It's warmed up this week and on Saturday I went to collect some really well-rotted horse poo from a farm owned by the dad of a friend of a friend, (with said friend). It was nice being out in the countryside, with skylarks and yellowhammers singing (the first yellowhammer I've heard for a while, with its 'little bit of bread and no cheeeeese' characteristic song).
I don't have a car anymore so we went in my friend's and filled up 10 bags (5 each). We dropped off hers first (she has an allotment on a different site to me) and then went to drop off mine. It had been a lovely morning so far but all went awry when we realised the housing estate next to the allotments was cordoned off by police and there were police cars and ambulances blocking the area, including the allotments. My friend did a skilful turn around in the narrow road and we instead dropped the bags off in my front garden (where they still sit). A police helicopter was overhead for quite a while too. I found out later that there had been a serious incident. I won't go into detail but this kind of thing is fortunately unusual in Norwich and they caught the person responsible that afternoon.
So I'll have to take the horse poo bags down to the plot one by one on my little trolley, which can take a surprising amount of weight. I'll also keep one of the bags at home and use it on my tomatoes. There's still a huge muck heap left so we'll probably go back another time. I'll use this lot for the potatoes and the next lot for squashes.
I had a few hours on the plot yesterday and got carried away doing none of the things on my list. I did move my leaf mould pile nearer to the edge of my plot so that it's less in the way, as and when I clear that part. My two robin friends came to say hello and when my back was turned, they decided to get active - I'd put a small stack of pots on their side, on top of a bag of leaf mould that I'm going to use soon. Over the next half hour they started filling it up with leaves! Ok, so whilst this was really sweet, it was a terrible place for a nest, completely open and at the mercy of the local cats. So I moved it a couple of feet away, wedging it into the low branches of my buddliea, facing away from the prevailing wind, and cut a load of brambles and stuck them all around it as some protection. The robins were a bit confused and one kept going back to the place the pot had been but they were also hopping around where I'd moved it to so I hope they realise what had happened. I don't know how long it might take for them to lay eggs but I'll have a very careful peep next time I'm down.
In other naturey news, I saw my first butterfly of the year (a small tortoiseshell) and also sadly the remains of a dead fox in the undergrowth at the end of my plot. I hope it died of natural causes. I left it untouched as other beasties will make use of it and I'm not doing anything with that space this year.
It started to rain and I realised I hadn't picked any harvests yet so I did a quick whip round - the parsnips had started shooting again(after losing their leaves over winter). This means they start to get woody, so I dug them all up. This included two huge specimens! A nice surprise. Here's one of them, that got roasted with some potatoes.
My potatoes in storage have started to shoot so Friday night I made a big pan of mashed potato and mixed it up with some fried onion and garlic and froze in portions. I still have a huge bag of potatoes though, so this week I really need to get mashing!
So a bit of a wierd weekend and sorry for rambling on!
Linking in with Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions