December 2011

Well there is no guessing how the harvest will turn out even after 13 years of growing here.....the carrots and swedes are lovely and big, but the parsnips are sweet but smaller and the celeriac too small to use. Keith shakes his head at the mystery of it all. Probably the allotment growers and gardeners amongst you will agree.

Generally all is good in the garden. The kales have been gorgeous, the leeks have lost their moths, the squash have been modest in size and quantity but sweet as ever. The gardeners are busy cleaning the muddy roots a bit, storing the beetroot and cabbages, and generally getting ready for the christmas week rush on sprouts and other seasonal veg.
Welcome to Glenn who has joined the soil association apprenticeship scheme here, and many thanks to Rochelle and all the other wwoofers who have given their energy in the garden in 2011.

October 2011

Autumn is here and with it comes all the delicious roots and cabbages that grow so well in the uk....... swedes, celeriac, sprout tops, chards, kales, red and white potatoes, good sizes for baking this year, a few squash, carrots, onions, red and white cabbages, january king cabbage and lots more.
Life in the polytunnels is busy too - the shop has been enjoying lovely little lettuces, the first of the mixed leaves and lots of delicious parsley and basil. One of the stars of the year is our chilli harvest. RIng of Fire is its name, and it is HOT. This winter we are going to be self sufficient in chillis as i have dried great bowlfuls in the plate warming oven.
Keith, Lizzie and Luke, our two apprentices, have been harvesting constantly the last few weeks, helped by Alex who helps out on a regular basis. We have said goodbye to our longterm wwoofers from Italy, Germany and France, and hello to Rochelle from Canada.

August 2011

Sweet tomatoes of three colours, big white onions, slim spring onions, after an abundance of calabrese, french climbing, broad and now french beans, green and purple..............fresh cut flowers daily, waxy madlen new potatoes, and now lovely milva potatoes, good for most dishes. Basil, parsleys both flat and curly, fennel, carrots getting bigger now, our own aubergines with prickles at their heads, shiny hard peppers and hot little chillis, ring of fire!
So much to choose from in the shop now at the peak of the year for vegetables.
Not forgetting a few late strawberries and the autumn bliss raspberries too.

The season has not been without a problem...... some of our garlic is a little mouldy in the middle, altho the most part is delicious and we are selling it at half price, but in general all has been fab in the garden as we head into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and piles and piles of autumn veg.

July 2011

The garden is starting to overflow with summer veg now. Broad beans at their most prolific, sugar snaps by the crateful from the polytunnel, with french climbing beans just beginning. Two sorts of parsley, swiss chard, spinach beet, loose beetroot (yum, beetroot and horseradish pie coming up on the menu again), garlic, early potatoes freshly dug, slim spring onions, the first tomatoes, aubergines, green peppers, carrots and lettuces by the armful. heaven.

Apprentice news.
We welcome Luke as a fully signed up apprentice, Ben, who has been a seasonal worker as our next apprentice, and congratulate Mike on his marriage to Vanessa last weekend.
Alex is back in the garden for his third season, Sam is helping again this summer. Kate has joined Hugh Fearnleys team at River Cottage after 3 years here and we are happy to welcome Debbie to tend the flower patch now and bunch the beautiful cut flowers.

Wwoofers this year are from Germany, France and Switzerland, Italy and Portugal. They are helping the garden team propagate, plant, weed and harvest.

April 2011

Such a great feeling when the asparagus start to poke their tender little heads above ground, and now the first bunches are in the shop. A customer say the first 3 bunches and took them all last saturday, their delight was enormous. I usually walk thro the garden on my way home and munch a stem as i go, they hardly need cooking at the moment. Limited amounts at the moment in the shop.
Its the hungry gap as we all know but this week the gardeners are harvesting swiss chard, spinach, a little purple sprouting, spring onions, herbs, a few salad leaves, lettuce, curly and red russian kales and limited but lovely spring greens.

The sugar snaps and early tunnel carrots are in and coming up, the tulips have been beautifully timed for mothers day! and propagation has begun in earnest.
Luke is trying out an apprentice job, and Ben is our new Wwoofer, with Sarah from Switzerland arriving this week to learn and help.


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