"At last" I went to my plot yesterday
We have had visitors almost non-stop for what seems like weeks, and a trip to Kent for a wedding, and I have been very lax about the plot. I have visited to pick the raspberries every other day, dig spuds for meals, pick the sweetcorn, and spread the lawn mowings as mulch; but haven't done any weeding or hoeing.....and it shows.!!! So....no photo until it is better.
DH has promised we will go and strim all round the paths and the bank sometime soon; and I will have a good weed all over, and hoe all the paths, and then we'll be able to see what else needs doing.
Meantime I am pickling furiously. The shallots are soaking in brine at this moment, and I have made two batches each of runner bean pickle and olive oil pickle. Both are fabulous and DH has "ordered" some more.
We are also picking more beans and cabbage than we can eat and I am freezing the former and giving away the latter. Courgettes are also cropping well and we have just about the right amount of them, thankfully, as we find frozen ones are not good for much more than soup.
The Victoria plums which I dried in the dehydrator are very very scrummy and very tempting to just snack on all day long. Because I am not sure just how long they will keep I have put some in the cupboard and the rest in the freezer. There are also bags and bags of prepared non-dried ones in the freezer for winter crumbles.
A plot neighbour asked yesterday whether we were self-sufficient in vegetables. I explained that this time of year we have plenty and I haven't bought any veg for over two months, but that in the winter I do have to buy some. We seemed to last almost round to the new season's crops with spuds, but I did have to buy some for about a month.
Next year I will plan the roots and winter greens more carefully to make sure we go all through.
The onions this year were a bit of a disaster. I have plenty of reds but the white ones really got the white onion rot fungus and, although we made the best of it by cutting off the bad bits, a lot have had to be thrown away and there are only about 20 which will keep. So I'm sure I'll be buying onions before next spring.
I did use a lot of the manky ones best bits in my pickles so it wasn't a complete disaster. (The Olive Oil Pickle is particularly tasty and was a way of using up the onions quickly, and dealing with a glut of those pickling cucumbers and some outdoor cucumbers.)
Yesterday I bought a packet of carrot seeds that can be sown right up until October....so I am hoping for some early crops next year with them. I will also do some in tubs and in the beds in the tunnel and see if we can get some even earlier that way. The packet says they prefer "well-drained, moist, rich, cool root conditions"..... so that might mean they won't flourish in the tunnel but I will also sow some in the back garden beds as another trial. The variety is T&M "Nantes Frubund (Fast Crop)". I will report on the results.
Hoping to get back there this afternoon to start the big tidy up!!!