One thing’s for sure with this grow your own lark: no two years are ever the same. With a baby boy to contend with, plus a smaller growing space, 2013 has been like no other I’ve experienced before.
As we reach that symbolic and reflective year-end period, I thought I’d document some of the Real Men Sow highs and lows of 2013. The year began with a real high, and a new member of the Real Men Sow family.
When I started the Real Men Sow, I made myself a rule that I wouldn’t let the blog veer towards personal posts. RMS was going to be all about the veg.
However, after all the lovely tweets I received about my newly born son, I decided to discard my self-imposed regulations to officially welcome Lewis. The picture above is Lewis 10 months on. 🙂
Allotment Cakes for the Weekend
In March, I started a new feature, Allotment Cakes for the Weekend. The idea was to bake a weekly cake, with an allotment theme. The challenge was to find a tasty and seasonal recipe each weekend, which would prove particularly testing once the season had finished and I was left scrabbling around the shed for the last of summer’s stored apples.
Things started well, and then I had to go on a diet to fit into the best man’s suit. I’m still baking though, just not weekly!
Learning Lessons About Checking the Weather Forecast
In March, I learned a valuable lesson too, by virtue of planting out my broad bean seedlings way too early (just before night’s snowfall actually!).
I live in a little pocket of the country where more often than not, we miss the bad weather and subsequently I’ve developed a habit of not taking the weather forecast very seriously. The peninsula where I am located is sheltered, dry, and generally warmer than most other areas.
However, I’ll be checking the forecast in the future.
A Visit to Great Dixter
I was also fortunate enough to be given a tour of Great Dixter house and gardens, thanks to a blogging meet organised by the very lovely Naomi from Out of My Shed.
The Dixter gardens were beautiful, but it was a talk by head gardener Fergus Garrett that inspired me the most.
Making My Own Potting Compost
In April I began experimenting with making my own potting compost, using equal part molehill, leaf mould, and kitchen compost. I loved this process and will be doing it again in 2014.
Real Men Sow Goes Video
May saw a whole new take on Real Men Sow blogging in the form of a video. I wanted to try and get across the true size of my back garden growing space, and how I was trying to cram as much as I could in. ‘Filming’ was rather haphazard but did feature Lewis and I kind of enjoyed it.
June arrived and brought with it my first meaningful kitchen garden harvests. I’d been experimenting with growing peas and mangetout up wigwams as a space saver. I was not only chuffed with the crop (spare the last few pods that succumbed to pea moth), but I thought the wigwam made for a really attractive feature too.
2013 was also the year that mum had left me entirely to my own devices. I have to confess to being nervous about this whole new level of responsibility, but as summer unfolded I can proudly say there were some undoubted hits.
However, there are quite a few misses too…