Life in Crouch End, bikes, trying to be green and other randomness

Cheecky Blighters!

Thanks to the Stroud Green Residents Association for this!!

A CAR rental firm has landed itself in hot water for using a
residential street as an overflow car park.

Staff at the National Car Rental in Pentonville Road, King’s Cross,
have been parking cars they can’t fit on their premises
four-and-a-half miles away in Mount View Road, Finsbury Park.

Link to whole article in the Islington Gazette:


Different Veg

These are white carrots, Kuttiger carrots, which I decided to try as an alternative to orange carrots. I’ve decided that this is going to be my approach with the majority of the stuff I try to grow, if you can buy it in Tescos I’m not interested – variety is the spice of life! These have a wonderful taste, a bit like a cross between a carrot and a parsnip. That might just be my mind telling me that because they look like parsnips.

Very Local Food

It doesn’t get much more local than this – Central Hornsey and District allotments and horticultural society are having a produce sale at their annual show at the Moravia Hall on Priory Road at 2pm on Saturday September 8th – I’m definitely going to take a look in!

CHADAHS Annual Show

The Annual Show for the Central Hornsey and District Allotments and Horticultural Society takes place on Saturday September 8th, at the Moravian Church Hall in Priory Road, N8, on the corner of Redston Road, close to the lower entrance to Alexandra Palace (buses 144, W3 and W7). See below for a form if you wish to enter one or more things you have grown or made.

The Show is one of the largest in London and is now in its 58th year and more popular than ever.

Along with exhibits of vegetables, fruit and flowers, arts and crafts and the children’s art competition, there will be plenty for visitors to enjoy all afternoon, from stalls selling plants, vegetables, flowers, honey, hand-made cards, to the exhibits of flowers, fruit and vegetables, plus artwork, and not forgetting the delicious teas with home-made cakes and the exciting End of Show Auction of produce of all sorts. All this plus a raffle, gardening quiz, tombola, caption competition and Guess the weight of the cake!

The Show starts at 2pm, prizes will be presented by the Mayor at 3.30pm, and ends with the Auction of cakes, fruit and flowers at 4.30pm. Entry is 30p.

After the rains

According to the RHS vegetable growing blog the hard part of the growing season – now its just maintenance and reaping the rewards. So it seems like an appropriate place to take stock of what has worked and what hasn’t. It is still raining and its still way too cold for August <grump grump>

Things in pots

Ok – this is more of a general thing than a specific crop – but this is one area where the hard work will be on going, with daily watering and regular feeds needed to keep the crops going. The heavy rains leached away alot of nutrients from the soil, so some of the hungrier plants have suffered a bit and are needing regular feeds.

Things that have worked

1. Garlic – wow – really easy, stick in it the ground in October – it loves being amongst the roses, and then pull it up when it is ready, it even tells you when – because it falls over and then turns brown – perfect. I’m going to get even more next year, so that my crop is spread through the year a bit more evenly. The Garlic farm on the Isle of Wight do a fantastic garlic lovers growing kit that contains no less than 8 varieties for £25. Considering i grew 500g from just 3 heads this year, thats alot of garlic potential!

2. Swiss Chard – lots of it and grown like a weed

Potatoes in buckets – really easy

Things with promise

3 Tomatoes – lots of them but only just ripening

4 – Courgettes, at least the ones in a big barrel are starting to fruit like mad

5 – cucumber – i started them late but there are lots of fruit on the vine i did put in

Things that didn’t work

6 Beans – mostly my bean plants have become slug food – the snails get past the copper tape with ease in this weather.

7 Broccoli – slug food!

8 Basil – been to cold

9 Aubergines – too cold – need to be under glass really

10 – chillis – ditto with aubergines – lots of slug food, rubbish in hanging baskets!

Gormet Burger Kitchen/Wild Berry Cafe

June has been horrible, july not much better.

 I noticed as i was walking down Topsfield Parade that the Wild Berry Cafe has closed, and in its place will be a branch of the Gormet Burger Kitchen.

I’m not convinced that Crouch End needs another chain restaurant, but then i never stepped foot in the Wild Berry Cafe either.

 There seems to be some work happening at the Creamery (shut since I can remember) which would be interesting – as it seems a shame for such an ideal location to be left derelict.

Staying alive at Glastonbury

Not me – my phone. Despite falling in the mud, my  four year old nokia 8310 clung on to dear life despite some wonky text messages from the bits of Worthy Farm that I couldn’t quite get out of the keypad straight away. Better still, the battery is still reliable if given a full charge after being completely drained. It lasted 4 days of heavy texting (“we are at the pyramid stage etc”) – and I topped it up with the Freeloader that had collected about 7 days of solar trickle charge, enough to give a half charge. It may have even been enough for the entire rest of the festival had we not got stuck in one of the car parks for 12 hours whilst everyone ahead of us was towed off site by tractors.

Green N8

It’s taken me a year to find this site – but here it is. It certainly didn’t come up when i searched for Green and Crouch End in google. Instead i found it because of an article on Parkland Walk in the local paper. Green N8 seems to be a forum for local green discussion – it is hard to tell how many people use it as most of the discussion board postings date from the last week or two.