Garden Diary 1st September 2020

The garden definitely shifted a gear this week with crops like runner beans and sweetcorn starting to take centre stage which is a real sign that autumn is not far off. Now, with all the onions out, the beds where quickly replanted with leeks and our last batch of outdoor lettuce. It is important not to have the soil uncovered for too long, if possible, we like to replant right away after harvesting. Having things growing in the soil is so much better for it instead of leaving it bare. Soil left bare just leaches its nutrients away until the weeds take over!

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Another sign autumn is near is wild mushrooms have started to appear again. Over the last couple of weeks, I found the most amazing crops of Chanterelle mushrooms. One of the tastiest and most prized mushrooms you could find. They grow in partnership with old, mature trees over one hundred years old, usually beech or oak which makes Colebrooke an ideal spot, although I am sworn to secrecy on their exact location! Once you know a good Chantarelle spot, they keep coming back in the same place each year.

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It’s also deer stalking season again with the first of the stags shot at the weekend. From vegetables, wild mushrooms, fish in the river and lake and wild venison, there is a complete larder here in Colebrooke, it is hard to miss the summer too much when there is so much more to look forward too!

If I get my hands on any of that venison, a stew cooked with wild mushrooms, fresh onions, venison and Colebrooke cider is coming to mind. Local, seasonal produce is the best! I am making myself hungry just writing this. The Autumn is such a beautiful season and I hope to enjoy it.