Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Catching up - Potatoes and life in the garden after winter

It's back to normal now after the epic book thing, with a catch up on what's been happening here.

On Saturday we set off early to go the the 20th Annual Potato Day. We wanted to get in the queue in good time so we could get in and out and try to avoid some of the crush. By opening time at 9.30 there were over 100 people in the queue! It's the only event of it's kind in Norfolk and Suffolk so people come from far and wide. Luckily its only about 20 miles from us.
There were 90 varieties of seed potatoes to choose from but we  stayed with tried and trusted varieties this year. Rocket, Foremost and Charlotte. We're not bothering with maincrop  because of Col's health and the work involved with lifting them.
Crowds in the marquee

Potatoes in boxes by alphabetical order. They have lots of helpers filling up the boxes as the crowds empty them.
Our total spend was just over £20 giving enough for us for many months and a few to sell. The Rocket were planted straight away into the polytunnel when we got home for an extra early crop.
We picked up 2 free jute shopping bags from the District Council recycling stand. We've had 2 every year for about 5 years, we may never need to buy a shopping bag ever again!... and it's not even our own District Council.
Coffee was waiting in a flask in the jeep - penny pinching again.
As we were out we drove on a few miles to the next small town which is Needham Market. There are 2 charity shops and an Antiques emporium so we visited all three of course. In one Col found, for £1.50, a large thermometer that will fix on the side of the shed outside and be visible from indoors. Our small thermometer sticks on the outside of the kitchen window and doesn't seem very accurate. I found an old round wooden bread board for £3 in the Hospice shop. That's a better price than the one I saw last week in the Antiques centre for £38!

Dinner on Saturday was a herb omelette with the first few spring snippings from the garden. The tiny bits of fennel smelled lovely. It's good to see things to eat beginning to grow. Hurry up asparagus!


Sunday morning and 2 loads of washing drying out in the sunshine early. We cut a good load of wood, both logs and pallets. Col got a phone call asking for 2 metal drums that  he'd advertised in the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter so they went on the trailer along with the 4 IBCs for delivering on Monday.

Lots of Rugby on TV over the weekend to keep us entertained. I prefer watching rugby to football anyday.  I remembered to watch Call The Midwife this week too.

Monday was grey and misty all day and in the morning Col decided to wash the clear plastic roof of the campsite toilet shed. Then we washed down the painted toilet doors which always get a bit mouldy in the damp winter weather. He also took out all the paper that's been covering the loos and basins and had a bit of a sweep out  because we want to get walls and floors painted over the next week or so to give it plenty of time to dry out properly before we re-open at Easter. We have already got a couple of bookings for that weekend so it must be done. We have also had a few bookings for later in the year including a family who came for a week last summer and enjoyed it so much they are returning for 3 weeks in August this year.
In the afternoon he trundled off with the jeep and trailer to deliver everything - not too far away - and came back with £160 - handy.
Apart from helping with the loo cleaning and cleaning indoors I also did a small heap of boring ironing and cut out the material I need to make 7 presents for my Penny Pincher letter friends for Christmas. Now I need to get pinning and sewing.

Today, Tuesday, has been bright and sunny all day which is lovely but doesn't half show up the dirty windows. I cleaned the most obvious - in the kitchen - but ran out of enthusiasm for doing any more. Col was working over at our neighbours all morning, cutting down the willows round her pond. Was it just a year ago that he did this and brought home lots of willow slips that we pushed in all around the caravan part of the campsite? Most are still alive and soon we will have a huge hedge like we have around the sides of the tent area.

I did say a couple of weeks ago that I seem to be spending a bit too much time online, I have other things that I need and want to do but seem to be picking up the lap top several times a day.   I want to wean myself off this, as it seems to be becoming an addiction. So  until Easter when we open the campsite and there will be more gardening to blog about too, I'm just going to post once or twice a week. I will pop in and read all my favourite blogs to keep in touch.

So back in a few days
Sue