It's got to that time of year again; the leaves are falling fast, there's a bitterness to the air and Jack Frost has already paid a visit to the resort; winter has arrived at The Torridon.
We should expect a lot of cold weather from now on with the mountains already snow-capped and a few hard Frost’s.
Soil temperature is decreasing rapidly meaning new plant growth is looking less likely. The fruit trees, plants and shrubs will stay dormant until the spring so now is the time to start cutting back and pruning. We use manure from our highland coos to feed the beds in pursuit of another successful growing year in 2020.
I have been designing new areas in the garden for potential renovation next year, giving the kitchen garden a new lease of life! The planting in our gin garden is starting to die back now so bulbs will be planted including lilies, tulips and alliums to provide some colour and vibrancy in Spring. In the polytunnel we still have a healthy range of crops including radishes, kale and peas thanks to the extra protection that it provides from the elements. However now is the time clear up and keep tidy for next year. I have been trying to store left over pink-fir potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes in Victorian style store clamps over winter.
Here the straw covered in soil insulates the root vegetables and preserves them in a deep freeze. Chef Ross can then uncover the clamps in the Spring and have this produce to use out of season in the 1887 restaurant early next year.