Monday, September 25

Dash and grab.

We managed to get to the plot on Friday, thanks to our allotment pal, Jan who came to pick us up and ferry us to and from the plot.

Once there it was just a case of a couple of hours steady harvesting. We couldn't have stayed any longer anyway as the weather was against us.
You may be able to spot the harvest stuffed in the greenhouse to keep it dry whilst we sheltered from the worst of the rain.

The wind had toppled the runner beans like a stack of cards. They were attached to a frame like the climbing French beans which are still standing. The amount of leaf was all the winds needed to do their worst.
I did manage to salvage a few beans from the mass of leaves but to be honest, because we hadn't managed to pick regularly, most were past their best. Maybe I can pod some and use the beans inside.

I expected the sweet peas to have given up but there were still plenty of flowers.
We did manage to harvest quite a lot. Our booty was arranged at home under the carport out of the rain for a photoshoot.
In the net sacks are ....
... Fiesta apples ...
... Egremont Russet apples ...
... and Invincible pears.

We also managed to strip our sweet corn plants. We were really pleased with the haul considering we thought the plants had been murdered by strong winds straight after planting.
We decided to strip off the kernels and freeze them straight away.
The All Gold autumn raspberries had hung on for us. Usually the berries don't stand up well to wet and windy weather but we managed a good picking,
You may have noticed - on the group photo - that we even managed a smattering of blueberries. The bushes are now sporting their early autumn colouring so that's the end of their harvest for this year,
The fruit of the tomato plants in both plot and garden greenhouse are now ripening faster than we can use them and so batches have been made into a tomato sauce and frozen.
We have continued to harvest grapes, tomatoes, peppers, watercress, spring onions and parsley from the garden as we need them and I occasionally remember to take a photo.

The Snackbite pepper plants have done really well and are ripening steadily.
We will grow them again.
They've been a long time coming but we have now managed to harvest some spring onions!

As usual I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

Wednesday, September 20


Monday, September 18

Harvesting when we can

At the moment we are not able to get to the plot and so any harvests are a bonus.

The only day we managed a visit was Monday and being unaware how the rest of the week was going to pan out we only harvested vegetables that we wanted to use and things that were likely to spoil if left another day or so.
Having had a similar problem getting to the plot last week meant that there were masses of sweet peas to pick. Vases of sweet smelling flowers were scattered in almost every room of the house. 

The apples in our harvest box were ones that had fallen off the trees.
The alpine strawberries had produced some decent sized fruits. These plants usually continue to produce a steady crop until the first frosts which in recent years has arrived at the beginning of November.

The rest of the harvest was from the garden. I haven't photographed the bits and pieces that were picked to eat straight away. 
The bunches of Himrod grapes growing in the garden greenhouse are never the perfect bunch shape as they are left to grow as nature intended and this is in no way detrimental to the taste.
We haven't photographed all the small harvests freshly picked to be eaten in lunchtime sandwiches but most days we pick something similar.

The aubergine is from Jackpot - a small growing variety. The fruits can either be harvested small or left to grow into a full sized fruit. Our plants are grown in our garden greenhouse.

We still have plenty of watercress. It's hard to believe that the mass of watercress in our pond was a tiny sprig only a few months ago. It has been severely cut back a few times as it as not only was it seeking pond dominance but also tried to head out of the pond.
The apples below were also windfalls but this time from the garden. They had fallen into the narrow gap between the greenhouse and a boundary fence and so it was quite a squeeze to get in and 'rescue' them.

Sweet peas were not the only cut flowers brought back from the plot.

Wednesday, September 13


Monday, September 11

A surprising recovery.

We haven't visited the plot much this week so our harvest hasn't been as abundant.

On Monday we picked some of our Egremont Russet and Fiesta apples. Some were beginning to fall from the tree and so we guessed that the time was right.
4 September
We picked our first ripe sweet red pepper from the plot greenhouse.

The blueberries have just about been picked over now but they have done very well this year. Since the first week in July, there have been ripe berries to pick on every plot visit.

Having read up on the Rolet squash it sounded as though they were worth the effort of preparing and so we picked a couple more.

Another first was a sweetcorn cob. 

This was a tester for ripeness. It passed the test with flying colours

Earlier we had expected our sweetcorn would fail completely. As soon as the young plants had been planted, gale force winds battered them and laid them flat and in some cases broken.

Such is the wonder of nature and the will to survive that to our amazement and delight the plants rallied and grew into strong specimens.
The lavender bed that we planted up last year has been flowering since July and is still going strong.
I reckoned that the bees wouldn't begrudge me a small posy.

Last Wednesday, Martyn made a quick visit to the plot to make sure the greenhouse tomatoes were watered.
6 September
Whilst he was there he picked more fruit. 
This included more Marjories Seedling plums. The plum trees are still a wasp free zone but I'm not sure whether this is due to the waspinators or a general lack of wasps this year. Have you been troubled by wasps?
Martyn also brought home one of the boxes of onions which are stored in the shed. They started drying off under the greengage trees.  They had dried well despite being subjected to showers but when more persistent rain was forecast I decided to box them up and pop them into the shed. On each plot visit the boxes were taken out and placed in a sunny spot. Soon all the boxes will be brought home to be stored over winter in the summerhouse.
We have also harvested a few things from the garden. The pot grown fig has produced more fruit than usual although only small amounts have ripened at a a time.
Another first of the season, the Himrod grapes growing in the garden greenhouse are now ripe. These are small, seedless and very sweet.
The watercress growing in the pond is still going strong as are the Mini Munch cucumbers.

Each day fresh tomatoes are picked for our lunchtime sandwiches but they don't always pose for a photo.

Another first in last week's harvest was the Snackbite sweet pepper. The pepper isn't undersized as the plant is meant to produce sweet tasting baby peppers which are crispy and delicious eaten raw.

You may remember that we grew a small number of tubers from six potato varieties that we were testing this year. Martyn has put together a video of our initial findings after lifting the crop. The potatoes still have to undergo the taste test but some are possible contenders for next year's main list, whereas others? Well, you'll have to watch the video.

As usual I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres