Today after lunch I brought down a dustbin and bags full of garden waste from my neighbours for my compost bin. The current bin was already full but fortunately the extension frames on the next-door bin were no longer needed as the contents had settled lower down. It took only a short time to relocate them to the current bin and then I was able to add the contents of the bags and bin to the extended enclosure. I took care to mix the grass cuttings with the general plant material and some of my dead leaves.
I then dug out the last of my potatoes, a row of Sarpo Mira. The first plant had a foul smelling sticky mess at the centre of the cluster of potatoes; either the remains of the seed potato or a blighted potato. The smelly clump was carefully dumped in the plastic bag for the haulms and other rubbish for the tip.
Eventually I had dug out all the potatoes in the row (I hope!) Interestingly, while Sarpo Mira normally produces large, sometimes huge potatoes and very few tiny ones, one plant in the middle gave me medium to very small tubers. (See photo.)
I just hope I haven't missed too many to give volunteer plants next year amongst my peas and beans!
Then, having got the potatoes out on the surface to dry and harden their skins, I set about harvesting.
One side of the raspberry row gave enough fruit for tea and with dusk gathering I moved on to the Dwarf French beans. The oldest row of plants are still giving me plenty so I left the younger row for next time. The peas had very little on them after the clandestine raider pinched the young half full pods so I gathered the Sugarsnap/mangetout for dinner. There were quite a few yellow courgettes and several green ones that had grown quite big. I also found a lovely cabbage heart had been burrowed into, probably by mice so it went in the compost bin. I quickly picked the last cabbage in the row - before it was raided. I also pulled up a solid red cabbage plant to take home, removing a large amount of dead and dying leaves from the remaining brassicas and dumped them in the compost bin.
My turnips needed thinning again so I pulled half a dozen to take home about the size of a tennis ball - just right. I also found a couple of beetroots just big enough to harvest.
In the gathering gloom the only thing I could see was the runner beans and climbing French beans and there were quite a few of those.
As I left another car followed me but there was one allotmenteer still on site so I unlocked the padlock, scrambling the number so all he had to do was snap it shut as he left. It is no joke trying to set the number to unlock the padlock in the dark by the light of headlamps!