Fruit cage

I ended the week getting things ready for next week. I have now moved into the fruit cage. There is a large area in the fruit cage that is ready to be dug,  today I got the soil ready by putting the compost onto the area. I just need to rake the compost onto the area and then next week I can start digging. You will notice on this photo how well the row of spinach is still looking, this is down to the mild weather. I aim to get all areas that are free dug over by which time we have a frost and more areas will be ready.

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Job done

The hedge looks so good, I can not put into words just how good it looks. The fruit cage is going to be so much better for the removal of the hedge, I will not let the hedge got so tall again, there is no need, six foot would be perfect. I may think a bit different after the storm that we are going to have in the night hits the garden. I am going to have to plant something along the back of the fruit cage. In the past it was too dark to grow anything, I am thinking alpine strawberries. I love the fruit and they make a great ground cover.

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Clay

The soil up in the vegetable garden has had a lot of compost added to it over the years but I am still bringing up clay when I dig, which I do think is a good thing. It is a sign that I am really getting into the ground and putting the organic matter in deep. Which in turn will give the roots a good deep soil to grow in. Today was another day of digging and another area looking a lot better for it. We need a frost in two weeks, I will be well on my way by then to having the garden in order. Linda Cobb, I hope you are not going to have lower back problems after looking at this digging.

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Digging

Well the winter digging started today and I started with the area that I want to improve the most. Today I dug a lot of compost into the pumpkin patch. I have the grow a bigger pumpkin than Chris next summer. The area will have a lot more light now that the hedge is cut down. Over the past four winters I have put more and more compost into this area and today I saw the results from this, there is a lot less clay and a lot of good dark soil.

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Bed

At this time of the year when you work out in the garden sleep becomes a much-needed part of life. Today I got in the post something that should help me sleep better, a new quilt. My dear friend Mary Kay made Christopher and me one each about 16 years ago and today I got a new one from her. I love it so much, it works very well in my bedroom. When we talked about a new quilt the only thing I asked was that it would be one that Alexander the Great would be happy to sleep under, I think he would.

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Hedge

I am starting to rethink the taking down of the hedge. There is not a lot I can do now but we are in the middle of a major wind storm and there is only one hedge to protect me from it. I have to say it is all looking so much better, we had a big team working on the job today with the area looking great at the end of the day. I think it will only be one more day of it, Wednesday. Miscanthus does seem to be happy with the work, she does keep a close eye on things.

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Kale

Tonight we made the last meal for the group, I have had the best kitchen hands that one could ask for. Perry, Thomas and myself have got good meals out to the group every night this week, with a great deal of fun which does help. The green vegetable that they had with the beef stew and ‘Pink Fur Apple” potatoes was kale, and once again I was reminded what a perfect green it is. I steamed it for a very short time so it did not loss all goodness. Next symposium, February.

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Hedgelaying

John French started hedgelaying the hedge that runs along the back of the vegetable garden. I am very pleased to see it happening because the hedge was not in great shape and something had to be done before we lost the hedge. The stems are cut almost all the way through so that they can be bent over and then will put on new growth along the stem. Hedgelaying has great conservation value and should take place every fifteen years or so, this is why the hedges in the U.K are so old because people still do this to keep the hedge is good shape.

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Pumpkin

I cut into the first pumpkin today to make soup for the group. It was interesting to see how the colour is different from last year, it is a lot lighter. I think this is down to the amount of rain we had in the summer, the fruit was much richer last year down to the dry summer. It was still great to be using the pumpkins that I enjoyed so much growing.

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Childhood

I do not think I have had baked apples since I was a child. My Father who loves food as much as I do use to make these for us as children. Each morning I walk through Mrs Next-doors garden as part of my dog walk and have seen the apple on the ground so while in bed the other night it came to me that I should make baked apples for the symposium group, I was very happy with the results, and to remember how much I use to enjoy this pudding as a child.

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