E.J.Wilkins

22 Jan 2009 666 views
 
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photoblog image At the Allotment - January

At the Allotment - January


Red shoots

This is rhubarb - Rheum rhabarbum. More about growing it - here -

It is grown commercially in the "- Rhubarb Triangle -" - an area between Morley, Leeds and Wakefield. Much of the growing is in huge sheds, in darkness, which "forces" the rhubarb and apparently makes the stems sweeter. Apparently, in the commercial sheds, it grows so quickly you can hear it.

Gardeners will often force their own plants by covering them with old chimney pots with a slate on top. It doesn't harm the plant as long as it's given time during the summer to grow naturally and replenish the rootstock. It's a hungry plant that benefits from being manured.

This plant isn't being "forced" and I'd think it will be covered up with either soil or compost to protect it from frost. It does seem very early, but then I don't know much!

The stems are harvested by pulling them, gently but firmly upwards, until they "pull" away from the plant. The leaf is removed and also the white spur at the base of the stalk.
Cut the stalk into pieces about an inch long and simmer gently - no need to add water, but it does need sugar. It's delicious with a hint of ginger, either fresh/grated or dried/ground.

The leaves should not be eaten, they are toxic. They used to be boiled and strained, the water used as a pesticide.
.....

Picture taken 16th January 2009
.....

This series of pictures are from local Allotments, which is land owned by the council that can be rented for growing plants (fruit/vegetables/flowers) for use in the home. The land is separated into measured strips, rather like the mediaeval field systems.

I do not have an allotment. I am grateful for the tenants who didn't mind me taking a few pictures.

.....

**extra**
Those of you who saw my blog yesterday will know about the proposed changes to Freedom of Information legislation due before Parliament today (22nd January 2009), which would have allowed MPs to keep details of their expenses private.

The decision to try to change the law was announced only last week, tucked away beneath information relating to the Heathrow Runway business.

A High Court ruling last year stated that MPs expenses should be published in line with FoI legislation.

Mr Brown has decided to abandon this parliamentary vote and has withdrawn Harriet Harmans' amendment for now (pending discussion), even though he had imposed a three line whip for Labour MPs. It seems that Mr Brown realised opposition MPs would not support it, and nor would some Labour MPs  - because they had signed an Early Day Motion relating to the matter.

More information is on the site that started, and then co-ordinated, the online information "campaign"  "- mySociety -"
I understand that over 7,000 people joined the Facebook group.

Maybe the internet has more uses than we realised - all this took just 6 days. This may also demonstrate why our government plans to work alongside the USA to "police" the English-speaking internet.

By the way, Tony McNulty (Employment Minister) reckons he can see a "light at the end of a tunnel" regarding employment (or lack of it) - here - and  - here - and - Daily Politics Show bbc -
.

At the Allotment - January


Red shoots

This is rhubarb - Rheum rhabarbum. More about growing it - here -

It is grown commercially in the "- Rhubarb Triangle -" - an area between Morley, Leeds and Wakefield. Much of the growing is in huge sheds, in darkness, which "forces" the rhubarb and apparently makes the stems sweeter. Apparently, in the commercial sheds, it grows so quickly you can hear it.

Gardeners will often force their own plants by covering them with old chimney pots with a slate on top. It doesn't harm the plant as long as it's given time during the summer to grow naturally and replenish the rootstock. It's a hungry plant that benefits from being manured.

This plant isn't being "forced" and I'd think it will be covered up with either soil or compost to protect it from frost. It does seem very early, but then I don't know much!

The stems are harvested by pulling them, gently but firmly upwards, until they "pull" away from the plant. The leaf is removed and also the white spur at the base of the stalk.
Cut the stalk into pieces about an inch long and simmer gently - no need to add water, but it does need sugar. It's delicious with a hint of ginger, either fresh/grated or dried/ground.

The leaves should not be eaten, they are toxic. They used to be boiled and strained, the water used as a pesticide.
.....

Picture taken 16th January 2009
.....

This series of pictures are from local Allotments, which is land owned by the council that can be rented for growing plants (fruit/vegetables/flowers) for use in the home. The land is separated into measured strips, rather like the mediaeval field systems.

I do not have an allotment. I am grateful for the tenants who didn't mind me taking a few pictures.

.....

**extra**
Those of you who saw my blog yesterday will know about the proposed changes to Freedom of Information legislation due before Parliament today (22nd January 2009), which would have allowed MPs to keep details of their expenses private.

The decision to try to change the law was announced only last week, tucked away beneath information relating to the Heathrow Runway business.

A High Court ruling last year stated that MPs expenses should be published in line with FoI legislation.

Mr Brown has decided to abandon this parliamentary vote and has withdrawn Harriet Harmans' amendment for now (pending discussion), even though he had imposed a three line whip for Labour MPs. It seems that Mr Brown realised opposition MPs would not support it, and nor would some Labour MPs  - because they had signed an Early Day Motion relating to the matter.

