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The polytunnel is looking quite sorry at the moment until more of the overwintering onions begin to sprout so that they cast a fresh new wave of greenery amidst the dying and fading tomato and chilli plants that litter the inside of the tunnel. Today I cropped the very last of the cayenne peppers and a few handfuls of Roma and Bloody Butcher tomatoes, it’s been a reasonable year for both, I’ve been picking and taking tomatoes home on a twice weekly basis since July, and Chilli’s and peppers since August.

Despite the end of the season rapidly accelerating, all is not lost, I’m using the polytunnel to get some overwintering greenery on the go, wild rocket, winter density, valdor lettuce, Purslaine, and some German winter Radishes I’m trying this year to replace the Mooli that I’ve been growing for the last few seasons. For those interested in growing Mooli, it’s usually better to get them in earlier in the year but they do seem to have a surprising tolerance towards frost if grown in raised beds with a good mulch, I picked my last few in 2010 as late as mid November.

Joy of Joys, Mary one of the older allotmenteers summoned me to her Greenhouse and handed me her secateurs and told me to help myself to her red grape crop, that hung in heavy bunches across the ceiling of her greenhouse. I cut enough to make a gallon of wine, then took them home, pulped them in a bucket with a spud masher, poured a gallon of hot water over them, and covered them and left them in a warm place until the next stage. One of the great things about allotment sites is the sharing and community spirit that seems to pop out of the simple act of people growing food.

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