This month is more of a case of what we haven't done at the allotment. It has simply been too cold and far too wet to do anything constructive. The snow passed us by but we did suffer with the high winds. I found the top of a water butt on our plot and when I told one of the chaps across from us about it he said it came from two plots down from him. Upon inspection of our plot I noticed the lid of one of the compost bins had blown off. A quick scan about and I spotted it next door and I was able to retrieve it easily.
We have still been eating off the allotment with our crop of leeks and sprouts doing us proud in these winter months. Although most of the cauliflowers have turned yellow one has survived. The new year has awoken the rhubarb with three crowns showing the soil. We couldn't cut these last year as they were new crowns but we will certainly be taking advantage of them this year.
Whilst we haven't been up to much at the allotment unfortunately we had some uninvited and unwelcome night time visitors. A couple of days before Christmas my husband took a call from the council's allotment office to be told that eight of the plots had been broken into. I feared the worst for our shed. We have nothing of great value in it but collectively it would cost quite a bit to go out and buy new spades, forks, trowels, wheelbarrows etc. I couldn't bear to go down myself so I waited until Mr JibberJabber was able to go down and inspect it. It seems that they broke into one shed and had a rummage but our collection of dirty tools and plant netting was of no interest to them. They tried to get into the other shed but it defeated them. After speaking to several of the plot holders it seems we escaped mainly intact except for one allotmenteer. I won't say what was taken but I hope he has learnt his lesson!
Such an event could easily have dampened our spirits and made us think again about renewing our tenancy in April however the arrival of several allotment themed Christmas presents followed by allotment grown sprouts and leeks for dinner put us back in the right frame of mind. My sister-in-law gave us (or me as I have claimed it for myself!) a lovely and very sturdy trug. There was also three books all designed to help us grow and use our produce. We've already found out why our cauliflowers went a funny yellow through reading one of the books (we should have tied the leaves up to stop the sun discolouring them.)
We've also had our potato, onion and garlic delivery from our allotment society order. In is is a selection of potatoes to see us through the year as long as the dreaded blight doesn't strike again. Our first early is a variety called Casablanca. Apparently they can be planted as soon as next month but most people wait until March. Time to start chitting!