Monday, 16 October 2017

Harvest Monday and a trip to the coast

I only took a smattering of veggie pics this week, but here they are...first up, some curly kale and Nero kale. I'm planning on spreading a bit of compost round the plants soon to give them a bit of a feed, as they've been in the ground for several months already.
From the lean-to greenhouse at home, I picked a couple of ripe sweet peppers. There are quite a few still to pick, so I just need to make sure they don't start rotting on the plants before I get round to harvesting them all. Maybe I'll freeze some of them.
These two went into a tasty pasta dish, mixed up with some basil pesto made from some of the plants which were being cleared from the smaller polytunnel at the market garden where I volunteer.
I finally got round to sorting out the potatoes that I'd lifted a while back, giving the lounge quite an earthy aroma for a while. At least I laid down some newspaper before tipping them out of the old compost bags they'd been temporarily stored in, in the kitchen, (which wasn't a great place, it was too warm and light, so a few had even started to sprout a bit, and it's those I'll use up first). The rest are now in a big paper sack in the brick shed outside, which keeps cold but frost-free.
Other harvests include daily pickings of salad leaves for our lunch sarnies, mainly lettuce and rocket at the moment. The lettuce outside is nearly finished but the more recently planted-out leaves in the lean-to are growing away quite nicely whilst the weather isn't too cold yet.
I always look forward to a bit of chestnut foraging in Autumn. The weather was forecast to be fine for most of today so a friend and I headed off to a couple of woods not too far away, along with her little girl (13 months old, awww). Well, it seems to be a good year for them, we collected a couple of tubs each without too much problem, and enjoyed a pleasant wander through the trees in dappled sunlight (this was before Norfolk caught the very edge the hurricane this evening - it's now cold and windy).
There was quite a spectacular sunset this evening though - completely underdone in this photo. In reality it was a lovely (or spooky) orangey glow (having gone completely dark from 4.30pm, then brightened up again)
Yesterday was another beautiful autumn day, so I caught the train up to Sheringham on the north Norfolk coast (people were actually swimming in the sea, it was so warm) and then swapped to the Coasthopper bus, along to Salthouse and Cley, for a very enjoyable walk - first heading inland a bit and then back to the coast for some birdwatching at the nature reserve.
View down to the marshes and sea.
Across the marshes, looking to Salthouse
Across the pools and reedbed, looking towards Cley
A lovely sound and sight - the pink footed geese are back for the winter, flying over the reserve in mid afternoon with their gentle 'wink wink' calls.
They were headed inland, maybe to feed on the arable fields?
Anyone interested in birds - I also saw marsh harriers, black tailed godwits, snipe, ruff (winter plumage), two kestrels (one of them had a bit of a 'to do' with a marsh harrier), lapwings, little egrets, plenty of different ducks (shelduck, widgeon, gadwall etc), curlew and more. Quite excitingly, I heard a water rail on the edge of a pond (they sound like a squealing piggy) and also Cetti's warblers. Oh and saw a grey seal swimming past the beach. And turnstones on the prom at Sheringham (they're always there, so cute). Not a bad day. My top money-saving tip for this journey (or similar trips to the coast) is to buy a 'bittern line day ranger' ticket at the train station, which is only £9 and includes all your train and Coasthopper bus journeys for the day...bargain.


Back to the veggies, I sowed my Autumn broad beans this week, and will plant out the garlic soon too. I have a few last winter squashes which I put in the allotment shed to cure, to bring home as well. Thanks for reading, I'm linking in as usual with Harvest Monday, kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.



  1. You saw quite a lot of wildlife - things usually go into hiding when we are about. I’m not sure that I would recognise a Cetti’s warbler.

    1. Hi sue, fortunately a lot of the birds are out in the open at Cley! Makes it a lot easier for an amateur like me :) Cetti's warblers have a really loud bursting call which is quite recognisable, once you know it. I get other warblers mixed up though, can never remember the difference - must have a listen to some calls on a CD to learn them better.

  2. I think it's hard to do pretty sunsets (and sunrises) justice with a camera. Those clouds do look pretty, and spooky too!

    Of all the birds you listed, I think kestrels are the only one I have seen here. I did have wood ducks nesting at my old place, once I put up a nest box for them. We had a big hawk circling overhead today - I tried to look lively when I was outside!

    1. Hi Dave, yeah I think you have a slightly different kestrel over there. Ooh, watch out for the hawk, ha ha!

  3. We also go bird spotting and it is so exciting to see so many different ones all on one day!! At this time in the year their calls seem to travel a long way, don't they? Love those chestnuts.. what are your plans for them? Glad you escaped the worst of the storm there

    1. Hi Kathy, we're lucky in Norfolk - lots of nature reserves which make it easier to see wildlife, and yes it's a great time of year for it, nice to have the Autumn / winter species back (plus it can be easier to see the birds when the leaves are off the trees!).
      I was just looking up chestnut recipes, funnily enough. I usually roast a few in the oven, plus cook some up in a saucepan to make into a pie. But I've got a red cabbage from the organic veg stall, and have just found an easy looking cabbage, apple and chestnut recipe so I think I'll give that a go.