Fire time

Maybe once or twice a year we have a fire on the plot to get rid of general rubbish from the year, mostly thick tree cuttings and the like. I must admit, due to the local council no longer really collecting household rubbish as much as they could/should, I used the occasion to reduce the amount of, burnable, rubbish at home too. Not strictly within the site rules I’m sure. Being fire, Tom wanted to come with me even though I planned to leave early in the morning – some things he gets up early for.

The first visit to the plot for a couple of week, it was cold. One lit match to the bottom of the incinerator set off everything we had added in over the year, and it was suddenly rather warm. Tom kept an eye on it, fed it over the hour, while I tended to the plot.

The leeks seem to have had a bad time, it looks like Allium Leaf Miner and a dose of rust. This is a bit disappointing as leeks are one of our ‘core crops’ in that we generally live off of them at some point of the year (this year they helped us through lock down). Next year I’ll cover the young plants with fleece in until the colder weather.

Turnips and swedes on the other other hand all looking good. I was able to pull a number of turnips to take home. I tidied the plants up, removing the lower leafs of both swede and turnip to let a bit more light through and less leafs sitting on the ground and ready for slugs. This small tidy up showed most of the swedes looked promising even though a lot of them might not be traditional swede shape.

The garlic and onions planted now for two (or maybe three) weeks all looking good. The fennel which I have kept in the ground even though it looked like they had gone to seed ages ago, suddenly have started re-growing and some do seem to have small bulb like shapes near the bottom which might make them viable. I need to work out what to do with them in the kitchen. I tidied up the celeriac, each pretty small but four plants all the same, surviving the massacre from earlier on in the year.

Broad beans still there, not eaten by mice, I needed to tie up again. I sowed the first lot quite early. The ones sowed a couple of weeks back are yet to show, although ones I have undercover at home have just started to show and so the ones in the ground I am sure will soon follow.

The surprise of the morning was seeing so many raspberries ready for picking which were not there last time.

While the fire was dying down I tidied up the area the tomatoes had (failed) to grow this year. I took apart the little greenhouse ‘thing’ that we inherited and used one side of it as a bit of a fence. I covered the ground with cardboard and covered with rotted horse manure, although I will need to find quite a bit more. This has cleared a lot more space for air to circulate which is where I think we had problems this year.

Meanwhile, at home, the runner beans and tomato plants were finally pulled up. Normally by this time of the year the runner beans have mostly died back but they were very much green and living but with the prospect of no beans worth having will grow this time of the year, I felt it time they went. Saying that, I did discover and pick a whole load of beans while taking them down. Tomato plants were still very much living but again, any tomato at this time of the year would not be worth that much, and I did only find a couple of small green ones as I did it.

This has cleared off a large area of the bed which I covered in rotted down horse manure bringing the level of the soil up by quite a bit to match other cleared bits. The height is difference since we started putting the wood edging in and making the bed level. That job won’t be finished until early spring when the other side of the bed is cleared.

At home, we still have turnips, spinach, some small carrots, parsnips and kale. Garlic (left over cloves from the plot) are all in a neat straight row.

before tidying and after

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