GROWING your own produce is thrilling. The excitement of walking down your plot and seeing everything growing is unmatched, it’s magic.

A few months ago they were tiny seeds nettled in your hand waiting to be sown and now your whole allotment has exploded with vegetables and fruit.

Tomatoes pretty much sum up late summer don’t they? I have masses of them in my polytunnel. I’ve done so much better than last year. This late summer sunshine is really helping to ripen them. If you still have green ones lurking, make sure the sun is reaching them. Remove any leaves which are covering them, it’s not about the foliage it’s all about the fruit right now.

Why not try to keep that harvest feeling going through winter and get storing your tomatoes? I make lots of tomato purée and once it’s cooled I put it into bags for the freezer.

I also dry them in the oven. It takes a full night on a lowish temperature but once they are done I pop them into jars of olive oil with sprigs of rosemary and garlic cloves. Another way is making chutney, it’s so easy too.

I’ve been using this recipe for donkeys' years; my mum gave it to me. I’ve added chilli as I like spicy things, but you could always swap it for sultanas.

Spicy Summer Chutney

500g tomatoes

250g red onions

1 fresh chilli

75ml red wine vinegar

140g brown sugar

Throw roughly chopped onions with a tiny dribble of oil into a big pan and fry them until they are only just about to soften but still have a crunch.

Then chuck everything else in with them and simmer it all for about half an hour or until it starts to thicken up. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring. Then pour it into clean jars and you’re done. Roll on the Christmas cheese board!

If you want an extra spicy kick, add a few good splashes of smoked Tabasco sauce too.

My allotment to do list:

Start collecting up your canes give them a little wipe and put them in the shed.

Time to lift your Jerusalem artichokes for storing.

Start collecting seeds from annuals and perennials and don’t forget to label them.