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, 22 March 2019
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Gray Road Hendon

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This a bit of a blured image of the front room of 33 Gray Road in the image you can see a photograph of my late mam and dad celebrating their wedding anniversary also an image of my oldest daughter Lisa

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The fire side in the front room of 33 Gray Road when we were children this was a coal fire but in my mam and dads later life was replaced by an electric fire

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The famous green phone which all of my family hated but my dad loved

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The bay window was a typical type used in the mid seventies on property in Hendon and Sunderland

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Billy Bell my father better known as Hendons historian because of his slide shows and his knowledge of Hendon and Sunderlands history

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David Bell outside 33 Gray Road visiting his father Billy Bell at 33 Gray Road this was just after my Mam had died

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Notice my Berlingo van parked on Gray Road the new buildings on the left was once an old vicarage

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These houses were buitl in the late eighties and were typical of the houses built in Hendon and Sunderland at that time they where well built and looked good

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Image show the repairing of the gable end of the house after wind damage on a house in Gray Road Hendon

Sportsmans Arms

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The Sportsman’s Arms now Known as the Scullery

The Sportsman’s Arms closed on the 05-02-2010 when it closed it was left empty for a few years until a plumbing business opened up a showroom and office in the premises the company owners decided as they were not using all of the building so decided to rent out the old lounge at the rear of the pub

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The Sportsmans Arms Silksworth was once one of the most important buildings in Silksworth

Images taken by Dave Bell

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I took these images from the bottom of High Newport Allotments in May 2010 when the Sportsman’s Arms sadly closed and ended one of the last places that was used and built for the miners and their families of Silksworth very little remains of the miners heritage in Silksworth nowadays

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The once proud sign of the Sportsman’s Arms now looks tired and weary

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Notice the boarded up windows and The Sportsmans Arms sign still swinging as if everything was ok image taken on a wet and windy very cold day

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Close up of the sign on the rear wall of The Sportsmans Arms which closed in May 2010 because of lost revenue caused by very few local people using the public house

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The Sportsmans Arms puplic house built for the miners of Silksworth in 1871 as Silksworth Colliery grew new houses were built for the miners and their families and not forgetting why The Sportsmans Arms built for the miners when they had finished their shifts and to socialise when not working

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Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 In 1871, according to the Census there were approx 800 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and where most people worked on the land.

Everlasting Onions

  • Category: Onions
  • Published: Saturday, 20 October 2018 15:01
  • Written by Administrator
  • Hits: 217

Another variety of onion that I grow on my allotment very rare also known as the Welsh Onion this variety does not set seed and can be harvested all year round

Everlasting onions are also known as Welsh onions but do not originate from Wales the everlasting onions that I planted in February 2018 are now have made quite a few bulbits that I would think could be pulled and eaten now the later everlasting onions I planted in September 2018 have definetley taken and started to grow well but with onset of Autumn have now stopped growing I think I will try a few of the established bulbits shortly
Everlasting Onion  Everlasting onion bulbits  Everlasting onion bulbits also known as the Welsh onion 
I love these everlasting onions   Everlasting Onions   Everlasting onions 
Bulbits  Bulbits  Everlasting onions 
Everlasting onion bulbits  Everlasting onions very hardy and disease free  Everlasting onions very hardy and disease free 
     

 

Everlasting onions (Allium cepa perutile) are a rare perennial onion which is extremely productive and undemanding. They do not appear to suffer pests or diseases, frost does not bother them, and if it gets too hot and dry they die down to bulbs. I do not know why but I do not know of anyone else who has everlasting onions for sale in Australia. They are one of the easiest and most productive vegetables to grow, just like all perennial vegetables you plant once and harvest forever.

