I HAVE imposed some order on the shallot harvest. These little onions are a shambles. They have been drying in a mesh tray in front of an open window in the potting shed for some weeks now and their disarray has started to cause me some consternation.
Their unkempt state comes as the harvest rolls on faster than I can keep up and I feel a need to tidy.
So I have gathered these lovely shiny shallots, tidied their whiskers and tied their tops into a Breton-style plait.
They look so pretty hanging up and I am very proud.
They have joined two large pumpkins which were grown from seedlings given to me by a friend.
It has been a good year for squash, plenty of rain and sunshine has allowed for good growth and ripening.
And the corn has been better than ever.
We have started to eat the cobs from seven plants in a quarter of the veg patch.
A crop which failed to ripen last year meant an earlier sowing this time round and I have been rewarded with well developed and juicy cobs which are so fresh they take seconds to cook.
I thoroughly dislike the smugness which comes with the grow-your-own brigade, so please excuse any leanings here.
The part which really grates with me is the implication vegetables grown by others, often professionals, are somehow inferior to those amateurs raise in their own plots.
It is as if the end result is the only prize.
And yet, the beauty of growing your own is not necessarily the resultant tomatoes, which, whisper it, are often thick skinned, or the cucumbers (ditto) or the lettuces which fail to hearten up despite all efforts.
It is about the process of making a garden.
There is no gardener in the world who will say their patch is finished.
It is because a garden does not exist simply as a physical space. It is a mental space, where dreams are nurtured and come true if you want them to.
And it is about feeling the soil, sensing when the time is right to sow seeds or prune or an intuitive feeling on when its best to leave things be.
It is the connection with the earth which should be prized and not the product, which after all, lasts only as long as a good meal.