This week in the garden, we are still busy harvesting a lot of our fruit and veg, including damsons, kale, tomatoes, chillies, french and climbing beans.

Last week we had to rescue our borlotti beans as they have grown so vigorously, that the sheer weight of the plants nearly pulled down the bean supports they are growing up! Borlotti beans are not frost hardy and need sunshine and warm soil to flourish and ours are doing very well. The pods are picked when mature then dried, often on trays, before storing for use overwinter. (They are good in winter soups.) The beans are mature and ready to harvest when the pods dry and become paper-like.  If the cooler nights of autumn arrive before the beans are fully mature, we can pick them, shell them and freeze the almost mature ones for use as we would dried ones.  Our Borlotti beans pods start off green and develop attractive red stripes as they ripen.

We have a lot of tomatoes, large and small, many of which are only just turning colour, so if it gets cold soon we may need to harvest them ‘on the vine’ and bring them into the greenhouse to ripen. We were very successful at the greenhouses ripening our harvested green tomatoes last year.

This week we will be starting to prepare vegetable beds for the autumn crops. The potato bed in the lower garden has now been completely harvested so we will be applying a 6 – 8cm layer layer of new compost to it ready for planting autumn onions, and garlics.

A few of the other vegetable beds have got gaps where vegetable have been harvested and these we will be filling with fast growing salad crops, and a winter radish, the black Spanish radish.

This weekend on Saturday September 14th1.30pm to 4pm Jelena is running an Adult Fermentation workshop where she will be teaching people to make Fermented Salsa, Beetroot Kvass and Kraut Kimchi.  For more details and to book go here.  There is also still one free place for a BPCG volunteer to join and help. Please be able to get to BPCG by 12.30pm to help set up.  Let Kate know if you would like the place by replying to this email.

Next weekend on Sunday September 22nd, 4pm to 7pm, we have a fabulous gig coming up at the Greenhouses with  Jess Cahill Lis Stewart and Chris Dyer.  The trio perform together on melodeon, hurdy gurdy, nyckelharpa, fiddles and Maccann duet concertina. They play hauntingly beautiful arrangements of traditional dance tunes from around Europe along with more contemporary folk tunes and songs. £10 (£7)  Book here or if you are able to help out with set up from 2pm, at the gig and/ afterwards with clear up, please get in touch with Kate by replying to this email.

If you can’t make Sunday 22nd, do put Saturday September 28th in your diary too, 4pm to 7pm Lucy Farrell is playing a gig at the greenhouses. With the Furrow Collective, Lucy won Best Group in the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2019, Lucy is launching a solo career showcasing her exquisite renditions of traditional ballads and quietly moving original songs. £10 (£7).  Book here or let Kate know if you can help out from 2pm at the gig and/ afterwards with clear up.

Finally, If you would like to stand as a trustee at the coming AGM (Sunday 29th September) the closing date for nominations is 6.00pm on Friday 20th September. Please let Chris know by that time if you wish to stand as a candidate (