Here's Xanthe's cucumber helpfully teaching her the alphabet. I'm not sure that teaching via vegetables is the way to go though, as it appears to have glossed right over A and B.
Did anyone else tell that silly story as a child, you know, the one that goes "It was a dark, dark night, in a dark, dark house ...." I've adapted it slightly for the allotment, "It was a hard, hard plot, with hard, hard soil in a hard, hard year, watered with hard, hard water by a gardener with hard, hard hands and a hard, hard heart" (all true apart from the heart business)
Our woes have been added to with the discovery that our carrots weren't eaten by carrot fly but by wire worm. A neighbouring plot has lost potatoes to the same pest. Apparently they have a three year life cycle so it could be 3 years before we can successfully grow root vegetables.
However, it's not all bleak. Today I harvested the remainder of our broad beans, we've had about 10 kilos in total so I think that can count as a successful crop. The courgettes and rainbow chard are also cropping well at the moment and the pumpkins, borlotti beans and cavolo nero are coming along nicely too. I am a tad concerned that the sweetcorn isn't growing as quickly as I'd like but fingers crossed.
The courgettes are doing so well that I've been able to kick off the 2010 preserving season with my first batch of courgette pickle (below), hopefully there'll be a few more to come. I've got an exhaustive wish list for this year's preserves, more of which anon but suffice to say I've got my eye on the Rowan berries next .......