The growing season is well and truly winding down. At our allotment, all of the onions have been pulled up, the fruit bushes are bare and the beans are slowing. I am thankful for the [temporary] respite from weeding but the bigger part of me is a little sad to see the plot starting to empty.
The cornflowers are fading and many have gone to seed already. Bees are frantically working their way from flower to flower, collecting the last of the pollen and nectar. This wildflower patch has been a big success so we’re going to do it again next year – perhaps in several smaller patches.
And while we’re on the subject of bugs, check out this ladybird making its way towards lunch! The cornflowers have quite a few blackfly on them so it’s not surprising there are lots of ladybirds too. I sat and watched it gobble one up, didn’t take long.
We are still picking mountains of beans!
Runner beans are by far our largest crop of the year. So far we’ve picked 16kg. It’s amazing how many beans you can put through the human body! Friends and family have had a few but we’ve eaten most of them ourselves. I’ve also blanched a few for the freezer. Scott and I went away for a few days last week and we missed eating beans. Hah!
One of our allotment chums called us over to his plot one evening and gave us a massive bunch of Dahlias. All different colours and so big I had to take the vase off the coffee table because I couldn’t see the TV.
Celeriac was a vegetable I could take or leave. We kept being offered seedlings and after saying no thanks a few times we eventually accepted them to help us fill our plot. Also, I remembered reading a piece of advice in the River Cottage Veg book saying it’s a good idea to grow something you dislike. It turns out to be an excellent piece of advice because the ones we’ve grown are very different to the overpowering woody celeriac in supermarkets. I had some roasted a few nights ago and was light and nutty. I’m a convert! They sure look ugly but that didn’t stop me smiling at them like a proud parent when I pulled them out of the ground.
Homegrown sweetcorn has been a highlight of the growing year. They didn’t get off to the best start so we only ended up with 3 full sized plants but they produced 5 fantastic cobs.
When the silks turned brown we peeled back the husks and found plump yellow corn inside. It was really bloody good!
How are your gardens looking? Are they starting to wind down too?