I didn’t get much of a harvest of anything this year, so much had been such a disappointment but it has made me think about what I want to grow for eating next year. I would still like to stick to having a variety of tomatoes, but will be cautious of growing too many big-leafed plants in the wrong place at the expense of some of the other sun-loving plants which were forced to spend their unproductive little lives in the shadows of others.
This problem may be solved by my neighbour giving up his greenhouse and has offered it to me. It does need a little bit of patching up but in spite of it being smaller than mine, it is in a better position and gets the sun most of the day. Getting it has helped me to plan what to grow since I wanted to grow everything and as I am now aware that some plants don’t like being bedfellows with others. I found that to my cost when my cucumbers shaded out everything else and my aubergine never got as far as flowering.
I had enough wonderberries this year to make a small batch of jam, unfortunately I let the pan burn so ruined it. They are quite easy to grow but they they are a relative to deadly nightshade and are poisonous when green, so with a number of children in the area, I feel it’s too much of a risk to keep growing them.
I had my version of a winter salad in order to use up the last remnants of what little harvest I got. The late arrivals are oca and yacón, and pleased to say the yacón is much sweeter this year. Oca, although few in number, had bigger tubers. I used some of the oca, sliced in the salad along with the kiwano – Cucumis metuliferus (jelly melon, horned melon) it’s unripe of course, it was picked green with the idea of ripening it indoors but it never has.
The kiwano is full of seeds encased in a jelly and I’m sure the unripe taste was more like banana than the pineapple taste it has when ripe. Altogether with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, it made a very interesting and tasty salad.
My new greenhouse is older than my own one and is in fairly good condition. The man who originally built it was quite large so built it up on breeze blocks to add height. There is one broken pane of glass and two corners where the breeze block is disintegrating but both are easily fixed and will hopefully get it dealt with within a few weeks. I would like to store frost-tender plants in it over the winter and have excess bubble insulation from my own greenhouse which I can use in it.
I have already insulated my own greenhouse but I still have a lot of clearing out to do yet. Time and weather have not been kind to me this year so it may take some time to catch up again. Even some of the plants in the garden have been getting neglected so I expect there will be plenty of work waiting for me in spring next year.
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