Tuesday 15th September

A confession first. A good deal of this week’s gardening has been rather more cosmetic than we’d usually bother with just now. Crabapple Community celebrates its 40th anniversary this coming weekend and we would rather like all those visitors who tended this land during those decades to feel that we still do a decent job. It’s nothing we wouldn’t have got round to – we have just crammed a lot of tidying, edging and “beautifying” into this one week!

Otherwise we have got on with seasonal business as usual. Most of the onions are now dried, strung up and stored. It’s an impressive crop hanging in bunches all in one storeroom. Hope they keep well.

Blight has hit the outdoor tomatoes and the fruits are going brown – but not before we had a few good bowls of sweet yellow cherry fruits.

The delicious, tough skinned outdoor cucumbers (Marketmore) don’t seem to have peaked yet! We can’t keep up with such an amazingly prolific crop. All visitors next weekend will have to take one away with them as a souvenir…

Maris Piper potatoes – big heavy tubers – but half the crop badly slugged and/or scabby. Highland Burgundy – another novelty this year – badly affected by smelly putrid tuber virus – the good ones yet to be tested in the kitchen. Anya salad potatoes (one of our regular favourites) – specially grown for this weekend’s catering – a good clean crop and delicious firm salad for a hundred in prospect.

We suffered something of a disappointment in the polytunnel. None of the  seeds sold as loofahs produced loofahs! We got unsavoury nondescript wan yellow marrows… We were done! Next year we will buy seeds from a more reputable and reliable source than ebay! We cleared them out, composted the patch with some leftover potting compost and planted some winter salads – claytonia, cress and endive – that had been sitting in the greenhouse.

Plenty of weeding too. Now the carrots, parsnips and beetroot have room and light to finish bulking out, which they are doing pleasingly.

Should we harvest brussels sprouts yet? They look good, fine size and firm. But shouldn’t we wait for a frost? Brussels are on sale already in Shrewsbury market this week… Perhaps we’ll compromise and have the tops – which we used to sell in the wholefood shop as a delicacy.

Not a lot of fruit in the Market Garden yet – the planting is all very new. But we have sampled two of the three “Scrumptious” apples – early crisp and tasty. And the one Cox and three Fiesta look good for early October. We will be planting a few more dwarfing fruit trees this Winter for future browsing…

It’s a good time of year for reward here. Our new volunteer was well pleased with his box of garden produce at the end of the day. He earned it!

Now we look forward to a busy weekend showing off all the hard work we’re doing. Maybe next week we will just take it easy…

Tuesdays in the Triangle Field (Community Supported Market Garden) are busy, sociable, friendly, relaxed, productive. Volunteers are made welcome, fed, watered and rewarded with produce. Let us know if you would like to join us either regularly, occasionally or just for a one-off pleasure.
Tel. 01743 761418 email: crabapplecom@hotmail.com

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