An Autumnal Sunday.

I love a lazy Sunday at this time of year. This Sunday in particular, summed up what I love to do.

After a breakfast of Pimhill porridge (thank you Abel and Cole) with a drizzle of maple syrup courtesy of my lovely friend who lives in Canada, I pulled on my boots and went off to the allotment, leaving the kids in their PJs to spend a little time with their Dad ( and to have a lovely bit of peace and quiet myself!)

At this time of year, it’s time to take down the beans of the summer and get ready for autumnal planting of garlic and over-wintering onions.

Dwarf French Beans

In truth, I should have taken down the bean frames a while ago, but partly from sheer laziness and partly because I know that the beans fix nitrogen into the soil, I have left them there to dry up before pulling them out. I’ve grown runner beans every year on the allotment. They’re really easy to grow and I love the way they look, scrambling up their bamboo wigwams, but really, I’m not very fond of eating them. I much prefer the more temperamental and difficult to grow French bean, which this year, I’ve had more success with than previously.  I sowed three different dwarfing varieties directly into one of my new raised beds and they grew like mad, so next year I think more French beans and fewer runner beans – if I bother to grow any at all. A lesson of allotment gardening – grow what you like to eat!

So, the beans came out on Sunday morning, then I did a little digging to get the ground ready for garlic (Thermidrome) and onions (Radar), which have just been delivered from the lovely people at Tamar Organics.

Onion sets and garlic for planting

After a little digging (not too much, the joy of raised beds) and some lunch it was time for one of our family ‘Nature Walks’, which we like to do every so often to get everyone outside, away from the TV and enjoying the outdoors.

We are lucky enough to live near several large green spaces, including Temple Newsam estate, which has woods and parkland as well as formal gardens, a playground and the all-important team room! We walked through the woods, looking for sweet chestnuts, conkers and acorns and walking through the rustling autumn leaves, although it wasn’t long before the kids decided they were tired so I cheered them up with a few sweets each, then we set off for home. The trick to the family Nature Walk is knowing when they’ve had enough, and for my kids who are only 2 and 4, that’s obviously not a very long time!  Little and often feels like the best way to keep their interest. That, along with a bit of imagination to help make up stories, a bit of knowledge so you can answer questions about what they have found and a bag of sweets…

For dinner I made my very first cheese soufflé, for one of my 35:35 Challenges; more on that next time. Then we spent a quiet evening curled up on the sofa with a pile of books and magazines, and a spot of TV. A lovely way to spend a Sunday.

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