Look what we've harvested from the polytunnel! A whole wheelbarrow full of giant winter squash, which will hopefully brighten up our meals throughout the darker months. All originating from the Real Seed Catalogue, there are Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash, Waltham Butternut, Burgess Vine Buttercup, Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato (an acorn-type squash) and one which we can't seem to identify - a mystery squash, if you will.
The polytunnel is looking bare after the abundance of greenery which filled it until a couple of weeks ago. This year we are going to try to grow as much as we can over winter, inspired by this book:
How to Grow Food in Your Polytunnel All Year Round by Mark Gatter and Andy McKee.
I'm not sure how the three months of No Direct Sunlight (thanks to the hill to our south) will affect the growth of the rainbow chard, lettuce, broad beans and so on, but we're determined to give it a go. Today I'm planning on buying a trio of garlic bulbs from the Co-op in order to plant them out. Last winter's garlic did OK (particularly the shop-bought stuff, unfortunately not so much the expensive organic elephant garlic), we just didn't plant enough of it.
I have been looking forward to getting into my birthday present from myself - How to Grow Perennial Vegetables by Martin Crawford - and hoping that perennial vegetables might form part of the solution to the problems we had this spring - the slugs destroying baby seedlings, the rain saturating the soil and the lack of summer sunshine retarding growth. Which reminds me, we need to dig up some of the Jerusalem artichokes and see whether or not their debut season has been successful!
I still want to tell you about the fantastic apple juice we made using donated apples and a borrowed press, but I shall leave that for another day - until then, here's a little taster: