Unglamorous November.

We are now half way through December and have yet to write our post about the garden in November.

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Looking back, it was a rather unglamorous month with many grey days and a few heavy duty tasks to be performed. We did a lot of clearing up in different areas where certain plants were expressing a wish for world domination.

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We also needed to dig a drainage ditch next to the shed and thankfully finished that task  in a couple of days. It left us with a great space for our old cast iron bathtub that we now have transformed into a worm-bin. Back in spring we completed a master composting class where we learnt everything about setting up a compost system with worms.  You can read about how it is done in this previous post. We are very excited to finally be able to do it ourselves.

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Our Medlar tree had a huge crop this year and we made some delicious sticky toffee-medlars. This was once a common fruit in Britain and Europe and is now making something of a comeback. We think it is an exceptional tree with lovely flowers, fruit and leaves.

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We planted our Lingon berries and can’t wait to make some Scandinavian inspired dishes in the years to come.

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We harvested some of our Brussel sprouts and even though you can buy them cheaply enough in the shop, they taste so good fresh from the garden, there really is no comparison. We are happy to still have enough left for winter celebratory dinners.

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Growing has slowed down around our main circle and it is a pleasure to see more of the garden structure laid bare.

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East

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South

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West

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North

 It is six years since we started planting the garden and it has changed from being a bare field full of creeping buttercups into a haven for wildlife and people alike. This time of year we can still work in the garden, but it is also a time of reflection and planning what we can do for next year.

 A garden is never finished; it is an evolving, beautiful conglomeration of nature. We intervene as little as possible, and only in ways that will enhance the quality for wildlife, plants and ourselves. By keeping the land as natural and wild as possible, using no chemicals or unnatural fertilizers and by applying simple and natural design ideas and materials, we co-create a place of utility and beauty. The real creator is always Mother Nature.

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8 thoughts on “Unglamorous November.

  • What a healthy crop of Brussels sprouts- I have not had any luck with them. A question about worm farms: Is there a way of getting the castings out without causing so much collateral damage to the worms?

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    • Hi Jane. There is a way to get the worm castings out with minimal damage to the worms. It is for a worm bin that is one big mass and not lots of little trays on top of one another. But you could probably apply it to that kind as well. When your worms have been living in the space for about 6 to 8 months most of the original leaf and newspaper bedding, along wirh the continually added kitchen scraps will be gone and transformed into castings. The mass will be greatly reduced. Put it all carefully to one side in the bin and add new bedding to the rest of the worm bin. Feed the worms with scraps only in the new bit and slowly they will move over to live there. After about four weeks all the worms will have moved and you can collect the old castings. Add more new bedding in the empty space and you will be able to feed them for many months before you can harvest the bin again. It is an infinite system. Hope that makes sense. ☺

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      • Thank you for going to the trouble of providing me with this information, Maria. My worm farm consists of small trays on top of each other, so it’s a bit more difficult to get the castings out. I usually put the relevant tray in the sun and the worms burrow their way down allowing me to scrape the casings off. It’s a bit laborious and not terribly successful and I seem to lose quite a few worms.

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      • Yes it sounds like a lot of work. Maybe you could start feeding them with scraps in a new tray and put it directly connected wirh the one you wish to empty. I think they might move then by themselves. I don’t know if you make bedding from torn news paper and wet leaves in your system. Our worms are really big and fat. Do you have the same kind? Good luck!

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    • They are very tasty. Mespilus germanica. I imagine you could grow them over there. But there might not be a supplier in the US. They can be grown on hawthorn rootstock. We have one tree that is a cross between hawthorn and medlar as well. It has smaller fruit.

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      • I really have no idea why they were not introduced until only recently. Raintree Nursery in Washington grows them, but only started doing so a few years ago. Not many people here know what they are. Those who do know them had not been able to find them until recently.

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      • Our tree was planted as a very small sapling in the winter/early spring of 2013. It is now quite a large tree and has fruited for the last two years. If you have the space maybe you can give it a try. The flowers are beautiful and attract many bees. In a couple of years I can share my recipe for toffee medlars with you!
        Nince to hear you can get a hold of them now.

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