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This year’s meagre harvest is done – potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes and wonderful apples. Now we are getting the allotment ready for next year.

2022 was the hardest year we’ve had in the allotment. Partly this was down to the drought, although what we planted proved surprisingly resilient. But clear signs of climate change point to the need for research on what crop varieties will do best in an England that’s no longer soggy and wet the year round.

My health woes also took a toll early in the year. It rained endlessly in the planting season, and my lung affliction left me with little energy to wheelbarrow endless loads of manure out to the plot. Now I am finally getting treated, I have so much more oomph!

Anyway. Autumn feels like turning a page. We have decided not to put in any winter vegetables and to focus on getting the ground ready and weed-free for the spring. The Council has sensibly banned pesticides. So digging is the only way.

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