We are coming to the end of the allotment year and most of the vegetables are out of the ground and the plots have been dug over ready for a topping of manure. We are just left with the crops that will stay for the winter.
The leeks have grown really well and are still under the yellow netting which we covered them with to protect them from the leaf minor beetle. It seems to have worked as so far there is no sign of the little grub. They will stay in the ground over winter and will hopefully keep us going until spring.
The leaf beet in the foreground of the picture has spent the summer trying to go to seed. It was obviously stressed at some point. By picking the shooting stems we have managed to keep it growing whilst a second planting at the bottom of the allotment had time to catch up. This crop will overwinter, though it will die back if the weather gets very cold. In spring new shoots will appear and provide a welcome crop of greens when not much else is available.
The parsnips and beetroot will stay in the ground and be picked as needed. We also intend to plant some broad beans to overwinter in the hope that they will produce an early crop next year. Another planting in spring should then be ready at a slightly later date.
We have spent very little on vegetables and fruit over the summer and have eaten some amazing, fresh organic crops. If we were more dedicated we could have more winter crops such as broccoli, cabbage and swede but these need a lot of looking after as they are susceptible to bugs. These days we try to make growing as easy as possible so are selective in our choices.