The clocks have just changed back from Summer Time, it is now getting dark at 5 pm in the South-East of England, and it is a frantic rush to harvest the tender vegetables before the first frosts. In my unheated Greenhouse, the tomatoes, cucumbers, Chillies, basil and Bulls Horn Peppers are still growing, just, but not for much longer. Today I picked all the cucumbers and tomatoes, and most of the peppers, and brought the pots of Italian and Thai basil to sit in the warmth of the kitchen.
Outside, the Cavolo Nero is still producing, along with the fabulous broccoli called Apollo, as well as a couple of Quattro Stagione lettuces, and of course, the hardy leeks and spring greens. I have now picked all my carrots and store them along with the apples and pears in an old larder fridge I have in an outbuilding. The peppers will keep for a good two weeks or more, in plastic bags in the kitchen fridge. The tomatoes will stay with the pumpkins and squash in the utility room, where I expect them to keep even longer.
One of the rare times I have managed to produce Florence Fennel is now! I sowed it in July, using a variety suited to late Summer sowing, manured it really well, and kept earthing it up. I am still getting some which grow too tall and start to go to seed, but a miles better effort than last year, especially considering our too light soil and lack of any meaningful rainfall in the last few months!