Well, this year we managed to get away with the humans thieving from us, but the Bloody Badger destroyed our squash plants and now the pesky mice have eaten all the Quinoa! We had a super crop and decided that we would take advantage of our fantastic poly tunnel and dry it in there, instead of on the floor in the spare room. The Husband built a magnificent drying rack and the Quinoa was left for several weeks to dry out…..or so we thought. The Husband discovered this at the weekend when he went to reap his rewards only to find empty husks – little buggers, they must have had a full on grain party in the Tunnel. As you can imagine The Husband was not impressed neither am I, we did harvest a few pounds and it certainly was a harsh lesson to learn! I expect we have super Quinoa powered mice running round the poly tunnel now! God help anything else we try to grow in there.
Apart from that we had a good plot day, we took all the tomato plants out bar two, these are still flowering and have tonnes of cherry tomatoes on, these interestingly enough were cuttings and have done extremely well. We ended up with 10lb of tomatoes, I think around five varieties, some ripe and some green, we have millions of chillies and still more to come. The peppers, courgette and cosmos are still doing well and producing good harvests. The poly tunnel is definitely a hit and has paid for itself already. We have Cauliflowers, Kale, Kohl Rabi & Red Cabbage growing outside.
We have a root stock Medlar tree which is at least seven years old now. We got a basketful, it sounds a bit grim but you have to leave them for two to three weeks to go a bit rotten then you can scrap the flesh out and eat them with cheese. They are fiddly but are tasty all the same. You can also make jelly out of the them which goes well with a Sunday roast. The Husband is going to try making Medlar wine this year – anything for a bit of alcohol! I imagine it will be really ‘thick’ like a good Rioja – one can live in hope anyway! Usually avoid the home made brew because it is more potent than what you can buy – hangover from hell medicine.
We grow all year round, The Husband has planted some Mizuna, Pak Choi & Kohl Rabi in the poly tunnel. Not sure how well the Pak Choi will grow because it has already bolted, I did nip it off but that is the second time in seven days I have had to do it. On Sunday The Husband made a tomato (well we had to do something with them!) & chilli chutney, he put three Ghost Chillies in….think that is to stop me eating it! I pickled some red cabbage – I actually managed to get some in jar, cant beat a bit of raw home grown red cabbage.
I received a text message from our lovely allotment friend in the week asking me to tell The Husband that there was a lot of seaweed on the beach. So, on Saturday morning we went there and got nearly an estate car boot full (The Husband was responsible for getting the bags, but he had a man look and thought he had more than he did!). We were like people gone mad, we were back down there on Sunday and this time we did fill the boot. It was quite surprising how much it filled the compost bins up, it will rot down but it was a good haul. Wonder what he has in store for me this weekend ? Candlelit dinner, Christmas shopping or cleaning the poly tunnel plastic ? Can you guess ?
Two weeks ago we planted the Broad Beans and a green manure (Mustard), when we went on Saturday there was no sign of the Broad Beans but on Sunday they were about 1cm out of the ground around four in all, amazgog. The Mustard germinated after a week and is about 3cm tall. No sign of the Garlic yet but maybe a tad early.
I think it is a bit of shame when people pack up allotmenteering / gardening for the Winter, there is so much you can do and get growing over the winter. We will be harvesting from the tunnel this year, so that will be interesting. We usually have some Salad Leaves, Kale, Cabbages and leeks. The salad leaves have been grown in a greenhouse in previous years & have been successful. Also there is nothing finer than sitting on a deckchair on your plot on a Winter’s day with a fire, listening to the birds, eating homemade soup and having a chat, where else would one be ? Grocery shopping YUCK! Here are my groceries:-