Saturday 15th October | Fern Verrow

Saturday 15th October

The wonderful Autumn weather continues to keep us outside and busy, the soil is dry and warm, so an ideal time to dig and so on. All the vegetables are well, and thriving from these temperate climes. We have been working on the flower beds the past day, planting bulbs for the spring, dividing roots , tying and tidying up. Many of the shrubs are making a comeback with new growth, all very confusing. All weeded and clear, we are now ready for a dressing of leaf mould and a mulch of straw.

A new litter of piglets born on Monday night. Eight ginger Tamworths born to a first time mother. Everyone doing well, although the sow appears to be a little depressed… do pigs suffer from post natal depression? Why not. Hoping that a few windfall apples will cheer her up. Our other “in pig” sow is also due, she looks very ready with a large low slung belly of piglets weighing her down. The poultry are thriving in the warmth and easy conditions, with plenty of good grass to graze.  Christmas birds are fattening well, they are  on a diet of wheat and whey, with an extra fattening ration of peas and maize.

This week at Maltby we have our sausages for sale. Again the greens are wonderful, cavalo nero, red russian kale, ruby and green chard and some more real spinach. Parsnip, carrots, red and golden beetroot are amongst the roots. The first of the fine tasting romanesco cauliflower and lots of broccoli too. Cabbages so beautiful, they deserve a centre place in the kitchen to be admired before eating.We are enjoying the pears at home, we made a pear tarte tatin this week, which was delicious. Underripe pears are best used here ,as they soften down without breaking up. Six varieties of potato, all with different uses. The leeks are looking beautiful… nice strong flavour, although I think that they taste their best after a spell of cold weather. Tender leaves for example,Endive and lettuce and salad bags are all on top form.

See you on Saturday.

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