It’s been a while since I showed you some of my journal pages, so here’s a little update.
As you’ll have seen on the previous two posts, we are now overloaded with squashes and chillies, both of which are finding ways into meals wherever possible. We also have lots of little cox type apples this year, and some extra (much bigger ones) from an allotment neighbours tree, so I’m thinking about using up my freezer store of rhubarb which I harvested back in early summer, to make some apple and rhubarb jelly (along with a big Dutch apple cake). We still have a small trug of Charlotte potatoes, which have so far kept well out in the cold of the shed, and we’ve barely started on the sack of main crop potatoes. The onions (last years over wintered ones) have been in use since June, but they’re now starting to sprout so we’re down to the last few, but we still have a good supply of French shallots and garlic. The freezer is packed with sweetcorn, summer berries and plums. It’s a nice feeling. I must have been a squirrel or a mouse in a previous life, I’ve done the hard work, stocked up, so now can I hunker down in my little nest for the winter and gorge on food while watching old movies? Pleeease!
Down on the plot, 4 rows of overwintering onions have been planted, and 6 rows of garlic, 2 rows with newly bought bulbs, and another 4 rows using bulbs from our own stock. Every year we buy some new, plant some of our own, and now I have completely lost track of which variety is which. No matter. A couple of rows of broad beans have also been sown. I’ve not had much luck with these in previous years, battling with weevil, slugs and rust, so I had a break from them last year. I did kind of miss them though, so I’m trying again. The mustard (sown as a green manure) has been chopped back and is laying like a big green blanket over the bottom beds.
Other parts of the plot continue to provide us with carrots, parsnips, beetroot, leeks, lettuce and spinach. The Brussels sprouts are growing well and should be ready by Christmas, and the purple sprouting broccoli has slowed down but will hopefully throw out a few spears for us over winter and should pick up in the new year. I did also attempt to grow some Romanesque type broccoli this year, but so far the plants are all leaf and no flowering head.
So there’s not a lot left to do now. We’ll try and keep on top of the weeds over winter, the shed needs a clear out and a bit of maintenance, and the paths need re-edging. But there’s nothing that couldn’t wait until Spring.
Finally, a little plug. Please bear in mind my Etsy shop this Christmas. I have just listed some Christmas card designs, printed and handmade versions are available, and my prints and teatowels would make lovely unique presents for any gardeners and/or cooks you might know. Thanks!