The first job was to get the net off the top of the fruit cage - always important at this time of year so that we can make sure the weather doesn't damage it when it starts to get icy. Another great benefit is that it allows birds into the cage to seek out insects around the fruit bushes, and hopefully they will help us to get rid of any pests that are hiding there. Having a quick look at the bushes, we realised that we'd missed picking loads of redcurrants! They were still edible, so look out for them appearing on the menu at the Christmas!
|Hassan picks the surprise|
crop of redcurrants.
We also took the chance to tie in all the new growth of the raspberry - blackberry hybrids along the walls of the cage. They are all doing well and we ended up having to prune some of them, so we've taken cuttings. If they take, we'll let you know!
|Joyce makes the cuttings|
|The cuttings in position|
More work went on to finish clearing beds, and to mulch with compost. With such good weather, we had a bit of a clear out in the shed because the cooking kit got a bit disorganised in the last month and we needed to know where everything had gone!
We also had a clever wheeze. Because we use tyres to warm up the ground and air around our pumpkins, marrows and squashes, at this time of year, we end up with lots of spare tyres as we take them off. Last year we noticed that the pile of wood chips and leaves, that is delivered for mulch on the allotments, heats up really nicely. Regular readers may remember that we used this to heat up the cold toes of a class from Robert Shaw Primary who were planting trees for us! So - why not use the effect in the polytunnel to keep it a bit warmer? We decided to try it, and we've put the wood chips into towers made from the tyres. These have then been covered over, so we don't get lots of mould spores flying about. They've been christened "tyre batteries" and we'll monitor them to see how warm they get.
|Carrie and Annette start making|
the tyre batteries.
|A plastic base stops the wood chip|
from mixing into the soil
|Filling the tyres with woodchip|
In the middle of all the activity, Hassan organised rice and a nice "end of season veg" meal with lots of the last pick veg from the beds as we cleared them. It was warm enough to sit on the benches outside - so November hasn't yet lived up to the dire warnings about an early freeze. Actually, a bit more cold would be nice, because it looks like we'll need to cut the lawn again...
We'll see what we get next week!
|Enjoying lunch in the sun!|