Monday, 25 August 2008

I've been a bit neglectful!

And it doesn't take long for the weeds to make their mark.

With the weather having been what it's been this "summer" visits to the plot have been a rare occurence as I may have already said and certain things have done really well despite my neglect, and others haven't faired so well. Peas have been a disaster with beans coming a close second in the rubbishness stakes.

Thankfully two of the varieties growing this year have been Heritage varieties - so should be ok to grow from next year (unlike F1 varieties).

Some of the peas/beans have dried in their pods and others I'll have to dry "manually" as you can see.

Martock broad beans:

Stephens peas:

In other bean news - the Blauhilde climbing beans have finally started to produce and I walked away with a fair decent haul - two hands full from the 5 plants that have survived. A sample of which we'll be trying with dinner tonight (slow roasted lamb).

I pulled up the last of the beetroot today too - the final two. One of them was a respectable cricket all size and the other slightly smaller. I also pulled up a few more carrots, three of which had been keeping slugs in food and shelter for some considerable time it would appear (one slug was sat halfway down a carrot with one whole half having been stripped away. I also had a pretty decent harvest of courgettes of various sizes as you can see.

However - that isn't all my courgettes. One of the consequences of neglect and rain has meant that in place of a couple of my courgettes some monsters have taken their place!

Monster 1 (7lb in weight)

Monster 2 (8lb)

I had to weigh them on our "big" scales as the kitchen scales just kept displaying "err". Not sure if it couldn't make up it's mind if it was a courgette or marrow, or if the cour-marrows were just too heavy for the scales. Either way, I still have to figure out what to do with them.

The apple tree is nicely laden with apples and I managed to reach (ok, so I can reach higher than most) a whole carrier bag full - which should see us ok for apple sauce and crumbles for a while. I was going to pick some blackberries too, but I ran out of bags/carrying recepticles.

I'm going to need a ladder to get the rest.

Dug up the rest of the Kestrel potatoes to - 5 plants that gave me a big carrier bag full. Not enough to last through the winter, but should give us enough spuds for some weeks to come yet anyway.

In my haste to get to the plot today I forgot to take the camera - hence all the photos are post-harvest, and my phone is low on battery having left the charger at work (d'oh). Anyway, there are a few things still growing well en-plot. The sweetcorn plants are all showing a husk (?) or two - I only hope that they don't all come to harvest whilst we're away on holiday.

The sweetcorns' neighbour - celeriac is also growing seemingly well and some of them are about the size of tennis balls now - so I'm pretty sure it won't be long now before we taste our first home grown.

The Achocha is in need of further support - I may put the second garden arch next to it to give it some height (the short canes and netting are looking woefully inadequate).

Asparagus peas are chucking them out at a rate of knots - yet we have still only eaten them once (they go beyond being "edible" rather quickly).

The brassicas all look quite happy under the netting - purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts - I'm just hopeful I'm not too late. Maybe a winter harvest?

Squash has established itself quite well, with several flower "buds" along its length, but again I fear I may be too late - unless we have some of those trendy "baby" squash. The same can be said of the pumpkins, I think I was too lax in getting them out of the pots and into the ground. Hey there's always next year!

I had some spare Sub-Arctic plenty tomatoes and I thought I'd stick them in the ground to see what would happen - and to my surprise I noticed a few green fruits on a couple of the plants (I only planted three). If they're anything like the ones I've got in the greenhouse though - they'll be green for sme time yet!

We've been using the herbs for some time now - regular cutting from the oregano, rosemary (some is cooking with the lamb as we speak), sage and thyme. Some of the decent sized onions are nicely dry in the greenhouse now, and the ones I forgot about and left on the floor didn't dry out so wel, so I may have to make some chutney/marmalade with those.

Oh, one more thing before I go - as fellow Grapevine members will know one of us (Hazel) recently entered into her village show and came away with some top prizes. Well, yesterday was our village show and no, I didn't enter, but did go along to see what all the fuss is about having never been to one before. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. In part because it was just the village hall with four lines of tables with various things on them - some vegetable/fruit, some cakes and jams/chutneys. some with flowers/pot plants and others with kids "art". I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. Also what was slightly disappointing was the number of entrants - our resident "expert" seemed to feature quite a lot and also the village gardening society's secretary. LadyWayne has convinced me to enter next year if for no other reason than to up the numbers.

Watch this space!

Well, after all that typing I think I deserve an ale, so I'm off for a bottle and a feed.

Which reminds me - did I tell you I'm going to be a dad?


Veg Heaven said...

That grub looks good! Go on, have a go in the show next year. These things die out from lack of entrants. You know you want to. Ah, go on, go on, go on!

Hazel said...

Yep - your MOM's right as usual -get entering next year! I bet it was only disappointing because you didn't feel part of it all - and those carrots, may I say - are absolutely STUNNING!

Well done!