waving good bye to the salads

The leafy salad vegetables like our lettuce, oriental leaves, true spinach and pak choi all start to give up the ghost in October. The days are shortening and the soils begin to cool. For these crops it is a sign that the season is drawing to a close. For the true spinach mildew starts to take hold, while the rate of the growth of the lettuces slows to a point where the resulting heads are either too small or too strong-tasting for the boxes. We have now cut the last of our lettuce at River Nene Organic Farm. Karen and Alec at the Herbary will keep us going until late October and then we may slip in a few glasshouse grown oriental salad mixes in November.

It will then be a welcome transition into the hardier roots and leaves, like the parsnips, swede, kales, savoy cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, cape broccoli and cauliflower. Although we have just passed through one of the warmest Septembers on record I feel certain that a cold northerly is due soon. We can