Sunday, 16 September 2018

Hursley 10k, Free Food & The Vegetable Garden


After a tentative parkrun yesterday which I ran slowly, chatting to friend Keith who looks a bit like a mad professor with electrocuted hair, I decided the arm was good to go for the Hursley 10k this morning. It's a multi-terrain (cross country) race through the lovely grounds of Hursley estate and Ampfield wood.

Last year it poured with rain beforehand and the course was one giant bog with people slipping and sliding and falling over as they did their best to try and avoid the mud (hopeless strategy- much better to plough through the middle of it), this year it was baked solid into ankle-turning nobbles. Despite this, it was a lovely run with a few good hills thrown in -these suited me fine, but they were met with increasing groans by my fellow competitors :o).

I got round in a faster time than expected, despite taking it steady, and felt good at the end so it was a useful outing. The ache in my hip was mild and got no worse during the run and eased off after it, so I hope that is now resolving itself. I could really do with getting one more long run in ahead of the marathon, but I will have to play that one by ear.

After lunch we took the dogs out for a walk and discovered an old walnut tree on the side of the lane which was dropping its fruit. We collected a couple of pocketful's and I'm debating what to do with them. I've just bought Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Much More Veg having watched the series on TV and it's fab, packed full of enticing recipes, some of which I'm sure must contain walnuts. I'm particularly keen to try this one.....



To add to the free food bounty, we collected an enormous bag of eating apples (four varieties, none of which you can get in the shops and all of which are delicious) and a huge bunch of spinach from my in laws' oh-so-productive garden, as well as a basketful of cookers from our tree. The cookers are small this year but there are masses of them and I am once again putting them out by the gate for passing friends/ family/ neighbours/ travellers to help themselves. On Friday, a lovely chap came to the house and asked whether I'd like some courgettes by way of a swap. We're already growing them so I politely declined, and we had a nice chat about which veg had done well this year and which hadn't. Before he went he told me that he was going to make blackberry and apple crumble when he got home with our apples and some blackberries he'd picked that morning. After he'd gone I found myself musing that that was exactly what I love about handing out free home-grown fruit and veg at the gate: that spirit of sharing where no money changes hands, just delicious, home-grown goodness. 

Despite the amount of blackberries still in the hedgerows, I have stopped collecting them myself because we have so many already in the freezer. The fieldfare are already back in any event and they will need them, as will the Dormice who need to fatten up ahead of their winter sleep. The squash and pumpkins are nearly ready in the garden, as are the carrots. The courgettes are still producing but there are not so many now, likewise the toms, which haven't been especially prolific but have provided enough for our needs.






I'm having a good think about what to grow next year- we usually shift our emphasis from year to year depending on what has worked in the soil here and our own preferences. Next year I am giving up one of the flower beds for veg, partly because the flower beds are additional work and partly because I think the space is better used for edible veggies. We're trying to eat more veg so I think this makes sense. I'm not a massive meat fan for lots of reasons, and so eating more veg feels like the right thing to do. I feel better on it and I think it's good for runners, nourishing and clean.

That's the round-up of news from here- hope you are all well and have had a nice weekend.

CT :o)


18 comments:

  1. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Let's hope so. We'd just left the compot on the stove and suddenly I said I can smell fresh bread . . .
    fortunately it's a bumper year for apples so my good lady will cook some more tomorrow. I expect we will have to whiz the blackened pot . . .
    Good luck with your niggles. I know mine well. You probably know yours well too. ;-)

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  2. I love picking up free apples from by people's gates as well. There were a couple picking apples in the community orchard this morning as well - people are always welcome to do that. I love buying plums from by the gate as well, they're always absolutely delicious. Sugar snaps are a great thing to grow, really nice and everyone likes them. They seem better value than peas as the whole pod gets eaten. It sounds like your garden has done well this year. I'd like to grow a bit more next year, and maybe put in another apple tree. CJ xx

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    1. You can never have too many apple trees :o) x

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  3. Glad all went ok on your 10k. I’m liking the look of that oven bake, particularly as you can ring the changes. I love parsnips so may well try it with parsnips instead of turnips. Still eating up tomatoes, courgettes and beans here:) B x

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    1. We'll miss the veggies when winter comes and they go won't we? x

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  4. It must have been a relief to not contend with all that mud like last year and I'm glad your hip was OK. I'm pleased to report, that following my Summer hiatus, I haven't forgotten how to run! Fingers crossed for that 10K now. X

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    1. I didn't mind the mud, it was funny watching people trying to avoid it! Great news about your running, I'm looking forward to hearing more x

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  5. I have that recipe book and I love it. I haven't tried the turnip recipe yet though. We have a glut of baking apples too and I'm thinking of putting them by the gate. The only thing stopping me is that we have a school nearby and I have visions of schoolboys playing football with them! I might try it and see how we go. xx

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    1. Images of broken windows....! Maybe leave a sign out to that effect :o) x

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  6. It's a great time of year with all the produce around. The local farm's potatoes were ready a lot earlier than usual this year and their cauliflowers are fabulous. We've moved away from meat, a plate full of fruit and veg is far more appetizing.

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    1. I'm more of a fish than meat person, but you can't beat fresh veg for a delicious and healthy meal.

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  7. Well done on the run, and glad that your arm is feeling better.
    Walnuts are the only nuts I don't really like, unless they are in a carrot cake, but if I were to make it myself I'd swap in pecans instead.

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  8. I sometimes think that we can keep health with more vegetables and less meat.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x