Tuesday 17th November 2015

We are still building a shed. But it’s very nearly completed now.. It’s waterproof and the tools are all hung on hooks inside. The slates are attached, the shelves shelved. It’s just the floor to be finished. If gale-force Barney is kind enough to leave it in one piece, we should have done by the weekend. Then we will think about the outside: paving or woodchip? guttering and water collection; a climber and a pot for the trellis on the front; sort out the netting, pots, trays etc. to stack away on the shelves.

The shed is beautiful – if we say so ourselves…

But it’s not a more than two person task, so as this is community gardening day, we move on to more sociable shared jobs.

In the polytunnel, the aubergines, peppers and okra have all finished and are looking a tad mouldy. We harvest what is left and useable – a decent bag of aubergines (pickle?) and chillis (sauce), but no okra. Won’t try that again. We clear the plants out and make a pile on the next-year’s bean bed. We dig up any revealed lurking docks, dandelions, hogweed and nettles, then water the still burgeoning parsleys.
The side beds were edged with timbers but the central bed wasn’t. It has lost its shape. So we fetch up some old scaffold boards to make it a defined slightly raised bed. We have acquired some well rotted horse manure to incorporate, beginning to build up the growing area. Not sure what we’ll grow there next year. Heritage tomatoes maybe.

The reason for piling the plants on the bean bed is to fill runner bean trenches. Making space involves lifting the remaining celeriac and what’s left of a couple of rows of parsnips. Blimey! That’s filled a big tray! That will be roast parsnips, curried parsnip soup and date and parsnip cake for the rest of the week then…

We make two trenches two spits deep and lose all the old plants from the polytunnel along with a heap of apple pulp from our juicing/ ciderising endeavours. We do remember to mark the buried trenches when we have finished as we haven’t been into the woods yet to coppice the bean poles. And anyway, we have two more double rows to prepare if we are to produce anything like a year’s supply of Czar runner beans next Summer.

There is still time to hunt docks over the rest of the bean plot. And it is “hunt”. After this third year of cultivation (it was the first space we cleared) the docks are mercifully fewer and farther between. Not so on the neighbouring second year bed. That might be next week’s task.

To the house then with an armful of carrots, a box of celeriac and parsnips – and a healthy root of horseradish which we wrestled from the ground to process this evening (minced, then covered in a jar with either olive oil or cider vinegar).

Who would have thought that on such a damp, windy showery November day we would get so much done?

Me – we always do!

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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