gardening with kids – new friends and allotment grown elevenses

June 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm 14 comments

toddler and dog playing ball at the allotment - week I visited the allotment for the first time with just Luca as Euan was at school and we’d not managed a weekend visit.  It was a beautiful sunny day and while we waited for Dave to arrive Luca made a new friend, a spaniel called Zac.  Zac kept picking up stones and dropping them at our feet as we talked to his owner Lesley.  She said he likes to play catch with stones but soon went off to find him a ball when we realised how good he was at intercepting every single throw and wincing at the clunking sound of stone on teeth.  Luca was in his element combining his love of balls and dogs and Mummy time.

Luca playing ball with Zac at the allotment -

boy and dog at the allotment -

toddler and dog at the allotment -

Allotment - toddler and dog playing ball

excited dog at the allotment -

Zac was getting so exhausted by the sun and ball play and we could see he would never voluntarily stop bringing the ball back to us.  So Luca and I said our farewell’s and headed down to Dave’s plot, not before stopping to say hello to some other allotment animals.

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We had a little explore while we waited for Dave to arrive.  I’ve always loved the ramshackled sheds at the allotment but over the years, as new plot holders have arrived, there have been more new ones cropping up.  I’ve always loved this shed which has gradually been grown over Virginia Creeper and turns an amazing red colour in the Autumn.  I encouraged L to go and knock at the door but he wasn’t at all keen!

allotment shed covered in Virginia Creeper  -

Our patch is coming along well and we picked some lettuce to take home.  We only have 2 carrots growing after our long weeks of waiting but it’s 2 more than last year!  Still no sign of our kohl rabi but I’m happy to see that the tomato plants we put in a few weeks ago are looking fab.   It’s thirsty work gardening so we always take our Oxo Tot twist top water bottle and on this occasion snacked on broad beans.

allotment thirsty toddler_oxotot twist top bottle -

thirsty toddler_oxotot twist top bottle -

It was the perfect time to pick the broad beans as there were very few black fly on them.  Dave plants his broad beans in November and I used to do this as well when I learnt that they escape the black fly by being ready to pick just that bit earlier than beans planted in February.allotment toddler in the broad beans - toddler broad beans - toddler eating broad beans -

We weren’t able to visit the plot at the weekend but hope to on Saturday.  So much changes when you can only visit every other Saturday.  Thank goodness we have Dave to keep an eye on things for us, especially with the upcoming heatwave next week.  If you’ve you’ve missed any of our other gardening with kids posts you can catch up with them by clicking the link.  Cheerio for now and happy gardening.
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Entry filed under: allotment tales, gardening with kids.

foraging elderflowers to make cordial (with a little help from my friends) Me and Mine project [June 2018]

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jeanna  |  June 21, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Beautiful profile and actions shots and that giant bean, oh my!

    • 2. Nip it in the bud  |  June 22, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      thank you Jeanna. Podding peas and popping beans is such a great toddler activity – keeps them occupied for ages and eating veg they might normally turn their nose up at!

  • 3. Carol  |  June 26, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Love the shot of the dog in motion. Luca is a cutie! #keepingitreal

    • 4. Nip it in the bud  |  July 3, 2018 at 10:33 am

      It really helps with photography practice when you find your kids so cute Carol! Luca definitely got an extra helping :O)

  • 5. RaisieBay  |  June 27, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Such lovely photos. This takes me right back to when I was very small and my Dad used to take me to his allotment. My Dad passed away when I was 8yrs old so my main memories of him revolve around his allotment and I can still picture it vividly in my head despite it being more than 40 years ago. Hopefully this will be the same for Luca in years to come.

    • 6. Nip it in the bud  |  July 3, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Hello Anne, thank you for sharing you fond memories of gardening with your Dad. That must have been so hard to lose him at such a young age, I’m so happy you have strong memories of what he loved and the time he spent with you. I think the boys, Euan especially, will have really fond memories of their gardening time (and Dave’s cherryade!)

