As I said last week the tin bath is empty, it's upturned and drying out ready to take with us to Wales. However we have lots and lots of veggies, and even some fruit still growing in the Veggie Patch.
The Autumn Raspberries are in full fruit ...
.. there are even a few Blueberries left on the last bush.
The strawberries plants, now recovered from being eaten and then slept on by our local marauding deer, are sending off runners which I am capturing and pegging down in pots and troughs ready to take with us when we go. We are leaving the plants in the main bed as we have sold the Veggie Patch lock , stock and barrel to our landlord and his family and it's always nice to have a few plants growing away when you take on the bare bones of something.
The Perpetual Spinach has fed both us and the Chickens all this year and through last Summer, so it's looking a bit tired now and maybe next week I will give the chickens what's left and then replant the bed.
The carrots have been good and have been added to many soups, stews and salads, I didn't plant many just this small bed but they have been consistent.
They were supposed to be a purple variety but it seems the orange is winning through and although there is a tinge of purple on the outside especially at the top.
The French Beans were doing quite badly this year until Lovely Hubby put a nice big strong sheet of mesh up, held in place by a single fence post. The strength of this for them to climb up and the steady heat it absorbs and gives off seemed to do wonders for them and they romped away. We are eating them constantly and there should be enough to stash a couple of bags into the freezer before we move.
This is the Beetroot end of the Three Sisters bed, this year I really have been experimenting with space and time saving methods of getting the most from every available bit of ground. The Beetroot has done well and we have steadily picked and eaten it fresh as we've needed it. I've not pickled any this year as we are still ploughing our way through the jars I did back in 2010 .... how much did I plant that year ...haha :-)
This is the other Three Sisters bed. I'll tell you all about this system of growing tomorrow.
We have just two cucumbers left growing at the moment, it's getting cool at nights now so I don't think anymore will start, these were to have been greenhouse cucumbers so I am really pleased that we have had the number that we have managed to get.
The main Courgette bed is very rampant, both us and the chickens have had soooooo many courgettes this year, it's a good job we like them.
This year I have grown mostly Yellow Courgettes, I have just one green courgette plant, I don't know why this is really, it must have been the number of seeds I had left from last year.
The Celery and Curley Kale bed.
This was only quite recently planted out, the Celery was started off in the greenhouse and when that was taken down it suffered badly even though we moved it to inside the house and it seemed to take an age to get going again. I think it will be too bitter to eat raw, looking at how green the stems are, but will be good for cooking with and the chickens love the leaves.
Curly Kale is one of our favourite green leaves, it adds a rich depth of flavour to any dish you put it in and is so good for you. We also use it in our juices. Somehow I missed planting it when I put my initial seeds in and so risked starting a tray full late in the Spring, it did well and is now happily settled in the outdoor bed.
And this is the bed that will see us happily through the Winter ... Leeks.
So tasty in all manner of dishes and the good thing is that you can leave it in the ground throughout the coldest of Winter weather, as long as the ground is soft enough for you to get a spade in to pull it out, it will happily sit there waiting to be harvested as and when it is needed.
I see lots of lovely big pots of Leek and Potato Soup coming up in the months ahead, just what you need when you are decorating a whole house and setting up again a new home in the country.
Simple September - Top Tips #7
Grow what you need and what you eat!!
This may sound so obvious, but a lot of people dig over their garden or allotment and plant all the traditional crops. In go Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Radishes, I know I've done it!!
I didn't sit and think about it until I had planted 12lb of seed potatoes in our first year. My Dad looked at me as all the plants were nicely filling the raised beds and said "You eat a lot of potatoes don't you" ... my answer ... "no actually we don't, we prefer rice or pasta". The silence that followed as the grins spread across our faces was magical, but it brought it home to me I had planted potatoes because that's what veggie gardeners 'did'.
Now we plant a couple of potato plants each year, we plant fewer onions, because they can get so cheap in the shops it's not worth the space to grow them here and we grow lots of green leaves, Kale, lettuces, masses of spring onions, a bed of sweetcorn etc the things that would cost us money week in week out through out the season.
Sit down and plan want you want to eat ... and then work out what you will grow.
Oh and by the way the potatoes I planted didn't go to waste, we ate a few, we gifted a few and we had some very happy pigs with tummies full of warm potatoes straight out of the Aga for breakfast throughout the coldest of the Winter.