7 October 2007

Autumn is definitely here

The odd cold night (which leads me to suspect the sweetcorn are never going to fill out and that the runner beans may have left it a little late to start flowering now!) and lots of leaves falling from the trees means autumn is now with us. To take advantage to these I have 'salvaged some of the materials on the allotment and 'created' (some may say bodged!) a leaf mould basket.

Last years leaves (just a small bag from off the plot) still have some rotting down to be down so were added first before I left for the valley below with two large bags. Fortunately the valley road below is lined with 700 lime trees and has plenty of leaves to spare! OK so leaves from the roadside may not be ideal but that's the problem living in the middle of the city.

The French beans (Cherokee Trail of Tears) that have finally started producing beans are proving a big hit at home with the family - the wife loves them, the kids eat them and the mother in law declared them 'the best beans I'd ever eaten'! So will definitely be growing them again next year. Sadly never around long enough to get any photos! I can't help but wonder how well they would have done if it wasn't for all the floods.

My pumpkin plants seem to be dying so I picked the two pumpkins that looked ready. I'm hoping they are packed full of flavour given the size of them...

There are a couple more pumpkins left on the plants which still seem to be surviving so will leave them and see what happens. At least the two that have been picked are the perfect size for two small children to carve and carry around come Halloween ;>)

Red Onion Marmalade
Since I wasn't able to get down to the plot very much in the previous month, I thought I'd look at using up some of the onions in the kitchen. After some searching - well very little really it was the first one listed on Google! - chose the recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine. It tastes pretty good (he says modestly!) but thought it might be a bit stickier.

Next up on the preserving is spiced apple chutney (from one of Nigella Lawson's books). My grandad has lots of apple trees we raid at this time of year, Mum and Dad are never going to eat the chillies on the chilli plant I gave to them to look after, and we've still got plenty of onions.

Have bought some more tulip and daffodil bulbs to plant down the allotment. They were a real incentive to keep going when not much else was happening this spring. And hopefully this time I'll make it down to pick some of them to bring home. Next week the whole family will also be planting daffodils for my grandmother who passed away last week. She loved her garden and we're scattering her ashes round one of the trees in sight of the house and then planting a bulb each.


Matron said...

Those pumpkins look wonderful! Please come have a look at my 'squashblog' and see if you would like to contribute? xx Matron

James Dougan said...

When did you plant your cherokee beans? I've just ordered some and want to get them as early as possible in the season next year. Like the blog.

James Dougan said...

Hi Rob, just started reading your blog about your plot from the start and I thought I'd got a dog of a plot but your one is much, much worse. Just wondering if you could put my blog on your allotment blog list and I'll do the same. Good luck for next year.