Tomatos That I Grow

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Gardeners Delght seedlngs sown on the 23-02-18 seed bought from Wilkos

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Image of the aluminium greenhouse where I grow my tomato’s the greenhouse is very old and I have been using it for about fifteen years

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I was preparing the tomato’s for the coming season and you can see I have got about half of the greenhouse planted out the seedling are in the background amongst the chaos I have created

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The tomato’s in this image have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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Notice the grape vine growing on the right hand side

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Close up of the tomato’s which have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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The tomato variety shown in this image are my favourite Gardeners Delight which to grow very well and are not suspetable to many growing problems or diseases

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The tomatos look happy enough and seem to be growing well in their grow pots I always use grow bags as the base component for gowing them in

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Notice the grape vine which is a strawbery tasting type in the back ground its looking really healthy and the main thing it tastes great and there are no pips

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It normally takes about a week to get all the tomato plants into their grow pots and the other containers I use

The Blue Bell Hendon

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Notice the new houses on the right of the Blue Bell these where built in the 1970s and are privately owned

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The roof of The Blue Bell was once a beautiful tiled structure but over many years of neglect sadly it is now nothing like it was in its hey day notice the attic window and the chimney pots and the TV mast

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The Blue Bell was situated in Zion Street Hendon Sunderland which was a street in the Jewish quarter of Hendon

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The Blue Bell looks very sad in its derelict condition and was pulled down shortly after I took these images

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My white Berlingo van can be seen on the left of the image

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Holy Trinity church can be seen in the background the church was opened in 1719 for the growing population of Sunderland as the ship building industry grew

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The attic window of The Blue Bell I wonder what history it can tell us about the pub

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Close up of the Blue Bells attic window now sadly looking very delapitdated after the pub closed shortly after the Blue Bell was pulled down and made into a car park

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Notice the broken windows the drain pipes and the Sky antenna on the wall

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Close up of the broken windows and the drain pipes and the size of the bricks these were the old style a lot smaller than the ones used for building these days

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This was the main door of The Blue Bell the windows are now sadly boarded up with chip board

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Grass and weeds are now growing freely around The Blue Bells main door and on the pavement

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The licence sign of The Blue Bell sadly now looking rather tired and old

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The front of The Blue Bell you can see Holy Trinity Church clock tower on the right of the image

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Notice the broken windows and the curtains hanging out they look vey old

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There is even an original Sky mast next to the drain pipe

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Me and my father Billy Bell often had a drink in The Blue Bell on an afternoon

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The windows of the attic and the first floor are all broken now and the pub now looks a shadow of its former self

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The Zion Street sign looks tattered and weary now is as if to say I have had enough

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In this image you can see nearly all of the boarded up front of The Blue Bell

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The chimney and the attic window can be seen clearly in this image and notice the seagull perched on the attic window

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This image shows The Blue Bells rear extension in Moor Street not quite sure what the function of the extension was but it has been suggested that it could have been the pubs kitchen

Asparagus That I Grow

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This image is of an asparagus plantlet called Sweet Purple I purchased about a dozen of these plantlets of a guy called Keith Wheeler in May 2018
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The roots of the asparagus plantlets can be seen just before I repotted them into larger plant pots

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I use different size pots when transplanting the asparagus seedlings and always mix perlite with the compost I use for transplanting the asparagus

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These images of are of asparagus UC 157 F2 the one of the most popular varieties grown in the world and was developed in the early eighties

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A view of the asparagus plantlets ferns they are looking very healthy and green all these plantlets were grown from seed in my unheated conservatory

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More images of the asparagus plantlets after they had been repotted by me in the conservatory on the allotment

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Image of the ferns of asparagus Sweet Purple planlets which are about seven months old I grew the plantlets from seed in my unheated conservatory

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Friday, 14 May 2021
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Asperge Belle Argenteuil

Asparagus Belle d Argenteuil this variety was originally from the outskirts of Paris I am growing this variety from seed this year it takes a year longer before you can harvest the spears than if you grew asparagus from crowns I purchased crowns of Seeds Of Italy this year and they have just started to grow some tiny spears 

Belle di Argenteuil asparagus is white with tips colored from pink to purple; it is very aromatic, slightly bitter. Its stem is firm and tender, and its flavor is very delicate. White asparagus had to wait until 1755 before overtaking green asparagus, which grows in the open air. Developed in 1830 by Louis Lhérault, the improved late-growing Argenteuil asparagus variety traveled the world over in the 19th century. This new variety is known for its precociousness, its large size, its productivity, its tenderness (after peeling), and its largely white colour due to the fact it grows entirely underground, in the dark, which prevents it from flowering. Growing sometimes to 25cm in length and 3 to 6cm in diameter, it was highly appreciated by Parisian gourmands, who preferred it meaty. This vegetable has been very successful and a sort of craze: 400,000 were harvested in 1867, more than a million in 1900. They were awarded medals and rewarded in universal shows, most notably in the Paris World Fair in 1878. The “Belle d’Argenteuil” as it is called, even appeared on the menu of the first-class passengers on the Titanic on 14 April 1912 (in a cold asparagus salad vinaigrette) shortly before it sank. The purple asparagus such as the “Belle de Argenteuil” is planted in a very special way: different from green asparagus in that as it grows, it is covered up to eliminate being exposed to light so it can develop and remain tender instead of flowering. It is picked with a trowel (also used for endives) while still underground, whereas green asparagus is cut with scissors. Asparagus is a plant that grows in the night and must be harvested very early in the morning to keep it fresh. Its season lasts 3 months more or less, usually from 15 March to 15 June.

Asparagus Belle d Argenteuil seedlings grown from seed the seeds are from the oldest seed supplying company in the world Seeds of Italy
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Asparagus was a dish highly appreciated by Louis XIV–who ate them in strips with a soft-boiled egg–and were very frequently on the table at Versailles, especially in winter, obliging his head gardener La Quintaine to grow them in a hothouse with a “hot bed” made from manure. Historically, Argenteuil had been a land of vineyards since ancient times, vines that were highly developed in the 12th century thanks to the Notre Dame abbey monks. If the vines enriched the town – they took up more than 3,000 hectares in the 18th century – the development of the railway transported the competitive, often better quality, wines. Then arrived the diseases, notably phylloxera, and the troop mobilisations of the First World War diminished this culture. Some Argenteuil inhabitants, whose vineyards were decimated, saw their fortunes turn around by planting asparagus instead. Simple recipes were developed to highlight the delicacy, notably poached eggs Argenteuil, or Argenteuil soup made with the shoots while the tips were used in another preparation. For the entire 19th and 20th centuries, asparagus enjoyed a prominent place on the daily menus of the middle classes, and porcelain and ceramic producers of the day made services dedicated to this vegetable, at the same time France was the number one asparagus producer in Europe.

After 1900, with the appearance of diseases and especially the spread of industrial activity, the Argenteuil asparagus production diminished. Today the Argenteuil asparagus variety has been “polluted” by cross breeding with other varieties, and often the fat, purple asparagus called “Argenteuil” is no longer grown but is a hybrid of the Argenteuil variety. Growing asparagus is very demanding: five years are needed from planting the seeds to the first harvest, and during the 10 years they produce, 3.5 tons are harvested per hectare. A vegetable typical of Ile-de-France, the sandy soil in the loop of the Seine (Argenteuil, Corbeil) would be particularly beneficial to it. There are not many market farmers who grow the Argenteuil variety. One of them, Laurent Berrurier, tells us he grows on average 1 ton each year

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