Richard Gold's Allotment - Thursday 12 July 2001

On Thursday 12 July Richard Gold had open house at his allotment in Cookham near Maidenhead. In spite of showers and devastation from wind in the previous week, it was a joy to behold.
Richard's allotment is the standard pole in size and can be found off Sutton Road on the outskirts of Cookham. It is a lovely, sunny area near the banks of the Thames, overlooked by Cliveden on one side. There are some interesting birds to be seen flying over including the green ring necked paraqueet. Richard has his strawberries well netted.
Richard's greenhouse was obtained second hand from someone who was retiring. Richard had particularly wanted a wooden one and he just happened to notice it in the local paper. This year he is growing two tomato varieties, one being a small yellow, cherry type, although it looked slightly pear shape rather than cherry shape. He also is growing peppers, which produce about three fruit per plant and supply him and his wife with enough peppers for their needs.
A rows of fennel and beetroot. The beetroot are just ready for lifting. The fennel has produced beautiful bulbs and gives off a wonderful aniseed aroma when the feathery leaves are rubbed between your fingers. The leaves are used in gravilax and are a very useful decoration to give a finishing touch to a dish.
Richard has a long row of raspberries. They have a good crop at the moment ready for picking. He also grows loganberries and thornless blackberries.  The raspberry bushes act as a barrier against the wind to protect his vegetables, although this did not stop his sugar snap peas being blown over recently.
Richard has planted three varieties of potatoes, all of the waxy type. The first ones are nearly finished and have been supplying him and his wife for a month or two. Interestingly the foliage gets darker the later the potato, although this may just have been coincidence.