As we trudged back from our blackberry picking yesterday my daughter said ‘ that was the best walk ever…’ Admittedly, we did stop at the pub halfway round and we came home full of blackberries and with stained bright purple fingers!

There is half a pot of berries stewing on the stove as I write and I am starting to feel the impending presence of autumn.

The hedges above us in Milford are bursting with blackberries. My freezer is jammed (no pun intended) with gooseberries, blackcurrants and rhubarb. I still need to find space for the runner beans, damsons and autumn raspberries which are ripening.

My grandmother always said that a good harvest was the sign of a hard winter. I am not sure of the veracity of this but I think we all feel with the ‘cost of living crisis’, political uncertainty and the war in Ukraine that this will be a hard winter.

Now is the time to harvest and put away stores for the winter but as any good gardener knows, now is also the time to feed the soil, build in resilience for sowing in the spring and replenish the nutrients and minerals our crops have depleted.

There are still many winter crops to sow and plants which will stand through the cold days; purslane, chard, chicory, kale, spring onions, turnips, carrots, brussels to name a few.


We still have bags of compost left and we won’t be ordering anymore until the new year. I am sure prices will have risen by then! Frankly, I am sick of tripping over them in storage.

We still have stocks of: Dalesfoot Wool Compost for Seeds, also their Wool Compost for Vegetables and Salads, under ten bags of the Sylvagrow Organic Compost. There are under ten bags left of the Dalesfoot Double Strength, which is perfect for rejuvenating planters, pots and spent multipurpose potting compost.

Please email us at: to place your order for local delivery or collection from Belper Lane End.

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