Tuesday 4th November 2015

We are building a shed. The garden tools have lived in a pile in the back of the truck long enough. The pots, trays, netting and sticks randomly heaped around the place, or cluttering the greenhouse, need a tidier home. When we’ve finished we will have neat hanging rows of clean tools and orderly shelves for everything else. When we’ve finished… It will have cost us a few pounds in fixings and preservative (don’t count labour!). Mostly the materials are reclaimed, recycled, surplus to someone else’s requirements or donated. There is a plan – a rough sketch in a notebook. We know how big the roof has to be. Otherwise we are making it up as we go along. It will be a thing of … beauty as well as function – larch plank and slate clad – a unique modernist/rustic style. It is taking a bit longer than we anticipated. It is rather heavier than we imagined (good –  it won’t blow away). It will be a lot sounder and more striking than we envisaged.

But the shed isn’t everything!

We have dug another miscellaneous bed. In standardising all the vegetable plots to 20m x 5m we have freed up a bit more space . Along the sunny side of the polytunnel, this 2m wide bed will be a good home for some strawberries and outdoor tomatoes for a start.

And we have processed most of the drying beans. The Czar runners (our best butter beans) have dried well and the bright white seeds come easily out of the crisp pods. The Borlotti are not so good. The pods are thicker and don’t dry well. Next time we will strip those straightaway. The Brown Dutch and the Soissons (haricots) are better again. We could grow a lot more to store dried through the year. Perhaps we will try some in the polytunnel to see if they do any better for a longer season. It seems needless to be importing dried pulses from around the world when we can produce our own…

We are gathering magnificent brussels sprouts, kale,carrots, celeriac, parsnips, swedes – seasonal vegetables suggesting Winter is on its way despite the mild – warm even – temperature still. Most of our food is harvested the day we eat it.

That healthy freshness alone would make it all worthwhile – even without the satisfaction of a day’s digging or the fun of creating a shed.

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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