Now is truly a time to celebrate! The honey has been collected from the hives, the apples have been pressed and we are running out of jars to pack full of pickles and preserves.
Regular readers may recall previous posts from this time of year telling of my honour in being asked to be a judge at the local Ealing & Hanwell Allotment Association Shows, so much so that my most recent column in Country Living Magazine (October ’20) is featuring the abundance of autumn shows that are held up and down the country celebrating the harvest of our hard work. The piece concludes with me explaining that this is my first year having an allotment and how I expect that I’ll be pulling more rubble than rhubarb out of the ground this season, so I’m happy to stick to judging rather than participating this time around.
There may still be rubble, brambles and all kinds of weeds, but the new allotment has been such a delight.
As we’ve been clearing space we’ve been planting up beds and have been thrilled with both the quantity and quality of the food that we’ve produced. Above you can see some of our organic mixed coloured radishes ‘Easter Egg’ – what a picture, quick to grow and so tasty… We’ve also had a wonderful collection of squashes, ready to store for the colder months, and are looking forward to Brussel sprouts, carrots and potatoes for Christmas dinner!
As many autumn shows have been run as online events this year, and the National Honey Show is not judging entries in 2020, I decided, contrary to my magazine article, to enter a few photos of my produce into the Chiswick Horticultural & Allotment Society Autumn Show and, hey, what a lovely surprise, I received certificates for three classes! These sweetcorn, grown at home, won first prize, my pumpkin, from the allotment, came second and the home grown apples above were Highly Commended…
Whilst I would be the last person to encourage you to spend hours in front of a screen, virtual shows and events are really coming into their own this year.
Showing that we can still be connected and celebrate together, even if it needs to be virtually. So let’s enjoy all the benefits (comfy seating, no queues for food and no smelly portaloos) and dip in and out of events that are happening both locally and, indeed, around the world.
This weekend is the London Harvest Festival and we are delighted to announce that our very own Cider Sunday is going to be featured! We’ve made a short film explaining the cider making process along with tips on utilising the by-product pulp to make our famous Apple & Chilli Jelly. To join in this event book *free tickets* via Eventbrite and then on the day (dawn on the 19th) you will be sent links to YouTube and Instagram to enjoy both the films and live features, including a live zoom at 2.30pm.
*Just Three Plus Me*
This is how we are now running our Face to Face Courses. Here are three lovely guests who joined me to spend the day making Sourdough yesterday.
So be it bread, cheese, or some lovely Christmas specials, we are delighted to welcome course guests again, here at Hen Corner. With no more than three guests, plus me, we have plenty of space for small groups and are regularly reviewing our COVID-19 Risk Assessment.
Zooming into the future!
For those who can’t join us, for whatever reason, we are continuing with our Online/Virtual courses as they’ve consistently been so popular!
There are so many benefits to these sessions, be that accessibility, confidence in your own kitchen (for our food courses), time restraints, and a big bonus is they are cheaper 🙂
We’ve had many international guests join us easily and it’s a great way to participate with friends, even if they are many miles away. We can even plan a private session for you – maybe a Christmas treat to spend some time with those that you can’t be with this year? Get in touch if you want more information.
- We’ve got TWO SPACES available for Introduction to Bread Making on Wednesday 23rd September – I’m happy to give Blog readers ‘Buy One get One Half Price’ – leave a comment if you are interested!
- We’ve prioritised the health and happiness of our bees this year, so not much honey but happy bees going into winter
- We are adding new films to our YouTube channel every week, are you subscribed so that you don’t miss anything?
Jobs for the week:
- Dig out the potatoes from the bed in the garden and sow some winter salad leaves
- Label up all the jars of pickles and preserves ready to sell
- Meet with a couple of lovely bakers to explain how being a Bread Angel is the perfect Business Start Up opportunity
Whilst the sun is still shining, enjoy the outside!