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23rd October

Our pumpkin picking on Sunday went well, and we were very lucky with the weather, it was sunny all day and no wind.

The big downside was we did not have enough pumpkins.

Usually, we have well over a thousand, with loads of nice small ones, not everyone wants a huge pumpkin, well the kids do, but parents do not.                                                                 All, of our pumpkins were away by 3.15, another twenty or so pumpkins and we would have left no one disappointed.

Hopefully this year’s drought was a one of, and we never lose as much squash plants as we did this year ever again, then we will not be leaving anyone disappointed.

It was quite comical this year, with the pumpkins being so big, only one would fit in a wheelbarrow.                                                                                                                             So, when three pumpkins were tried to fit in the wheelbarrow, they were left and the car was brought to the field.

Out in the fields on Monday morning was a chilly start, that was our first morning harvest of temperatures in the minus.

Monday morning was minus 2, first job was supposed to be harvesting the purple sprouting broccoli.

But that was a definite no go, because we are on the third cutting the frost on the broccoli makes it very hard to see if it is a new growth or a leftover head that is opening.

So, we went to harvesting the Chioggia beetroot, leeks, and cabbages first.

At this time of the year the sun does not manage to climb up over the hill until after 10am.

So, any crop that is needing defrosted before harvesting, needs to wait until after 10am.

And by then our fingers have usually defrosted.                                                                           When everything is covered in frost, it can be a wee bit chilly on the fingers.

We leave the shed at 7.30 am in the winter for harvesting, a bit later than our summer start time.

And we always go out in the Fergie and Siroma tractors, both with no cabs, but both do not weigh very much so no compaction of the soil.

So, we do not have the luxury of nice heated cabs, but both have nice warm exhausts, so when our fingers get cold, we just start one up and hold on to a cosy exhaust, then start harvesting again.

Works a treat, and after doing this a couple of times that is you set up for the day.

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