Sudden Reappearance of Summer

Waking up to sunshine pouring through the window, I grabbed my keys and ran down to the allotment. Upon my arrival, I found Cliff, Geoff and Cliff chatting by the sheds. I shouted hello and disappeared off to the shed. I put up the sail sunshade and threw in some kale for the little Weed Destroyers. No eggs in the Omlet, so I moved onto the main coop.

Tommy was in fine form this morning, shouting for all to hear. Up close, he is deafeningly loud! The girls all enjoyed their treats and I checked they were all getting their share. Maude was a little at the back so I will keep an eye on her over the next few days. One egg collected and Rey impatient to get at the nest box, I left her to lay.

Over in the new coop, Lilja, Leia and Sadie were busy scratching. Not a single egg in the nest box, I left them with severe words about not slacking. When I came out of the coop, I spotted Cliff, Darren and Andrea chatting at the back of Liz and Sarah’s plot. I joined them as they discussed different ideas for the site. At the moment, there is a feeling that big changes are coming. The new committee has lots of different voices and lots of ideas for the site. Hopefully this will mean the site gets all the improvements to make it even better.

My next job was to harvest the tomatoes in the greenhouse and collect three onions ready for lunch. There were far more ripe tomatoes than I expected and I quickly realised that getting the produce home might need some planning. Searching around, I spotted a water tray for our large plant pots. It’s similarity to a tray meant I could fill the tray with tomatoes, onions and the three lemon cucumbers I discovered in the middle of the greenhouse jungle. As I walked down to check each coop was shut up properly, I spotted the blackberries had begun to ripen! For weeks I have been watching those bushes, waiting eagerly for the berries to turn. The one week I forget to check and they all ripen. I swear plants do this on purpose to be spiteful. Using the lid of an egg box, I picked as many as I could, getting stained fingers for my trouble. I then added two courgettes to my pile of produce and decided to head home.

Lugging the tray of produce home was just manageable but I am glad we live so close! Depositing the tray on the kitchen counter, I triumphantly shouted for my husband to come and see what I had brought home. Our BBQ with friends was made all the better from scoffing home grown vegetables, cooked to perfection and enjoying the sunshine.

After a delicious lunch, we picked over the leftovers for dinner. Our favourite BBQ dessert is a Brazilian pineapple dish. The proper way is to cook the pineapple rotisserie style with the outer surface covered in a sugar and cinnamon mix. Unfortunately, our BBQ isn’t big enough for this, so instead we slice up the pineapple and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on top and wrap it in a piece of kitchen foil. This stays on the BBQ for about 10-15 minutes depending on how hot the grill is. Simplicity itself and yet absolutely scrummy! Part of me does wonder how difficult it would be to grow pineapples at the allotment….

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