It was a bit of a shock to find the gate wide open and the lock missing! And that is even though someone has taken the trouble to repost the 'gate locking' notice.
The visit to my plot, however, was quite rewarding.
Apart from meeting a new neighbour who seems to be making a good go of starting his plot with nearly half already dug and plans to make some changes to his plot, there was something to pick!
I harvested a couple of leeks even though many of them still have to thicken up. If they don't I shall have lots of 'baby' leeks to eat!
I also found a mature cauliflower! This is great as I know my son had at least one while I was away. There were lots of whitefly still on the underside of the leaves. We have obviously not had enough of a long cold spell to kill them off.
There was quite a large picking of Purple Sprouting and I lifted a lovely long parsnip - nearly 2 ft long! I left the Brussel Sprouts and Black Kale for another day as they stand for some time.
Being away has meant I haven't collected as many leaves as normal this year so I am going to fill the 2 cubic metre leaf mould bin with the horse litter and see if I can get it to rot down in the 18+ months before I would normally have used the leaf mould.
While away I mugged up on using woodchip as a mulch. Apparently the problem regarding it using up Nitrogen in the rotting process only occurs at the interface between it and the soil - so digging it in is a no-no! As I have mulched several patches on my plot I either have to leave it in situ and plant through it or dig it into the bottom of the trench below where the crops have roots! If it is deep below the soil I hope that it will soak up any nitrogen from fertiliser that is being washed down from the surface, before it is washed away completely.
Back to normal, I shall be up there on Sunday to collect my seed order from the Trading Hut and start on the rest of my winter work!