Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Summer harvest

'The summer's been super busy!

I've been just about keeping up with the basics in the garden and in the kitchen beds, and we've had an amazing harvest for the last two months. We've almost stopped going to the supermarket for fruit and vegetables, and next year we will be even better at growing things.

Here's a quick summary of our crops :

- we had an early and (rich) harvest of elderflowers
- lots and lots and lots of lettuce, more than we could eat!
- our chard crop has been abundant and continuous, true to form as a cut and come again crop
- our cauliflower was quickly infested with cabbage white butterflies, but we still got a couple of lovely dinners from it
- radishes didn't win this year - with all the hot cycles, they pretty much bolted so we didn't get any lovely crunchy globes. BUT we got lovely rat-tail seed pods which freeze excellently and bring a beautiful peppery bite to stir-frys
- Our peas  & mangetout were prolific and long-lifed - enough to take us through to the various bean family plants. We've also had a continuous flow of winged peas which are an interesting variety which occasionally goes a little woody
- tomatoes looked like they were going to be awesome, with lots of heavy trusses. Then sadly, tomato wilt struck and we lost all the plants in the space of two weeks. Luckily we managed to get a solid harvest of green tomatoes and have had lots of fried green tomatoes with beautiful deep south flavours.
- the potatoes were taken off in the same blight, but we have a few potatoes that we are slowly harvesting from the remains.
- beetroot & turnip have been steady but bijou treats as the evenings have shortened, and carrots continue to be a lovely crunchy explosion of flavour
- pumpkins & courgettes are just kicking in and I'm looking forwards to some lovely roasted vegetable melanges
- still to sample are the celery, leeks, artichokes, onions and mexican cucumbers

The summer fruit have been delicious but far too small as a harvest - raspberries and strawberries - but autumn's harvest of pears is so huge, we'll be eating pears for the whole winter.  I don't think we will have a lot from the new orchard, as the trees are still bedding in, but I'm hoping for enough crab apples to make crab apple jelly.