  • 7. debsrandomwritings  |  June 30, 2018 at 4:17 am

    Hi Nic, what a lovely dog! We have one that will retrieve anything too, balls, stones, old socks!… It won’t be long before that old shed is no longer visible, imagine the stories you could make up about it? It could be a modern-day doorway to Narnia and I’m not sure I would knock on it either… Fingers crossed that more carrots pop up in the coming weeks, but two is better than none… I do remember enjoying fresh runner beans and peas straight off the plant, I had this thing against broad beans as I found them bitter, I think Dad used to leave them to long on the bush… Maybe you could answer a question for me? My husband took over my small patch with his potatoes, and I planted tomato plants around the outside of the patch and they aren’t doing so well. The neighbour popped around some of his veggies and was telling me that tomatoes shouldn’t be planted alongside potatoes, or at least that’s what I think he was saying, even after all these years my Greek is laughable. Why would that be?

    Thank you for popping by and linking up with #keepingitreal.

    • 8. Nip it in the bud  |  July 1, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Debs, I really smiled when I read ”2 is better than none” as that’s exactly what I said and is a common mantra when he groans about not being able to have more of something.
      Your neighbour may well have been saying it’s better not to plant tomatoes and potatoes together but not so much because they hinder each other or are inherently bad in themselves. I think it’s because they are from the same nightshade family so tend to draw the same nutrients from the soil and if one gets effected by disease or blight it’ll easily transfer to the other. In a small space I would plant them together if that was the only option but be extra vigilant about giving them what they need or planting something else nearby to repel the sort of bugs that take a fancy to them. If you google ”Tomtato” some people even create a hybrid plant.

      My initial thought with your tomatoes is that they may need a feed if you haven’t done so already. Tomatoes don’t cope very well with just water alone and need a liquid feed of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous to encourage flowering and fruiting. I’m glad you asked as it’s reminded me I keep forgetting to take my liquid feed to the plot (I have Guardian Dave keeping an eye out for mine though!) One of mine was looking a bit bedraggled and I thought perhaps the root had been damaged by a wandering toddler.

  • 9. Coombe Mill (Fiona) (@coombemill)  |  July 1, 2018 at 8:53 am

    A very happy pair enjoying the allotment with you.

    • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  July 3, 2018 at 10:37 am

      It’s my favourite part of my week even if it is less productive than it ever used to be when I’d power through the whole day digging and planting and only pausing for brief snack breaks!

  • 11. Darren Coleshill (@Photalife)  |  July 1, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Really cute photos, I bet an allotment is a great way for a child to enjoy nature

    Hope you had a good Sunday and thank you for linking up to #MySundayPhoto

    • 12. Nip it in the bud  |  July 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      thanks Darren, it really is and the bonus of snacking on freshly grown food can’t be beaten!

  • 13. The Queen of Collage  |  July 3, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Love that you are gardening with your child. It’s a great experience to have and wonderful way to teach your child that food doesn’t just randomly appear on shelves. #keepingitreal

    • 14. Nip it in the bud  |  July 3, 2018 at 10:38 am

      You’re so right, far too easy for kids to believe things just appear from the fridge. I always feel so proud of Euan when he correctly spots a plant or can name a food his friends are baffled by. And it comes from such a genuine interest on his part :o)


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About Nip it in the bud

Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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I love how an ordinary moment frozen in time by the camera can actually reveal so much. Luca is all about inhabiting his body and jumping, running and climbing. Euan is all about the quirkiness, curiosity and inventions. There's more about these best friend brothers on the blog in this month's #siblingsproject post #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
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#mischiefmakers #summerreadingchallenge starts today - you can find out more at your local library. E was excited to sign up and work towards earning his medal. There are some great activities taking place in Gloucestershire libraries this summer. #welovereadingbooks #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
I'd love a packet of crisps the size of a pillow case to make the same toddler-to-Doritos bag ratio. #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog #toddlerliferocks
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I love finding pictures on my phone I'd forgotten about that remind me of a really special time with my boys (the Project Pilgrim celebration at @GlosCathedral a couple of weeks ago) #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
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L fell asleep in the car today and stayed asleep when I got him out. I took this picture thinking I'd savour the moment and then wake him so that bedtime wouldn't be messy but just look at that face, I couldn't. So I enjoyed the cuddle instead and he's now snoring blissfully beside me again. Trust your baby, he knows what he needs 😴 #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog

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