|New volunteer Pete helps pick the beans|
Over Wednesday and Thursday, we got a lot done. The pumpkin and squash plants are flagging now, so we took up most of the crop. A few still seem to be going strong (like the amazing Shark's Fin Melon), so we've left those to get a little bigger, but the rest are dying. The "giant" pumpkin that we put in has only managed something the size of a grapefruit, so we're not too impressed!
|Dan and Mark were delighted with the sweetcorn in|
the low bed.
|Alex wasn't too impressed by this ear of corn|
|A close up shows how only a few kernels have|
The tomatoes are still ripening, although more slowly than before, but we still got a nice picking which we're hoping to use for slow-roasting to concentrate the flavour. We decided to leave the rest of the fruit for a little longer to keep ripening, but once it gets a bit cooler, we'll probably make some green tomato chutney and we might have another go at the fried green tomatoes that we enjoyed last year.
|Tomatoes still going strong in the polytunnel|
We also harvested some seed. Our callalloo seed heads look like great furry mauve spikes, and were about to drop a blizzard of seed on to the ground, so we collected them and put them to dry in the polytunnel. Anther set of seeds that we need to collect is from the Red Orach, which is completely covered in seed. It grows well but is quite easy to remove when young, so we might even try some for green manure.
|Dan strips the seed from the red orach|
|Callalloo drying in the polytunnel|
|The seeds beginning to shed.|
|One of the gorgeous rainbows|
In between the harvesting and admiring the light-show, we found some time to plant. Japanese onions, grown from sets, have done well for us in the last few years, so we put in some of those. We also planted some overwintering cauliflower and a catch-crop of hardy lettuce to keep the sprouting brocolli company. Both these crops will be in the ground next year, so we've planted them in the appropriate beds for next year's rotation. If that seems a bit complicated, don't worry - we'll explain our rotation system soon.
|Chris and Dan prepare a bed for winter growing|
|The winter brassica bed|
The last job was the most fiddly. We needed to work some clay into the cracks in the clay oven from the inside as well as the outside. This involved almost climbing into the oven, so you were shoulder deep in it. Mark felt as if he was helping to birth a cow! Hopefully though, it's done the trick and the oven should be strong enough for plenty more baking.
|Mark does his country vet impression!|