Running out of steam

It’s getting more unappealing to be on the plot. Cold, slightly slushy underfoot and usually with chilly breezes nipping at your face. I could do with a break from it. I’m looking forward to cosy winter days of planning and poring over seed catalogues, not wrestling with blackthorn (yes, that’s still going on) or wielding a mattock. And I have an exciting seed-based project for the New Year, of which more later when the creases are ironed out.

land-drain-pipeThere are 3 BIG jobs I want done and before next season if possible: a) moving my shed (many eye-rolls accompany this one), b) putting up the second greenhouse (which requires a decision on exactly where) and c) planting out my transplanted soft fruit plantation. Which will require a proper fruit cage and also depends on where the greenhouse goes. And if/when I get bored of all that, I have a land-drain to dig when it gets massively boggy again.

Aswedeslthough most of the plants sighed & died in the frosts, we have plenty of winter veg to keep us going. Swedes and parsnips are what I am particularly looking forward to, but I also have kales, pak choi, leeks and beetroot ready to pick, and on the horizon are sprouts (meh! not really grown for me), oca and wonderful, glorious PSB.


The red Russian kale is especially tasty, without the slight bitterness of cavolo nero and I foresee much more of that being grown next year.

However my quinces were a disappointment. I had lots – about 30, but when I cut them open the insides were dark brown. I have no idea why this is – whether I left them too long or if it was something either bug- or fungus-shaped. If anyone does know I’d love to be able to avoid this next year. The ones which are ok are nestled in a big jar of brandy. Unfortunately at the same time work got insanely busy, I was too tired to mess about with jam pans and the juice for jelly went mouldy. Next year…next-years-leafmould

Like last year, the gardeners have left me two massive tonne bags full of leaves which need transporting a mile up the road to the plot. I might need to hire a van. Unlike last year they want their bags back by Tuesday week, so I’d better sort this out sharpish!

Categories: Diary 2016

Tagged as: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Beryl, we had quinces in our place in the Languedoc and unless we picked them early, they were always rotten inside. I’ve never had a nice sweet soft quince! They were either rock hard or rotten….
    Coing in French, which is not from the phonetic Languedocienne pronouncement “cong” whose meaning in Langued’oui French I leave you to decipher…… and the tree is a cognassier.. Probably why you don’t find them too often at the “greengroce’r”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a really good tip, thanks. I’ll pick earlier next year. I left them on to get as yellow as possible and that was obviously a mistake. Plus nice French lesson 🙂


  2. This makes me feel better. I ventured up to the plot today after snow and rain earlier in the week. Lots of new plot 8 is under water. I cut back the asparagus on plot 7 and harvested the summer sown carrots. Did a bit of weeding. I still need to clear out and clean the polytunnel and weed 2 more beds before spreading manure. The fruit bed is a horrible mess of couch grass and the blackberry needs hacking back. I will do what I can do and accept it, given the lack of daylight hours, poor weather and other demands on time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like a good plan for keeping your sanity! Sorry you’re a bit flooded out already. Am going to steel myself for a few shifts in the cold this week to get more on top of it all.