Empty Beds

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How empty our plot looks from a few months ago. Although we’re still enjoying the last of the kale, harvesting the swede and broccoli, and next year’s garlic has started sprouting merrily, most of the beds are now having a breather. Ade has worked hard tidying these up, digging over the soil and enriching the earth with well-rotted matter so they can rest up over the winter. Come spring, the beds will all be super fertile (we hope!) and ready for some serious veg-growing action.

2015, we’re coming for you…

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The October Plot

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This was our plot at midday today. Our summer crops have come and gone, the pumpkins have all been harvested and Ade has cleared, dug over and mulched the beds to rest them over the winter.

We’ve still got the celeriac, broccoli, swede and Brussels sprouts to come so we’ve got a few goodies to look forward to! We should get one more harvest from the kale, and there are a couple of remaining carrots and parsnips to pull up as well.

In the kitchen, we’re using up our last home-grown cucumber (they lasted very well!) and the last of our tomatoes. The remaining green ones will go into a chutney. The potatoes, onions and pumpkins are all stored and ready for use.

Spring seems a very long way away!
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Autumn Riches

“I’m so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers.” –  L. M. Montgomery

So am I, Lucy, so am I. Before I took up the fork and trowel and embarked on this gardening journey, I naively thought growing vegetables was a summer activity, and you couldn’t do it once the colder weather arrived.  Several years on, I look back at my former self, shake my head at him and mutter Captain Mainwaring’s immortal words, ‘Stupid boy!’

After another day on the allotment, closing down several beds and preparing them for the winter ahead, I’m also tending to the remaining autumn crops. Broccoli, Leeks, Swede, Kale and Brussel Sprouts are happily reaching for the sky embracing what light autumn gives away.  And although it’s always sad to say ‘goodbye’ to the warmth of summer, I’m keen for Jack Frost to take up his residence and blanket the ground with his icy veil.  Those first frosts help enhance the flavours of these vegetables and ensure my planted garlic gets off to a flying start.  A sprout isn’t as tasty without it being subjected to a dusting of an English winter’s day, and I’m hoping to tuck into these bad boys on Christmas Day.  Frost also kills off any of the unwanted pests and deseases in the soil that may have run amock on our plots this year.

Next week, I’m going to be turning my attention to our recently acquired second allotment. (I mean, it’s not as though I’ve got much to do at the moment, is it?!?) Currently, it has the characteristics of an unkempt meadow but already this little fella’s grey matter has been working overtime with plans, blueprints and dreams of allotment domination.  But my first job is to clear away the weeds and see the state of the soil.

But for now, let’s see what culinary wonders Soph can create with these beauties…

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