It seems ages since I wrote the last episode and much has happened in that time; I feel we have had a decent bit of summer now, although this has necessitated a lot of hand watering – but I’m not complaining!
I ended up with a decent crop of (prize winning!) onions which was very pleasing, as well as good crops from the broad bean and field bean trial; interestingly the field beans cropped twice as much weight as the broad beans, smaller and a slightly different taste but perfectly edible. I used some of them for pea and bean hummus, delicious! Runner beans are finally getting into their stride and although there are not very many there are plenty enough for me. Also a pleasant surprise was the potatoes, which have produced some decent size tubers, although a few of them have annoying holes in them – I just have to cut them out.
Winter crops are going to be sparse; leeks are coming on slowly, and out of the brassica seedlings I only have three Brussels sprouts left … but that will be enough if they reach maturity. However, my spinach beet has gone to seed and little spinach plants are popping up all over the allotment, so that will help with winter supplies.
On the soft fruit side, I ended up with a good crop of gooseberries thanks to the bird netting, a few strawberries (but lots more at home) and a fair few summer raspberries. Hopefully there will be a good crop of autumn ones, which are just starting. I also had a good quantity of tayberries. The little transplanted pear tree is still looking healthy, although it lost all of its baby pears; only to be expected.
Compost corner: Our Master Composter team was invited by BBOWT to man a stand in their wildlife area at the recent Country File Live event held at Blenheim Palace. It was an amazing event, loads of animals, interesting exhibits and presumably lots of celebs, but I didn’t see any! Our little team had 528 conversations about composting over the four days, so hopefully we have encouraged a few more people to take up this worthy gardening pursuit. Questions ranged from whether rhubarb leaves (poisonous) can be composted (yes) to what sort of animal poo can be composted (only vegetarian animals!).
Autumn is now just around the corner… Angela Hoy (email@example.com)