trees


Autumn is here, and winter isn’t far behind.

Autumn View.

Autumn View.

The last couple of weeks we’ve been researching how to store our potatoes, carrots, beetroot and parsnips over winter. In Poland this is a little more tricky than it sounds as the winter temperature can average -10, and some gloomy weather people over here are predicting lows of -30 this winter. Our storage solutions have to stop things rotting as well as freezing.

It seems potatoes can be stored in all sorts of elaborate ways, most revolving around digging holes and burying a heap of potatoes and then covering with straw.  We settled for just digging them up, bagging them into 5kg sacks and then covering in the cellar. It should stay above freezing down there.

Carrots are a bit more tricky. Most people said to layer them in some sort of container, separating the layers with sand. Apparently you have to make sure the carrots don’t touch. I tried this with my first batch of carrots and found it quite tedious arranging them in an old basket. The next batch I’m just going to layer on top of Styrofoam with sand. We’ll have to see what works best.

We also had our first hard frost a couple of weeks ago, which killed off all the courgette and pumpkin plants. We took in all the pumpkins which turned out to be a nice little batch. They are now organised in a very autumnal fashion around the house. Hopefully we will also get to eat them!

Some other things we’ve been up to:

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I was given this toy from a friend of mine before leaving England. I finally got a chance to put it to the test when I cam up against some logs that were a bit too wide for my chainsaw.

 

Our latest work trip has been put on hold due to the return of the cold weather. It’s set to be –5 to –9 at night for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully warming up again by April 1st. So we have been sorting out our tree and soft fruit orders so that we will be ready to plant as soon as the weather allows.

This is a table of the plants, cost and quantities. We are going for traditional Polish varieties which grow a bit bigger than the commercial types but hopefully will be a bit hardier, and I been assured a lot tastier! As long as they will make good cider I think I will be happy. I didn’t realise until we started looking into it that some trees need a different variety as a pollinator, a partner to cross pollinate with. We’re hoping to plant the trees by the end of April. We had some much needed advice from Eddy Winko, who has a very informative blog of his endeavours to build a straw bale house in the south of Poland, regarding when to plant. We are planning to use http://sklep.skarbyogrodu.pl . They have been very helpful and found all of the varieties that we are looking for. Prices are in Zloty; at the moment we are getting about 4.75zl per £.

fruittreestable

Fruit trees are a medium-term investment. We wont be eating their fruit or making cider and wine with them for a few years. Most of the advice we’ve had is to pick the flowers off of them in the first couple of years and then take the fruit in the 3rd year. Some people say wait until the 5th.