Life on the Weald - October 2019
Having lost the last weekend of September, I'm afraid I lost the whole of the first week of October as I was off to Montenegro to speak at the Balkans Parliamentary Forum in Cetinje, followed by a few days of meetings and sight-seeing around Podgorica and the coast.
I think I missed some reasonably good UK weather whilst away, and when I returned there were lots of tomatoes to be harvested.....
|Cetinje Forum, Montenegro
The leeks are looking good, but needed hand weeding and I have earthed them up a little to increase the white part.
|9 October - Leeks
|9 October - grape vine
|9 October - grape vine
|9 October - my new found friend
|9 October - ready for the broad beans
|10 October - ready for sowing
|10 October - green manure seeds sown
|Meteor peas sown 10 October
All seemed to be going well until I inspected my two pumpkins. One had completely collapsed and turned to mush!
|10 October - squish!
This pumpkin didn't make it to Halloween
....and took it home
We have loads of apples which are dropping faster than we can pick them and we have given loads away to friends and neighbours for pies, crumbles and for drying.
We have been making more apple jelly and we haven't yet eaten or given away last year's production. We know what people will be getting for Christmas this year!
|Apples ready for cooking
|straining the cooked apple pulp
|This year's apple jelly
|Home brown chillies
|15 October aubergine from the plot
|Aubergines from the pots on the patio
.............and made baba ghanoush!
One crop that can be relied upon to keep giving is chard. I am sure we will continue picking it through the winter. One of the most popular dishes amongst my friends in Montenegro is "cheese pie". It can take many forms and is a common dish throughout the Balkans, often called Burek, probably originating in central Asia and brought to the region by the Ottomans. The essential ingredients are cheese and filo pastry but one of the added ingredients can be spinach or chard, as in the Greek Spanakopita. With a regular and plentiful supply of chard and spinach, our version of this cheese pie is now regularly on our table.
|John's cheese and chard pie
|My delicious Spanakopita
|Rainbow and silver leaf chard
|15 October chard
We have been virtually self-sufficient in potatoes since April and this month we lifted the last of our 2nd Early Nicola potatoes.
|The last of the Nicola potatoes
But there are still jobs to do. I regularly inspect the brassicas to check for pests or disease. Fortunately we have been virtually caterpillar free this year. Some of the Brussels sprouts have aphids, but mostly on the lower florets which I have removed along with any dead or yellowing leaves. Removing the lower leaves also allows air to circulate and reduce infestation. We also have kalettes - a cross between kale and sprouts which grow like sprouts but produce open florets. Our seeds this year were a variety pack so we have both green and purple kalettes and hope to harvest some soon.
|The last tromboncino of 2019?
And we picked the last of the raspberries
On 22 October, the broad beans planted thirteen days earlier had sprouted and were beginning to show through.
|With a good eye you might just spot the broad beans showing through!
|Lubina - oven baked sea bass
|My unconventional paella
|tomatoes from Murcia
|Gran Playa, Santa Pola - October 26C