I first heard about everlasting onions from someone who lives overseas. They told me how great they were and said that they were extremely rare for some reason. Importing onion plants/bulbs is more trouble/expense than I can deal with. Importing onion seed is less difficult but everlasting onions never really set seed so this was also out of the question. I then started to search for them in Australia. No one seemed to sell them, it took me years to track them down in Australia. Eventually I found someone who sold me some small plants. She had these plants for well over 30 years and said that they flowered each year but had never set seed. This sounded right so was worth a try

At first I was skeptical that I had in fact got the right thing. They looked like any spring onion or young onion plant before it bulbs up, but the plants were extremely uniform in size. I planted them somewhere safe and waited. In a few weeks most had split in half so I dug them up and divided them. A few weeks later the rest had split in half so I divided again. In another month or so they all divided again at least once, some of them divided a few times. By this stage they were no longer uniform in size and I grew tired of digging them up and dividing them. I now had a few dozen plants and was convinced that they were better than regular spring onions.

Once winter hit these plants were not at all bothered by frost. The growth slowed somewhat but other than that they looked happy and continued to divide. Spring was great, they grew faster, divided faster and began to flower. The flowers did not look complete and they did not even try to set seed. They looked like Allium cepa flowers rather than Allium fistulosum, so I was then convinced that they were not ordinary spring onions and were most likely true everlasting onions.

When summer rolled around some kept growing but most I let dry down to see if they produced bulbs. They ended up growing small purple bulbs, a bit larger than a french shallot. Being new to everlasting onions I decided not to eat the bulbs, instead I replanted them. Each bulb divided into a dozen or more plants when it resprouted! Over the past few years I have let some die to bulbs each year, if they are crowded they produce small bulbs, if they are given space the bulbs are much larger.

How everlasting onions are used

Once you grow everlasting onions you will never need to buy spring onions or shallot bulbs ever again.

We eat the green tops year round in place of spring onions. Unlike spring onions they never get too thick and fibrous. I have some spring onions that I planted as seed when we moved here, they are large and thick and a bit too fibrous to eat. I do not have the heart to kill them, but do not know how to make them small and delicate again. Cutting them to the ground helps but it does not take them long to turn into monsters again.

If we keep watering the everlasting onions over summer they keep growing, if we don't water they die down to nice little bulbs. The bulbs can be used as salad onions, they are good for this purpose. The bulbs seem to store forever, I don't know how long but it is at least several months. We have fried the onion bulbs, they are nice but become very crunchy. I think they must be reasonably high in sugars as they caramelise rather quickly. Everlasting onion bulbs can be used in any recipe that calls for onion bulbs or french shallotts

How to increase your stock

Everlasting onions know what they are doing as far as reproduction goes. They split in half numerous times throughout the year. If they are divided each division will also multiply. Neither heat nor frost bothers them. It does not take long for a few to become a decent patch. Like any other onion, if you plan to eat the bulb you do not have to kill the plant. If you cut off the roots with a few mm of the base of the bulb this can be sprouted and replanted. I have only done this once as I now have enough plants that they quickly replace any that we eat.

Everlasting onions are hardy, I planted one under a tree when I got them. I do not water or weed this one after it was established, I had actually forgotten all about it. This summer it was so hot and dry that we had no grass and I saw that it has divided into a substantial clump and is still hanging in there. They are not as large or numerous as the ones that are well watered and weeded, but they are surviving and reproducing. Planting an extra plant in an out of the way like this is a great way to increase your stock as you tend to forget about them for a while and when you find them again they tend to be rather numerous and in need of digging up and dividing.

The lady who I got the everlasting onions from had them flower each year for 30 odd years and had never seen any seed produced ever, the first few years I had similar results. This year after they flowered I had a small number of seeds produced. From several hundred flower heads I ended up with about 30 seeds. I planted some of them and have a few seedlings appear. I have no idea what they will turn into, perhaps exactly like their parent or perhaps something entirely different.

I have heard of someone who grew potato onion seeds and ending up with something very similar to my everlasting onions. That makes me wonder if everlasting onions are another type of potato onion that was seed grown many years ago. If so the results from the seed grown plants should be extremely interesting.