News from a Spalding allotment holder and knitter

Look what's coming up in mixed media artist Carol Parker's allotment.
Look what's coming up in mixed media artist Carol Parker's allotment.
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No mention of football, I promise... although if they’d eaten all their greens it may have helped, writes Carol Parker.

Talking of greens, have you heard of Mizuna? Does sound a little like one of the aforementioned unmentionables doesn’t it, but it’s actually a kind of Japanese leafy green that can either be cooked or used in salad. You can even eat the stem when the plant goes to seed... back of the net! And it grows really well on my pitch, sorry plot.

As usual, I was tempted by all the wonderful names on seed packets: lollo rosso, radicchio, pak choi, gerrard – and forgot to choose wisely, so I have lots of salad crops and, as I haven’t really got the hang of sowing in succession yet, they’re all ready at once!

Still it means I’ve got lots to give away to friends so I can build up a few return favours owed!

The runner beans are being a little slow to set flower, a bit weak in midfield and slack on the flanks, but I’m picking mange tout and cabbage as well as my old favourite ruby chard.

The little beasties are a perennial problem. I don’t use pesticides so my non-existent defending consists of using preventative measures. I’ve made a fruit cage for the strawberries and currants but something is still managing to nick a few, and two huge crows that march up and down like security guards at the end of my allotment are anything but... they are just waiting till I leave and then they sink their beaks into my broad beans!

I’m now having to pick the crop earlier than I want to, otherwise there would be nothing left, leaving a very ragged back line.

And while we’re on the subject of ragged back lines, I strim daily. It’s my new fitness regime, but with my dodgy left foot and damaged meniscus (a knee injury to you and me) it ain’t easy!

While the veg grows the art flourishes alongside – the Visible Mending Exhibition has been posted to Northampton from Northumberland.

I’ve started a new craft group called #craftarmy and last week we celebrated Worldwide Knit in Public Day... no time to finish now. A ragged back line is calling the strimmer, but check out my blogs!