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First frost

In the field:

First frost 26th November, always a marker in a gardener’s (farmer’s?) diary, and a necessary part of the cycle which tells plants winter is here and thus spring is round the corner. The mint has suddenly died back and the weeds are receding into the ground, giving us a chance to attack some of the edges that get engulfed in nettles and brambles.

This week we had a day rained off – it was too wet outside, but we did manage to get the loppers out and try and clear some of the hedgerow that has grown up next  to our lesser used green-house  (it’s being taken over by a combination of holly and mice!).

Rosie has as ever been working really hard and now finished wood-chipping the paths in the poly tunnel. In the field we use the rotary plough to move the decomposed wood chip back onto to the beds every couple of years, but in the poly tunnel that is a bit more tricky as we tend to rarely have a bare bed – so Rosie has been scooping up chip from the path in a bucket and then transferring it on to the beds in between the plants.

In the small poly tunnel we’ve had a bit of a nightmare with creatures again – a whole bed of lettuce has gone! and all the broad beans bar about 3 have been nibbled up.. I  think we need a trained hungry cat to live in there! (who’s also trained to not stand on the lettuces!!). We think either mouse or vole.

Brr starting to feel very chilly and wet in the field. Puddles everywhere in the boot prints . This does make it tricky to work as even moving the wheel barrows round compacts the soil, and turns the place into a mud bath. We’re still harvesting though, plenty of salads in the boxes and the shop.

In the kitchen:

We made this mince and aubergine shakshuka other day and it was fab – added some beans in there too.

This Meera Sodha tomato curry has also come highly recommended (thanks Steve!), haven’t tried it yet though .

I’ve also been listening to a podcast which inspired me to make Mark Diacono’s piccalilli – here’s the recipe written down in a lovely blog. The book ‘Sour’ by Mark also sounds really good [she adds to Christmas wish list].

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