|Garlic drying in the garage|
The first big vegetable harvest for storage has been garlic. We are very pleased with this year's crop. It's big and beautiful and the flavour is excellent, too. Very few bulbs had turned mouldy. Now the bulbs are hanging up in the garage where they will dry for at least two months.
The two major fruit crops this month have been gooseberries and strawberries. We have oodles of both. I've made strawberry & rhubarb jam, strawberry conserve and gooseberry & elderflower jam. Two batches of gooseberry wine are on the go and there are 15 litres of strawberries in the freezer, to be consumed in our porridge over the winter.
|Domino on berry watch|
The broad beans and new potatoes are coming to an end, but broccoli, courgettes and beetroot are in full swing. Tomatoes, spring-sown cauliflowers and carrots are getting going, while runner beans are starting to flower and squashes are setting their fruit. Plenty to look forward to!
The chicks are currently upgrading from chick crumb to growers' pellets and we are also letting them roam out of their enclosure during the day. The door is only open a smidgen so that the adult hens can't get in and nick the chick food and so that the minis have a secure place to hide from their elders.
|Quinoa in the new bed|
We also plan to cover all the areas that are going to be planted next winter and spring with black plastic this month so that they have at least six months under cover for the weeds to die off (and to minimise ground prep). There will be two more new strips of hedging to plant and a couple to finish planting, plus a new ornamental plus herb bed in the top paddock and a new growing area near the wildlife pond, destiny yet to be decided.
Pity we're meant to wait for a year before drinking the gooseberry wine (it remains to be seen how long we can hold out), but then patience is all part of the long-term gardening game.