BEETROOT

As usual I started with a number of rows of beetroot seedling but before I knew the birds have tried to strip the leaves off. I was just in time, I put loads of sticks between the rows and used old video tapes to string here and there. It worked, I’m very pleased to say. The harvest has started and I’m happy with it.

As usual I boiled the first lot and ate them just cooked – lovely! The next harvest was turned into my favourite chutney.

This is just about the best recipe, I have been making this chutney for quite a number of years. It keeps well and, like most chutneys, it improves with keeping.

POTATOES

Yet another great result – my second early potatoes. I planted two kinds – Estima and Kestrel and out of the two Estima is much better.

A reminder for next year – Estima.

It was a boiling hot morning, I was glad I started early. I left them on the ground, the skins will dry and harden and I shall bag them tonight.

TOMATOES

I am very happy with my tomatoes. Most of them are in the greenhouses but some had to be planted outside because I had so many plants. Every seed germinated. As ever, I sowed more – just in case – there was no need this year, but how was I to know?

Anyway, I harvested the first lot the other day and started as I mean to go on – bottling them. Very simply, chopped the tomatoes, put in a small Kashmiri chilli (not very hot, just a hint) and some mixed herbs. Forty minutes in a water bath and all is ready to be used in the winter.

CUCUMBERS AND COURGETTES

My courgettes always did well on the allotment but I am adding cucumbers to the list this year. I have a couple of plants in each greenhouse and they are producing very well. I like munching on a sliced cucumber but there are limits to what I can manage….

and I decided to find something else. After searching I discovered a recipe for ‘quick pickled cucumber‘ and just tried it. Just delicious!

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The next huge harvest are courgettes, every year is the same. I thought I’d like to try something else and after another search found a recipe for fermenting vegetables. I mistakenly thought it to be very complicated. Not this recipe! I will have to be patient, follow the instructions very carefully and try it later. Watch this space.

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I had just enough of the following vegetables: courgettes, dwarf beans, Borloto beans, kohl rabi, courgettes and a small green chili pepper.

 

TOMATOES

It looks like a great harvest is coming – all of a sudden the tomatoes are turning red . These are in the greenhouses so far but I have a number of plants outside, both on the allotment and in the back garden and all are looking very healthy too.

WEEDS

I’m sure I worked in my fruit cage a couple of weeks ago, pulling all the weeds out and it looked great. Not so today. It took the whole morning and three full buckets of weeds to bring it to some semblance of normality. No more jungle but I’m sure it won’t take long and I will have to start again.

As I had some empty spaces in the cage – last year’s clear out of old bushes, I planted a few tomato plants there. They are doing very well, seem to be sheltered by the larger bushes.

PEAS AND BEANS

I am delighted with this harvest. It is just the start, there is plenty more to come.

I knew I had to protect my peas from the hungry pigeons so I planted them all in one of my net cages. Perfect result, all peas are mine!

The same case were the broad beans – this time it wasn’t the birds but black fly. All plants are very healthy and I have started picking. Both peas and beans are really tasty, you can’t get anything better than fresh vegetables, home grown. Get them as you need them.

COMPETITION

Today was a special day down on the farm. Our allotment site came third in the city-wide competition and we are the proud holders of a trophy!

I came first in the Ladies’ category – this is my second time of coming first and third time of winning (I came first in the Newcomers’ section when I first started).

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I will keep the cup for one year, I also got a cheque for my efforts.

A great day was had by all.

CUCUMBERS

As all my other seeds the cucumbers germinated well in the spring and I had so many plants I had to give some away. But I planted two of them in the greenhouse in the back garden, just two and the harvest so far is amazing. They are the cucumber Perfect – I must remember them for next year, well worth growing. I train them up and then they can run along a string from one end of the greenhouse to the other so any future cucumbers can just hang down.

The biggest one escaped my notice, it was hanging down at the back. I started eating it yesterday, lovely taste and no bitterness. I like eating my cucumbers with the skin on and these are just perfect for it.

I have got more cucumbers in the greenhouses on the allotment, they are just a bit slower, they were planted there later.

HARVEST

It is all go on the allotment. This year the raspberries are amazing, I manage to pick a large box every other day. Not sure what I did but whatever it was it worked.

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The same goes for the red and white currants, beautiful. Here I know the reason, I did pamper all the fruit bushes in the fruit cage.

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I also had my first harvest of courgettes and french beans. Both are great, it is amazing how different the taste is when the fruit and vegetables are freshly picked.

 

 

But the biggest surprise are the aubergines. I always thought that they would be difficult to grow – not so. I had one plant last year and it produced some tasty fruit. This year I’m amazed how many I have. It seems that every seed I put in the soil germinated, I have aubergines in the greenhouse in the back garden and in both greenhouses.

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This is the biggest one so far. I have found a few good recipes and am looking forward to using them.

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Not bad for one aubergine. I’ll have to decide which recipe to use….