As it reaches the time of year when the Museum allotment is always thirsty, I thought I’d share this post from Bryan Sitch (Curator of Archaeology) about his favourite object from the collection……
Here we all are in this morning’s team meeting with our favourite objects. Kate had a shark’s jaw bone with some nasty looking teeth, Steve had a copy of the Salford register because it had details of the most important ethnographic objects in the Museum collection, Phil had some parasitic flies, Campbell part of an ivory chariot fitting, Rachel had some saffron, Lindsey had some rubber stamps, Henry a mounted Ross’ gull and I took along a post-medieval watering can made of fired clay (accession no. 20838). The latter is one of my favourite objects in the collection. I kind of fell in love with it as soon as I saw it in the Museum store.
It’s about 36cm tall and as you can see it’s made of orange-red clay with a brownish glaze. You can see where the separately made rose…
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It’s been a while since I’ve been down to the Museum allotment, and while our windows are relaced with double glazing we no longer have a view over it either. So it was high time I went along to see Anna Bunney and the allotment voluteers, Scott, Bernard and Beryl, to find out what’s growing. The peas and beans are looking good, the nasturtiums are flowering enthusiastically and the garlic chives are just about ready to open their buds. The kiwi fruit which must have grown from the remains of someone’s lunch is still going strong too. The potatoes have been coming out over the last few weeks and so there’s now new spinach and pak choi seedlings and some small celery plants. I thought I’d better make myself useful and so I tidied up the runners from the alpine srawberries so that Anna could sow some new beetroot seeds.
There’s just enough left of July for me to post up a quick view of the allotment from the herbarium windows. The green roof is looking very, well, green, the purple peas are cropping nicely and the nasturtiums are trying for world domination.
We’ve also been harvesting potatoes – here’s the last of the earlies coming out. There’s still plenty of mint to go with them!
Out on the allotment there has been snow, frost, wind and rain and so not much has changed since January. However, while everything’s quiet on the plant front, the allotment has welcomed lots of visitors to the museum during half-term week. Look how dry the path to the front door is after so many feet have passed by! The allotment volunteers have also been busy behind-the-scenes, planning the year ahead and exciting new developments for the shed.