by Max Akroyd

October is as good a place as any to jump onto the merry-go-round of vegetable growing. 

My priority for the month is to cultivate most of the beds I’ll be using next year. I’ve done about 100 metres worth already but I’ll continue digging trenches and filling them with a mixture of grass cuttings and the stuff I clear out of the animal houses. Once I’ve raked a bit of soil over the top the soil organisms can take over the hard work and, come spring, there should be a good medium for planting out potatoes, big  brassicas, artichokes and anything else that will appreciate the fertility and moisture retentiveness. Also in the soil management department it’s the last chance to get the plastic mulches if it’s going to do the business in time for the new season.

The feeling of new beginnings is enhanced by preparation of the first seed/plant order for ages:

Garlic Messidor & Germidour

Shallot Grise Griselle

Broad Bean Aquadulce

Pea Sima

Onion Olympic

Lambs Lettuce Granon

All key crops. All in quantity, and all needing to go in as soon as they arrive.

The demands of the animals remain the same: cleaning, feeding and moving electric fences to encompass pastures new. We’re getting a large delivery of hay courtesy of the farmer down the road to feed the goats over winter now that the grass has stopped growing and the leaves are withering. The mini pigs have out-witted me again and are making daily forays into the adjoining henhouse so they’re getting properly contained once and for all… The hens have also been roaming around the garden at will recently. The start of the local hunting season means I’ll have to put an end to this liberation too…

Fruit planting season also starts now. First in: more strawberries, a combination of new plants and runners which Emma has salvaged from existing plants as she weeds the row we planted this time last year.