Saturday, 27 September 2008

Timber!...... and tomatos

Look at the devastation I have reeked on the plot this morning. Deforestation on this scale usually elicits a visit from Sting and other media hungry, enviro-mentalists.

Still look at all the tomatos that I have to process now. Some of these are ready to eat, some of these can go on the window sill and some will be made into sauce.

I'm looking for a suitable green tomato chutney recipe at the moment and I'll post my pictures later in the week.Tthere's nearly 20lbs of green tomatoes in the bag

I've got to dig all this over now and get it covered before we weeds invade agian.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

You don't know jack (Frost)

It getting chilly in the night time now and the first frosts will be here any day now. As a fisherman this means the start of the cod season in the South East. I've been scouring my fishing forums for news of cod from Essex as I know that the first frost will only be a few days behind them.

I've left the tomatoes until the last possible minute as the weather last week was excellent and I'm hoping to see some more red berries before it's time to bring down my tomato forest.

I've discovered a cracking tomato sauce recipe which I will be getting to grips with next week. Watch this space for cooking and preserving instructions.

The sweet corn jungle has been thinned and the remainder will soon be felled. I'm after a couple of sweetcorn relish recipes and I'll blanch and freeze the rest.

The sweet corn were a proper delight this year. I will miss the rustic pantry feel that they helped create in my fridge. I loved those carrot tops, beet leaves and sweetcorn all sticking out at jaunty angles. I wanted to get a glass fridge just to show them off.

pics to follow

I won't miss the dirt I have to clean out from the bottom of my fridge every week. My veg tastes far better, but blimey, Tesco's veg is much cleaner. I wonder if we can have a cleaning station at the allotment. Actually I might look into this. Now there's an insight into my stream of consciousness writing style.

No wait. Wait! I'm not finished.... D'Oh!

That's it. It's over. Time called on the last planting of the year. There are a few crops that can still be planted but nothing that you'll see this year.

It is that time of year. With one hand you are picking the fruits of your labour and with the other hand you are sweeping away the debris of a spent crop. Keates’ season of mist and mellow fruitfulness is upon us, to be quickly followed by the season of frosts and spiteful chilliness.

I left my gas burner at home today. I like to improvise.

Last weekend I spent all my time covering our bottom plot with wood chip around the fruit bushes and plastic sheeting over the main growing area.

I also shifted a lot of horse muck. I love the smell of horse manure in the morning! Actually I really don't. More later.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Squash for Christmas? It will be a bit of a squeeze

Butter nut squash. Hardcore veg. Amatures need not apply.

You've seen them in the supermarket. Hulking great gourds the colour of a caramac and has hard as tarmac. You've got to be a bit hardcore to buy them; they don't look very appetising and they surely are not very inspiring. In my experience I needed a sharp knife and steady nerve just to cut them open. Peeling them was like trying to peel a car tyre and having roasted them... Meh! They're OK, but sweet potatoes taste better and are not anything like as fussy.

Coryn is made of sterner stuff than I when it comes to the kitchen. She made some excellent butternut squash soup last Christmas and plans to reprise the dish with homegrown ingredients for 2008.

We're doing fine but there's not much growing season left. Weve got six growing well but we did have nine and we lost a big one last week to a some sort of rot caused by the wet weather and lack of sun shine. We might have to supplement the soup with a ringer or two from Tesco. Shhhh!

If you look closely you'll see that I've put some ceramic tiles underneat them. this is to help stop them rotting in the dirt.