October is a time of contradictions for gardeners.On the one hand it is the time when produce is ripe for the picking. I picked some delicious green apples today and the few remaining pears; yet I was also tidying up, clearing beds and laying down tarpaulins to smother weeds during winter. It will give me less weeding to do during winter time and spring.But I still have veg to pick during autumn and winter: carrots, parsnips, kale and cabbage, along with more apples. I really must make cider with some of them.
There are funny incidents. A neighbour came to me a little annoyed to grouse about being visited during the night. Apparently, we have been noticing that small scale pilfering of food has been going on. This time his scarecrow had its jumper stolen. It was an old one whose value was pennies, but we think that a tramp has been prowling. Poor fellow. Last night was rather cold, down to degrees celsius, and he must have been desperate.Snow is forecast, so he needs it more than the sacrecrow does.
The lady on the neighbouring plot showed me a vegetable that I had not heard of before, a yakom. It is a root veg that looks like a potato, but it contains inelin, a sweet tasting sugar that is not digested, and hence has no calories. Delightful? No! It has the same side effects as Jerusalem artichokes. If you don't know what they are, you are in for an embarrassing surprise: wind, loads of it. She is a pharmacist, so she probably knows the chemistry of it all. Just imagine serving this stuff at a party! Would I do a thing like that? My wife would not let me. Apparently it is easy to grow.
A few months back we discovered that we have a well. It was below the pavilion, which was burnt down by vandals. It must have been there for years and forgotten, as no one on the allotment knew anything about it. . What do we do about it. It is a danger to kids, but it is a source of water at a time when allotment water bills are rising. We have it covered over with heavy logs.
Only part of the plot is covered over. I still have some work to do on the soil at the far end, where the fruit trees are. There are still potatoes to be unearthed. I would have had them up now, but for the fact that I am in the process of moving house and don't want too much clutter while I am doing it.
They are a decent lot, the characters on our allotments. That's lucky, as some allotments are divided into feuding factions. There isn't anyone that I dislike. Of course, that's not to say that everyone always gets on, but we are quite blessed.