotment ready to finally complete Operation Rhubarb!

Over the past two years we have been trying to offload some of our rhubarb either the plants or the stalks as we are drowning in them. Unfortunately, everyone on site has the same problem so I haven’t been able to fob any off there either. As only I like rhubarb and my husband refuses to eat it, there is no way I could eat that much single handedly!

On the other hand, my parents have just started a veggie patch at home and love rhubarb. Knowing a good thing when I see it, I suggested they should take a couple of crowns back home with them – it’s a win-win situation, they get rhubarb and I get rid of half of my rhubarb. We grabbed a spade and made a start.

The first one came out easily enough and Dad managed to get off the excess soil and refill the enormous hole it had left. The second rhubarb crown was so big, it required a spade and a fork to lift it out of the ground. It was so heavy that Dad and I struggled to get it out of the ground and rolled it to the side of the hole. This hole was so big that even the soil from the scraped crown didn’t refill it completely!

Both crowns were so heavy that after we bagged them up, we borrowed a wheelbarrow and ran it home. The stalks I had cleared before removing the crowns, I bagged up and added to the wheelbarrow. Two birds with one stone!

Before we left, we checked on the pond in the hope of spotting the karp. She was determined not to show herself and we gave up and left. Just as we were about to walk off site, I remembered I had forgotten to lock up the shed and water the potatoes. We walked back to lock the shed and I took the opportunity to show off the lighting which looks great in the dark.

We shut the shed and went to water the potatoes. The largest pot looked different somehow. Upon closer inspection, I realised it was because the potatoes are coming through the straw! I watered the potatoes and added a new stash of straw to the pot for the potatoes to grow through. At this rate, I will run out of straw!

We lugged the rhubarb home and I walked back to drop the wheelbarrow back on site. Mum came with me and we spent some time walking around the site and looking at everything. I was ecstatic to see blossom on one of my new fruit trees which may mean we might get some apples from it this year!

Even the tree which I thought was dead, has suddenly burst into life!

The girls were all settling down for the night and it was good to see which ones chose to sleep on the nest box roof. I knew some of them did but I never worked out precisely who! Emily is still sitting on her eggs and has eaten some of her food and had some water. Nine days down, just twelve to go!

As we walked home we spotted an opportunistic hunter waiting for prey. The large number of cats on site are really important to keep down the pests on site.

So tomorrow I need to hoe the plot as the bind weed seems to be growing several feet every time I turn my back. I also plan to plant a few more seeds and use the rhubarb leaves from tonight to put around the lettuces to protect them from the slugs.

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