Monday, October 18

We have leeks

Last week we continued clearing and tidying beds on the allotment. Beds where the soil is in good condition have been covered with weed control fabric held in place with wood chippings. Where the soil remains lumpy after digging the beds will be left uncovered to allow the lumps to be broken down by the winter weather.
As well as tidying, there is also some pruning to be done. Last week, I tackled the row of summer fruiting raspberries. The canes that fruited this year were cut out and any thin straggly new canes were also cut out. The remaining strong new canes were tied in. We have six varieties of raspberries. Some, Malling Juno and Cascade Delight, are faring better than others
I also pruned the purple fruiting, Glencoe raspberry, in more or less the same way. The difference is that Glencoe produces very long whippy canes, so the tops of the canes have been looped down and tied in.
Although we have spent most of our time clearing and tidying, we have spent a little time harvesting.  
October 15 - Leeks - Below Zero, Strawberries - Albion and Squash - Autumn Crown

We dug the first of our leeks. We leave leeks in the ground over winter and lift as we need them. When planting this year, we first dug a trench and planted the baby leeks in holes made in the bottom of the trench. As the leeks grew the trench was gradually filled in. The idea was to produce leeks with a longer white section and this seems to have worked.

As I cleared the dying squash vines, I found a few very small Autumn Crown squashes. Most were still green. Whether these will continue to ripen or have any usable flesh on them remains to be seen.
Somethings that do continue the ripening process, after picking, are the Albion strawberries. The flavour is very good even after ripening indoors. I wonder what the taste will be like when the berries have ripened in the sun.
On clearing another bed, we found a Pink Banana squash that we had previously missed as it had been accidentally planted amongst the courgettes.

We picked yet another bucketful of Fiesta apples.
October 16 - Apples - Fiesta, Squash - Pink Banana and mixed flowers.
Despite registering an overnight temperatures of 2.3C, the dahlias had survived so I cut what could be our last bunch of cut flowers. I picked some cosmos to put with them.

Back in the garden we picked more ripe tomatoes from the greenhouse and raised bed and yet another bucketful of apples. We’re not sure of the variety but they are cooking apples.

We decided to take Ruby to Temple Newsam for one of her walks. It was showery so we spent some time sheltering under trees. I hadn’t taken my camera with us so had to take photos with my phone. I hadn’t realised that I needed to change the format so the photos all ended up square.

We paid our usual visit to Nostell Priory.

The young swans are now far more confident and independent. Two of them came right up to the bank close to us. Maybe they thought that we had some food for them. They are gradually losing their brownish feathers and exchanging them for white adult plumage. Martyn posted a short video of the young swans here.

Finally, last week we used our vegetables as accompaniment to fish and also as ingredients in other meals.

An onion and apple went into a fruity turkey curry. I kept the pieces of fruit intact rather than sieving them, as stated in the recipe, to make a smooth sauce. To my mind this is a waste of the fruit.

I used some of the leeks, carrots, fresh sage and potatoes in a vegetable 'shepherds' pie based on this recipe. I didn't have any sweet potatoes or cauliflower so just used a mashed potato topping and I used sweet chili sauce instead of the chilli flakes, sugar and soy sauce.

Our final meal of the week was a chicken, leek and tomato casserole. In this I used some of the leeks, tomatoes, garlic and parsley. It was based on this recipe but I left out the olives as neither of us like them. It was served with some of our potatoes mashed.
That's all for this week. 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. it's all looking good, but I think I am a little bit in love with your pumpkins, the way you've left leaves and tendrily bits on when cutting.

    1. I always do that Deborah. It stops moisture draining down the stem an potentially causing rotting/

  2. You are making more progress than I am on getting the beds ready for winter. I've worked in the greenhouse but that's about all. I'll bet the strawberries will be delicious!

    1. The strawberries were delicious, Dave, It's a race against the weather setting in and calling a halt to be preparation.

  3. Such lovely dahlias. Enjoy that last bouquet.

  4. Mighty fine looking leeks! I do hope the squash ripen, you could always carve them for Halloween if they don't. Loving the young swans, how quickly they have grown, Again, some tasty looking meals

    1. We've enjoyed watching the swans grow into adults, Dina. Now we wonder whether they will stay on the lake or find their own homes elsewhere.

  5. What satisfying chunky leeks Sue! They are one of my favourite vegetables. If I remember correctly your dahlias kept on giving and giving last year so maybe not the last bunch just yet 😄

    1. You're right, Anna it wasn't the lats of the dahlias.

  6. Coo! Those leeks are brilliant Sue. It seems to have been a good year for dahlias and that bunch you have is beautiful. Love that you didn’t spot that banana squash - it looks huge! 😀

    1. It was just growing somewhere unexpected, Belinda. When we planted it we thought that it was a courgette,


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