Real Men Sow

One Honeymoon, One Hardworking Mum and One Courgette.


Thank you so much to everyone for their kind comments, tweets and emails wishing me and Ailsa a happy wedding day. I’m really touched to share this corner of cyberspace with such a lovely bunch of people.

Sardinia was beautiful, hot, very friendly and full of feeders. ‘You’ll be fit and fat by the end!’ said the man who met us at the airport and transferred me, Ailsa and our bikes to the start point of the Skedaddle Coast to Coast ride.

The Sardinian food really motivated me to get straight back to the allotment on my return. Five course meals of traditional home-cooked grub fired and filled my belly in equal measures. Grow your own and delicious local food is so ingrained in rural Sardinian life, and it’s impossible not to be inspired.

Huge Thanks to My Weed-Killing Mum
Luckily for me, my mum has been an absolute trooper while I’ve been away, keeping the plot ticking over and the weeds down. She’s been begging lifts and keeping the local taxi firm in business with frequent trips to the plot and I can’t thank her enough. And she even managed to get my horticulturally-averse dad to cut the grass.

So I was very, very excited to see what had grown in the fortnight I’d been away. I got home at 11pm Saturday night, but had to resist the temptation to pop over until the next morning. I’m not ashamed to admit to a few butterflies in the stomach as I wandered over.

What’s a Goner?
In bad news, the birds have had most of my gooseberries, so no delicious jam until the plums start falling from the trees, and my broad beans had to be pulled up prematurely. Mum’s official diagnosis was that they ‘went funny’, but she shelled a few for the freezer before they were composted down.

My strawberries have finished too, but I’ve certainly had my money’s worth from them this year, so no grumbles here.

Some Good News – Beets, Courgettes, Rhubarb and French Beans!
Before I went away, someone jokingly said to me that my cheery blog had been rather depressing, with tales of forever failing spring onions, crazy weather and the damage it was doing to the plot and snail decimations. So, its time to share some good news I reckon.

After being a bit behind this season, I’ve now got loads of beetroot ready. This is one of my favourite things to grow, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to harvest some.

I’ve also got my first one of these:

Let the glut begin!

But best of all, the rhubarb’s back! The dry weather had made my favourite allotment produce go all floppy and useless, but the recent rain has revived it. A dozen handsome sticks were cut, and I can now dig out my rhubarb recipes again.

I’ve also got French beans coming out of my ears. They’ve gone nuts in the past fortnight. I’ve never seen a row of such laden plants. I picked over half a kilo yesterday, and there are still loads on there.

Feeling Romantic
Despite mum’s Herculean efforts, there are still a few things I need to catch up on, like weeding out my summer onions, but that heady mid-summer, all go feeling crept up on me yesterday leaving me full of excitement for the bounty ahead.

Maybe it’s getting married, or maybe it is coming home to a lovely English summer’s day, but I’m feeling all romantic at the moment.

Hope everything’s coming along swimmingly for you all and you’re tucking in to courgettes galore

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  1. robJuly 4, 2011 at 9:20 pmReply

    LOL, if you’re not feeling romantic after just getting married you never will!

    So you’ve had rain? My poor rhubarb is still all limp and we were only commenting yesterday about whether we actually get any more this year. Think I’m with you with the courgettes, but miles behind on the French beans and my broad beans are only just starting.

  2. BridgetJuly 4, 2011 at 10:02 pmReply

    Seems nothig went too wrong when you were away. Lots of produce to harvest. Hoping for some rain here soon.

  3. Jono

    JonoJuly 6, 2011 at 12:45 pmReplyAuthor

    Hi Rob – yeah, we had a couple of heavy downpours while I was away apparently. Little bit more last night, and some forecast for the next couple of days. Trouble is, it tends to break up by the time it reaches us.

    I was really troubled when the rhubarb keeled over. I thought that was our lot. I’ve lost quite a few things early this year, like purple sprouting and the broadies.

    Hi Bridget – hope you get the rain you need soon! Its exciting at the mo, seem to harvest every day this time of the year.

  4. pauloJuly 22, 2011 at 4:52 pmReply

    Would just like to make it clear that “weed-killing mum” evokes this picture of a half mad woman spraying chemicals everywhere, but in fact she pulled every one up by hand and said sorry to all of them.

    • Jono

      JonoJuly 22, 2011 at 5:13 pmReplyAuthor

      Sorry dad.

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.


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