Carol’s bountiful harvest

Mirabelle plums: perfect for jams ' and brandy making ' Carol has discovered.
Mirabelle plums: perfect for jams ' and brandy making ' Carol has discovered.

Beans, beans, beans! Following a poor show last year, I doubled up on my planting this time to make sure I would reap at least a small harvest… how was I to know that this was going to be a bountiful bean year, asks Carol Parker.

With a full to bursting freezer, I’ve resorted to leaving pickings on friends’ doorsteps as I’d hate the little green beauties to go to waste.

While we’re on the subject of a glut, I inherited a bush on my allotment, nothing special, but it does serve to provide some shade during the hottest hours of the day.

Recently I noticed small green fruits appearing, which then swelled into beautiful bright yellow ovals. After searching online, I discovered they were Mirabelle plums and they make fantastic jam (and brandy apparently!).

As for the rest of the allotment, I’ve not been so lucky. The fennel and ruby chard both suffered from lack of water and went to seed early, but there’s been enough other veg to keep me well supplied and feed the odd rabbit, pheasant and caterpillar… plenty for all of us.

Ever since taking on my plot, I’ve never quite managed to cultivate it all. There’s always been a piece at the far end that I’ve left to grass.

I know how popular allotments are and that waiting lists are getting longer, so I felt a little greedy keeping such a huge plot to myself.

I therefore contacted the council offering half back for someone else to take on. I’m looking forward to meeting my new neighbour whoever you are.

And talking of neighbours, I’ve made contact with new pals at Willoughby Road Allotments in Boston (more about that next month).

As for my other creative work, my self-funded Visible Mending Exhibition has now been posted on to the next leg of its tour on the Isle of Lewis. Images from all tour dates can be seen at: carol/

I’ve completed two knitted pieces for public art installations: one for Los Angeles and the other for Auckland in New Zealand. In between the knitting and digging, I’ve submitted two funding applications – so fingers crossed for those please!

More info on my blog: