the mud returns

It is starting to get pretty muddy out in the fields and it is time to change from tractors to our tracked vehicles to avoid destroying the soil structure as we harvest the autumn and winter crops. After such a dry summer the first autumn rains disappeared without trace, being sucked into a thirsty soil, so that within hours we were able to get back out there with machinery. Now the soil is saturated, we have to wait for the water to drain through to the subsoil. All the potatoes, squash, pumpkins and most of the carrots and beetroot are safely in the barn so we are just waiting for a few dry days to finish harvesting the remaining carrots.

On the wet days, we have been busy ripping out the remaining tomatoes, cucumber and chillies from our polytunnels ready to plant a mixture of salad leaves for harvesting through the winter. It has been a wonderful year for tomatoes, but even so, a fair amount of the fruit will not ripen. We will pick the green tomatoes for my brother to make into his excellent tomato chutney which will be for sale on the