More information is on the site that started, and then co-ordinated, the online information "campaign"  "- mySociety -"
I understand that over 7,000 people joined the Facebook group.

Maybe the internet has more uses than we realised - all this took just 6 days. This may also demonstrate why our government plans to work alongside the USA to "police" the English-speaking internet.

By the way, Tony McNulty (Employment Minister) reckons he can see a "light at the end of a tunnel" regarding employment (or lack of it) - here - and  - here - and - Daily Politics Show bbc -
.

comments (22)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 22 Jan 2009, 03:06
Rhubarb is one of my favourite foods, Ellie.

This is a superb portrait.
EJWilkins: THanks, the colours are rather good aren't they
Life rising from decay. Beautiful shot.
EJWilkins: Seemingly so
Y'know Ellie : I've always loved rhubarb - delicious!

Good news the way Brown retreated yesterday on the MPs expenses issue. It made me smile when I heard that
EJWilkins: I smiled too, but Harman isn't at all happy
Ah, I see this image is a reference to the very last paragraph in your text....as in, `what a load of old rhubarb`! (:o)
EJWilkins: ... growing in the dark, with the help of manure ... wink
This is a beautiful picture of rhubarb, Ellie.
It does grow into fantastic shapes, and even the opened out leaves are photogenic.
My Mum used to grow rhubarb, and she made rhubarb pies that people raved about.

Thanks for your info about Parliament and the FoI act. I had been reading about it, but you summed it up well.
I am now going to log into Facebook and see what I can see there.
EJWilkins: There's loads and loads of stuff going on just now Sheila, take a look at Iain Dale's Diary
  • Chad Doveton
  • location location location.
  • 22 Jan 2009, 08:09
This is remarkable, Ellie. This happens and not many of us notice.
EJWilkins: You're right, rhubarb doesn't usually get noticed until it's taller
  • Aussie
  • Hot and Humid Brisbane
  • 22 Jan 2009, 08:11
terrific image Ellie
EJWilkins: Thanks
  • Aussie
  • Hot and Humid Brisbane
  • 22 Jan 2009, 08:15
I thought they had turned off the light at the end of the tunnel due to finacial restraints
Sorry just had to add that old joke from "the recession we had to have" (prime minister) back in late 80's/early 90's
EJWilkins: Looks like we're having another one of those, but our Prime Minister is in denial and is blaming it on the rest of the world not following his command!
  • Frida
  • Sweden
  • 22 Jan 2009, 08:44
Wow rhubarb this early in the year. But the weather is strange and so much warmer this winter so everything has been upside down.
EJWilkins: I thought it was early too, but it was in a very sheltered spot
Great texture and detail - nice shot.
EJWilkins: Thanks Jim
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 22 Jan 2009, 10:28
Rhubarb pie with custard.good photo.
EJWilkins: MMm, sounds tasty
  • Tracy
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 22 Jan 2009, 10:41
I love rhubard crumble and custardsmile
EJWilkins: Me too smile
My goodness, Ellie. Rhubarb up already! I can't believe it. I always let one rhubarb plant flower. I make a great arrangement with it's flower and lupins for the deck. It has a ton of pollen and can't be brought into the house because of the mess. It's gorgeous outside though.
EJWilkins: The flowers are quite spectacular aren't they
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 Jan 2009, 11:26
You know that spring is just round the corner when you see these shooting up in the garden. I always vow to use them in cooking but get so inundated with them that most end of rotting away! The first are always the best.
Ingrid
EJWilkins: Absolutely, it's disappointing that we can't grow it in our garden because it's too wet in the winter, but it's one of my favourites
I love rhubarb..we have some in our garden! We don't force it just let it grow naturally. It usually ends up in a crumble with loads of custard!
EJWilkins: Same here smile
Wonderful capture Ellie. I love the colours!
EJWilkins: Amazing range of hues isn't it
These securing a good series. I am interested!
EJWilkins: Good to hear it Jose Angel
I eat most things Ellie but Rhubarb isn't one of them I'm afraid, doesn't stop me enjoying your photograph though.
EJWilkins: Did you know they used to take rhubarb onto sailing ships as a remedy? Maybe that's why you're not too keen
If I didn't know better Ellie I would have thought of this as an alien plant species ... Fabulolus image taken at the 'decisive moment.'

As far as the survey goes ... it's rhubard crumble for me ... with the crumble having oats mixed in it ... Mmmm yummy ... and of course custard.

richard
EJWilkins: Oooh, somebody else adds oats to the crumble - and brown sugar too?
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 22 Jan 2009, 18:35
I don't think I've ever seen rhubarb like that, Ellie! But we do love our rhubarb and strawberry pie once summertime comes. My ex-husband and son used to make it all the time. smile What a great, sharp image.
EJWilkins: I've never, ever tried rhubarb with strawberries, must do that this year smile
Like very much the fine details of this picture !!
EJWilkins: Thanks Zeb
Un peu plus tard, lorsqu'elle a poussé... une bonne tarte meringuée, c'est un délice ! ;o))

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