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Autumn Clear-Up

October 12, 2016

The grass has been strimmed and if the sunny weather holds I plan to line three paths on the allotment with a tough membrane before covering them with wood chippings.  A plot holder has kindly chipped up an enormous Cedrus (cedar) tree for any of us to use.  Recently I laid a path up the middle of the greenhouse and spread it with a heap of these rich cedar chippings. The smell is delicious and especially intense when the sun floods the space. It’s a woody, spicy-resinous scent and there’s no surprise that for centuries cedar has been used as the base note in many perfumes.


The last runner beans were removed along with the supports and when podded these made a great addition to a chilli con carne. I substituted them for red kidney beans and because they were relatively fresh they needed no soaking.  Simmered for twenty minutes, whilst I followed a recipe for the chilli, they were then added for the last ten minutes.


I also cropped the remaining borlotti beans and these are drying  before being stored in a screw top container.imgp0905

The onion sets planted three weeks ago are showing through the soil and a quick hoeing session left them looking neat and tidy. The first pointed cabbage was ready as were masses more of Marathon F1 calabrese. I’ve been cropping a handful regularly for months and I’ll sow twice as many rows next year.


Cosmos ‘Sensation’ is still going strong.imgp1069


7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2016 9:55 am

    Your calabrese looks delicious, broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables; I was a bit late planting this autumn but I hope to have some to pick soon. Cedar will be amazing for your paths as it isn’t likely to rot down like other chipped wood; at least not for ages. Just think of all those wonderful cedar ceilings in Medieval or Renaissance palaces.

  2. October 13, 2016 11:58 am

    The chilli looks scrumptious. Beans are such brilliant value, just the pods of borlottti npbeans are beautiful in a bowl. Must be nice to know you have some winter treats stored up.

  3. October 13, 2016 1:40 pm

    Yes beans, lentils and pulses are ingredients I use a lot because as you say they are very good value. And I like the way they absorb other flavours especially Indian spices.

  4. October 17, 2016 10:44 am

    Cedarwood aroma…cedarwood chests…magic through the sense of smell. The deeper it is explored, the more refreshing it is. Thank you for that fine introduction to your post! 🙂

  5. October 29, 2016 9:54 am

    Cedar chips sound wonderful! Local tree surgeons leave their chipped wood at the entrance to our allotments where plotters can help themselves but the chips are very unlikely to be lovely cedar. I like the idea of using chippings on the paths, an idea I may well copy to avoid the monthly grass strimming next year. I’m looking up those calabrese seeds – my broccoli plants are huge but showing no signs of florets yet, hopefully by spring I’ll be picking. When did you sow seed for those?

  6. October 29, 2016 10:54 am

    Yes strimming the paths is such a chore and we may get more paths converted to chippings if there’s time. I have some large pieces of cardboard from a new appliance and feel inclined to experiment with that as a base. The ‘Marathon’ was bought as seedling plants in May/June and started sprouting florets in July. It is low-growing and quite shrubby and is nearly over now. I have bought seeds so will sow again in April next year. Whereas purple sprouting broccoli was sown in June/July and won’t produce until March/April 2017. It’s in the ground for months but hopefully will fill the hungry gap. Have you covered yours? The allotment has a problem with wood pigeons and I draped mine with the cheapest Ikea net curtains at a bargain price.

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