Today we had a lovely day working on the plot. The weather was quite warm - almost weirdly warm for the time of year. Nearly everyone we know was on the site when we arrived at noon.
The girls seemed happy playing by themselves, so we got lots done. I cleared the last of the squash plants, to replant with strawberries. The kind lady who let us pick her surplus earlier in the summer offered us some of her offshoots. Her strawberries made the best jam I have ever tasted - so I jumped at the chance. We now have three small areas of strawberries. Along with herbs they are one of the best and most useful things we have got from the allotment, so it is worth dedicating the space to them. As instructed I dug in some manure first to make sure we get a good crop.
It is the end of the season for herbs now, so I wanted to pick as many as possible for drying, before they all get killed by frost. I stripped the lemon verbena plant which completely dies back in winter and have hung bunches upside down on the back of a chair to dry. I did the same with the tarragon, and also picked some thyme, rosemary, mint and sage. These can be dried and put into jars for storage and use over the winter.
Lemon verbena - the smell is just amazing
Finally, before we left, Doug insisted that we take some of his redcurrants that were still on the plants from summer, but wouldn't survive the first frosts when they come. One of the highlights of allotmenting as a mum has to be watching the girls' excitement as they pick fruit. I took them over to pick a small crop and they were so thrilled with the ruby red jewel-like fruit. The only problem with redcurrants is that although they look exquisite, they do taste very sour straight from the plant. Fern did try one raw but her face said it all really. However, good old Sarah Raven has a recipe for blackcurrant cupcakes, which was well suited to using our produce. A bit of sugar definitely helps fruit go down. Not sure if that is particularly healthy, but it was a lot more fun.
I really must cook something savoury out of our produce one day..........
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