Pumpkins awaiting their fate – to be carved up – lit for one night and then be discarded! It is estimated that 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK every year and 95% are used as Halloween lanterns.

Pumpkins for sale for Halloween

The tradition of using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom which was taken to America by European immigrants. The faces of lost souls were carved onto hollowed out pumpkins and turnips and a candle was placed inside to make a lantern, which was placed on doorsteps to ward off evil spirits.

I find the autumn fruiting raspberries are much tastier than the summer ones. They fruit on canes they grow that year, rather than the previous season’s canes, as with the summer raspberries. Simply cut all the canes down to the ground in February and new canes will form and fruit the same year.

Autumn raspberries

For the last 10 days we’ve been picking strawberries faster than we can eat them, so I made a batch of strawberry jam today. There is absolutely nothing as satisfying as preserving fruit that you have grown yourself and the taste is sublime, compared with shop-bought jam. In fact I don’t even buy supermarket jam any more.

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The lettuces I planted in the greenhouse about a month ago are growing well in the mild weather.

I have started to crop the larger leaves, leaving the plants to continue growing.

Now it’s started to get a little colder, the greenhouse has been lined with some bubble-wrap to try and prolong the life of the lettuces!