A chocolatey plant sale

A classic combination – well it is if you like chocolate cake and gardening!

It’s my allotment’s plant sale / swap this weekend, all our extras and spares our brought down from our own plots and lined up on makeshift tables. Pots and plants of all shapes and sizes – tomatoes, spinach, courgettes, salads, beans and flowers. Always flowers.

We encourage swapping but if you don’t have anything to swap we are happy to take your money, it’s a self managed allotment site so all the funds raised go to helping maintain our site.

And no plant sale would be complete without a cake or two. Previous years have seen scones filled with cream and homegrown strawberries, slices of shortbread, and cakes of every calling – sticky ginger, classic sponges and of course chocolate. 50p a slice. Tempted ? Well that’s the idea.

It’s not a grand affair nor a huge fund raising event, most of all it’s a time for us plotholders to get together, meet a few new faces and greet some older ones. And depending on the weather – please no torrential downpours – we’ll all be outside catching up on the news, swapping stories of how this HAS to be the wettest June on record, and yes munching on a slice of cake or two.

And the recipe? Well in true blogging fashion I popped over to Celi’s blog The Kitchens Garden as I remembered she had made a simple chocolate cake – no mess, no special ingredients or extra fuss. A chocolatey cake with the taste of golden syrup permeating. Aptly christened Mama’s Moist One Pot Chocolate Cake. Perfect for a cool damp June day when you’ve had the kind of day where you haven’t stopped and need to bake something and quickly. The only disappointment in this household was that I only made the one, and refused to pre-cut it – so no pickings!

And when the tables are cleared and packed away, thank yous and goodbyes said I’ll return to my plot and get on my knees and start to plant out a few of these.

I refuse to count how many there are, but they include – courgettes, cucumbers, cornichon (gherkins), summer squash and winter squash / pumpkins. They are desperate to get out of their pots and start spreading out their roots and shoots, besides I need the space back!

Hope you all have a super weekend!


  • Sounds like a fun day of socializing, tasty treats, and a little gardening. Perfect as far as I’m concerned.

    • She does have some yummy treats doesn’t she. And this is a cracker, it’s the 2nd time I’ve made it, and it really is so simple! And it was popular too – it sold very quickly!

  • Your plant swap sounds like a lot of fun, Claire. Hope you don’t get rained on. If I were there I would buy some tomato plants — our vendor never came to the market this year, so I may be taking a year off gardening.

    • Oh you could have picked up some great tomato plants Sharyn – some lovely heritage varieties, such a shame you weren’t able to buy some this year. I realy didn’t need anymore but I still got two Marmande – I couldn’t resist!!

  • How exciting to see the family chocolate cake trotting off to its own bake sale and plant swap! Thank you.. and what a lovely day ahead planting all your plants.I hope you have a fine weekend! c

    • It reminds me of a recipe I came across in my mum’s cookbook – very simple but totally delicious. In fact let’s make a memo to self right now, baking one cake is not enough so bake two next year – they will be sold and eaten just as quickly.

    • Isn’t it! and luckily for us the rain stayed away, a bit windy which sent a few paper plates flying but all round a great morning!

  • What a great pairing…chocolate and swapping garden goodies. My little garden doesn’t yield enough to swap except maybe herbs! I would love to be around to learn gardening tricks.

    • Herbs are always welcome and popular. In fact I picked up some Thai Basil seedlings – such a distinct flavour, and perfect for a simple prawn or tofu stir fry – well that is the plan!.

  • For starters I love the whole “allotment” idea! Gardening with company sounds all the sweeter, and all the sharing and swapping of stories and plants sounds wonderful! May there be no rain on your parade! Have a glorious weekend Claire!

    • Thank you Spree! We certainly had a good morning – windy but dry, lots of cakes and plants sold, an dplenty of catching up!
      You know there are days when having an allotment is hard work, but days like this brighten things up again 🙂

    • Believe it. You WILL get to England, it’s your dream and it will happen 🙂 Now wouldn’t that be a fun and unique way of exploring a country through it’s fairs, and fetes, and small community events. That sounds like a fabulous way to really get to know a country and it’s people.

  • What a wonderful weekend! Simple recipes are always better. Using the best ingredients possible and savoring the creation is most splendid. Why spend hours in the kitchen when there are so many other things to do?

    • I bailed out early Marie! Still so much to do, I think the planting out will take several long sessions – there never seems to be enough time or energy to get everything done….

  • This sounds like a great social occasion to meet your fellow allotment neighbours and bond over plants and food. Is there ANYTHING better? Hope the weather stays good for you.

    • It looks like I’m in good company here and at the allotments! And yes the weather was fine for us, with a good showing of allotment holders and local residents. Just right 🙂

  • Sorting through plants, swapping and then munching chocolate cake, can there possibly be a better way to spend some time (especially if there was a good strong cup of tea with it!)

    • You know that’s the one thing we don’t make – tea and coffee. We don’t have any electricity up at the site, I think we should try and work something out – like a camping stove. In the meantime I have my trusted flask of tea 🙂

    • To be honest Celia we didn’t do any swapping, people just donated their plants and were then happy to spend a couple of pounds on someones elses plants. Some people are very generous

  • Now that sounds like fun! How could it not be? There was cake being served! It ain’t no party unless there’s a cake. I hope you got all of the new plantlings happily into the ground. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Claire.

  • I love to see recipes move around the blogosphere! This was fun! I really do think you’ve just about described a perfect Saturday! What? No zucchini? LOL! I am now referring to them as courgettes, and confusing everyone on my end. Too much fun! I really enjoyed this post, Claire. I enjoy a good garden swap! Debra

    • Well I don’t know what happened there but your comment ended up in my spam! Ha Spammer, NOT!
      Hmm, what else can we add to your dictoinary – how about pavement, or rubbish or mum for starters 🙂 Next up let’s work on that accent 🙂

  • hope you made heaps claire, and thanks for the chocolate cake recipe, i do love chocolate! even our SAGE garden people have put out a recipe book, food and recipes and gardens go together so nicely 🙂

    • Thank you, maybe we should look at getting some recipes together for our allotments, recipes would be fun to swap – besides I want the ginger cake recipe that a fellow allotmenter makes, it is truly wonderful!

  • yes, it’s very tempting… if I was in the neighborhood, I would certainly pop over. What a nice affair.

  • I can’t imagine anything more satisfying than meeting and socializing with each other over an allotment or two.. munching on a slice of that cake and having the luxury of sharing each other’s harvest! xo Smidge

    • Hi Smidge, thank you. I’m imagining you making the cake and decorating it beautifully before you take photos, and then maybe a smattering of poetry. I was in such a rush I didn’t have the time to ‘set it up’ !

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