Monday, October 25

A race against the winter weather

There's not much to report this week. The weather has meant that it wasn't really pleasant to be working outside and so there is not much to report on.

Despite the weather, we have done the usual walks with Ruby. She has so much energy that she needs the exercise. She doesn't mind getting wet if a walk/run is on offer but it's quite a different story when she has to go in the shower.

Autumn is certainly getting a grip now.

Some trees are wearing their autumn colours, whereas some hold on determinedly to their dirty green leaves.
The paths are becoming carpeted by fallen leaves providing new sniffing opportunities for a curious soggy doggy.

It was on one of the better days of the week that we visited Nostell. In sheltered parts of the grounds it was quite pleasant and the swan family was enjoying a siesta together.
There was even a little weak sunshine although away from the shelter the wind cancelled out any warmth that the sunshine managed to deliver.

We took advantage of the fenced off area where dogs can have off lead playtime. Ruby had great fun hurtling after her tennis ball. Her little legs can really motor. I ended up flat on my back courtesy of a collision with a two legged family member. I won't point the finger by naming names. Fortunately, I missed the muddy patches.

We managed some time at the allotment. I pruned the blackberry by removing all last year's fruiting canes - and accidentally one of the strong new canes oops - and tied in the surviving new canes. It is so much easier with a thornless variety no scratches or pain! Quite a lot of tall grass has grown around the roots which will need dealing with somehow.

Most of our time is still focussed on tidying and digging over the beds. It's a bit of a race before the weather puts paid to any more digging and the soil becomes too soggy.
We gathered a small harvest.
The dahlias are still hanging on and producing flowers in spite of me having given up on dead heading.

The Albion strawberries are also still producing fruit which we are still picking semi-ripe and finishing ripening indoors. 

The berries run the risk of spoiling when it rains and the slugs have also found them. With us not visiting the allotment as regular we pick them as soon as we notice them reddening. It's such a treat to have homegrown fresh strawberries at the end of October.

Of course, the weather doesn't stop us from cooking, in fact, we have more time for this.

We used to buy a snack when we were out for the day or afternoon but Covid has changed all that and we now take our snacks or lunches with us. Also now that we are avoiding red and processed meat, for health reasons not because Prince Charles tells us that we should to save the planet, we need alternatives to pork pies and sausage rolls etc, to have with our salads. 

Last week I made a batch of mini coronation chicken pies but I didn't photograph them as the only homegrown ingredient was an onion.

I also made a batch of orange, oat, coconut, walnut and sultans cookies which didn't use any homegrown ingredients.

Martyn, made his first focaccia which used some of our tomato and onion but I wasn't allowed to photograph it but it was tasty despite his reservations.

Some cooking did use some homegrown ingredients. I used some of our leeks, frozen peas and tomatoes in a leek and pepper curry. It was based on this recipe although I used coconut milk instead of coconut yoghurt.

We cut into our first pink banana squash and used some in a pumpkin, cranberry and onion tagine. The rest of the squash was frozen to use later. It was based on this recipe although we don't have much success growing red onions so I used our brown onions.
I used more of our leeks, carrot and frozen peas and green beans to make a turkey stew based on this recipe. The recipe refers to it as a summer stew but leeks always mean autumn and winter meals in my mind. It was served with some of our potatoes which were boiled and crushed.
Until next week, I hope that you have a good week and stay safe and well.

This week I am once again joining in with Dave’s Harvest Monday collection of posts over at Our Happy Acres

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett


  1. I enjoyed the landscape vistas. Thank you for including. Oh my, dahlias still. What a treat they are late in the season in most climates here in the US. And those strawberries! Our plants had a nice resurgence too. I have about 6 on a plate waiting for dinner.

    1. The dahlias are still going strong, Sue

  2. Our trees are just now turning color, thanks to a warm autum. Thoese strawberries look lovely, especially for this late in the season.

    1. It's not such a warm autumn here, Dave.

  3. Red onions have been a bugbear with us. But this year we grew Red Baron from seed with good results. Just hoping it works again in future.

  4. You have been busy. Everything sounds yummy. Your dahlias are beautiful. I cannot believe strawberries in October. I wish I had better luck with leeks. Ruby sounds like our Ella, except Ella is 13. You'd never know it to watch her romping around. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    1. We can't believe the strawberries either, Bonnie.

  5. I see your finger pointing at . . .
    You are lucky your leaves stay on long enough to turn colour, ours are either shrivelled from no rain, or ripped away by the strong winds.

    1. I really wouldn't mention any names, Deborah

  6. Ooops! Sorry about your fall. Good you managed to get to the allotment. Lovely meals and strawberries!xxx

    1. Not exactly a fall, Dina more an attack.

  7. You have your own strawberry, wow, Sue. I agree that now is the time to get the beds ready for next year. This busy time has passed here, we are expecting the first frost. A good time to walk too, Nostell is a great place to relax.

    1. We have had an air frost, Nadezda but not quite 0 degrees yet.


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