29th October, 2008

This is an update on the pictures I should have taken last blog. First are the chillis in the greenhouse looking very straggly; I don't think they will survive the winter especially since today and yesterday saw a heavy frost which is very early; some parts of the country had snow.

These are the broad beans in pots trying to germinate. No signs yet. I've got enough I think without needing to do a second spring sowing. I've still got broad beans in the freezer from last year!

The spring onions have germinated after all! I can grow them. They are on the right in the picture below with the spinach in the other pot.

Below are the lettuce underneath the plastic squirrel protector domes.

And some more under the cloche.

I planted these on a lovely sunny autumn day and was quite hopeful that they will put on some growth but the latest cold snap will probably slow them down and I may be lucky to get much at all. Maybe I'm expecting too much and perhaps I should just pick the young leaves.

A good thing about the frosts though is that it will kill off many of the overwintering pests, hopefully some of these guys.

The onions are showing their green tips, a lovely sight.

The garden chores are slowing down now. I've been digging in some compost and last year's leaf mould in the bottom bed. I will have to continue to collect this year's leaves. I want to make two permanent cages for the leaves, one for the current year and one for last year's. I'm undecided how to do this at the moment. I'm inclined to go for the simple chicken wire cage, but I want to make them really big as I can collect a lot of leaves.

Now that we have had a frost I can try the leeks and parsnips, they should have sweetened up nicely. The horseradish will be good to dig up too, I'll need to get the ingredients to make some horseradish sauce.

The cold weather has driven me indoors and into the kitchen. It's warm when the oven is working. I made some more pickled beetroot and two jars of apple jelly. The jelly has already been tried on sandwiches by the kids, so I'll probably be making more which is no problem as there are a lot of apples to get through. I had a go at making an apple pie too. For some reason I had thought there was some magic art to making pastry but on the BBC food website there is a video masterclass that shows you how using a food processor. Works a treat!

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