Tuesday 24th November 2015

Shed finished. What a beauty. All recycled materials – weighs a ton. Barney the extreme gale only managed to break off a sliver of a cracked slate. Job well done. Tools all cleaned and orderly. No excuses! Compost toilet construction next … well, after we’ve slabbed and wood-chipped the outside of the shed.

Time then to catch up with some of the jobs the shed has diverted us from.

We left some less ripe drying beans on the plants when we harvested last month, hoping the weather might be good enough to finish them off. And how! Another bowlful of Czar butter beans and a kilo of Soissons haricots. There were a few more mouldy ones than last time that had to be discarded – but a real bonus towards our Winter supply of home-grown dried pulses.

We netted the Autumn sown onions and garlic – now a healthy few inches above ground – against our gourmet rabbits. I always believed that alliums were safe from lapine devastation. Not so! They have already nibbled the tops. Presumably it adds something more flavoursome to the blander carrot tops … If we weren’t vegetarian …

In pursuit of long-term healthy soil and sustainable fertility, we decided to put an eighth vegetable bed into our rotation – to have one or two fallow/ green manured/ mulched each year. Two 250 square metre beds has proved far too much for our perennial vegetable experiments – one is more than enough. So we rearranged the mypex mulch on the other to clear a 5m x 20m rectangle (leaving an interesting triangle to be dealt with … later). Then we dug over the patch. A year or more of black plastic mulch has sorted out everything that was growing there – nettles, buttercups, willowherb, docks, couch grass – except the hogweed roots which were lurking white and vigorous ready to shoot again. We excavated as many of those as we could find. We will leave the ground rough dug for the frosts to break up – hoes at the ready for the inevitable flush of dock seedlings – and manure when we plant potatoes next Spring. The mypex we removed, we will use to mulch a bed in the walled garden.

The one heavy frost this week felled the nasturtiums. They will make good fodder for the next couple of bean trenches. And the cottage garden perennials can breathe again!

As ever, collective endeavour has achieved a huge amount. We deserve the home-made apple cake and an almost crepuscular cup of tea.

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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