I spent Saturday battling the cold and the rain to try and get some of the weeds cleared. Luckily at this time of year most things are dying down and weeding becomes more of a simple digging task, the wet soil helping the long tap roots to slide out satisfyingly. I managed to dodge the first few rain showers and enjoyed a cup of tea huddled inside my shed but after a while I decided to face up to the fact that real gardeners just get on with things (well I have seen it raining during Gardener's world and during River cottage...). A few hours later I had made some progress and had also succeeded in completely coating myself, and all my clothes in a thick layer of mud. In fact I think I might have caused some alarm for my neighbours as I trudged back!
We had out first frost last week and more are expected in the coming days so it was time to pull up all the remaining carrots, mostly small but hopefully still tasty. I also pulled the first of many celeriac and we enjoyed eating it alongside some stored potatoes. Annoyingly I haven't managed to get all the potatoes up yet but a wet weekend isn't the right time to try and do this so I'll have to wait for drier conditions.
Most of the allotments on my site are already being put to sleep for the winter, everyone seems to live at the allotments for 6 months of the year and then vanish completely during the winter months. I think this is a missed opportunity and will still be there nurturing my cabbages, perpetual spinach, parsnips, celeriac, Brussels sprouts, leeks and of course the sprouting broccoli. Hopefully I'll have plenty to keep me going until spring.
Finally don't forget to buy your garlic, I have ordered Lautrec Wight and Sicilian Red, both are Autumn planting and should store well. I love knowing that even on the coldest and darkest days there is something slowly growing beneath the soil.