Monday, 20 October 2008

One thing in common... these 3 potted delights are the Bramley apples from my tree (still a whole treeful to deal with!!).
From left to right - bramble & apple jelly, spiced apple jelly and green tomato chutney. The chutney is a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall River Cottage recipe and the jellies are from this great little book (very retro!) that my sister found in amongst my mum's cookbooks and thought I'd like it - cheers M!! I adapted the apple jelly recipe with the addition of a few spices and making up the sugar content with muscovado (hence the dark colour) but it tastes delish! Will be making lots more of this to keep me in toast accompaniments over winter...
(Note: will post the recipe soon)

Needs more work!

Was the official verdict of Plot 86 from the 2nd inspection of the colony's plots this year. Fortunately Plot 85a passed even with very weedy paths. Just hope I don't get another snotty letter from the council...
And more work was just what this plot will be getting over the next few weeks. I started on it last weekend by clearing away all the sweetcorn and squash plants. This weekend I finally decided to uproot the courgettes, as it's unlikely that I'll get any more fruit and started setting out the new raised beds and planning what will go where.
Most of this part of the plot was where the potatoes were. It's a good crop to break up the soil as it had been left to go feral for a couple of years before we took it on last year. From right to left - apple tree just peeping into the shot, weedy area where some of the squashes were and now is a heap of stuff waiting to be burned, ex-sweetcorn and courgette area, main ex-potato beds, some leeks planted this year and then a carpeted area (of the same size again) which we've yet to touch (possibly next year's potato patch or chicken area??).
Looking from the top of this area down the plot, this new bed is going to be devoted to growing flowers - with sweet peas providing a seasonal windbreak as the colony is not that sheltered. There will be a similar sized bed on the other side where I want to grow some vine type courgettes and maybe try and train some winter squash to grow upwards rather than along the ground...
The rest of the area will be this year's onion, garlic and shallot beds as they will benefit from all the goodness the manure has left in the soil after the potatoes.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Once I'm used to the change in season I love Autumn. Although it takes longer to get used to the shortening days. After all the clearing, digging and weeding, I stood back to admire my handiwork and noticed that the setting sun was giving everything a lovely golden hue. It was one of those moments where you feel completely contented for a few minutes.....

Squash harvest

This is our total harvest (plus one other eaten before this photo) of squashes from 7 plants. Sadly the other 5 plants perished in the hands of the dratted slugs (slugs don't have hands do they?).
Particularly pleased with the Thelma Saunders Sweet Potato Squash as it was really prolific. We had 2 of the smaller ones in a roasted squash risotto.

Goodbye summer, hello autumn

Spent a thoroughly productive afternoon on Sunday clearing away the finished summer veg plants and planning what was going to go where for next year.
So I started out with this....
Loooked a bit better with all the sweetcorn and squash plants gone....
Then weeded, raked and sowed some more Phacealia, as I think this is where the peas may go next year.