Monday, 1 December 2014

Harvest Monday - ooh!

Well, this Sunday was....sunny! In the morning at least. So I finally sowed my broad beans (scattered some chicken-poo pellets on the beds and covered with anti- kitty sticks. I'll probably add a bit of compost in spring too). I sowed about 80 seeds. I'll buy some seeds for spring sowing when I put in my seed order soon as well. In spring I'll also sow parsnips between the rows to make best use of the space. The parsnips don't need to get going too much until after the beans have been harvested.

I also cleared out my leaf mould piles (and bagged them up for using in the spring, lovely & crumbly) ready to receive this autumn's leaves. I'll probably head out at the weekend and collect up leaves from where they pile- up near-ish the allotment, hopefully before the council comes round and sweeps them all up.

And I made a start at weeding round my fruit trees and bushes, so the birdies can get at all the non- friendly bugs that might be hiding out in the soil there. I'll not do too much clearing in general though as our soil is v sandy and the nutrients will leach out with the winter rain if the soil is bare. Plus there's so much weeding to do I won't get through it all anyway!

And on to the harvests:

Tasty greens
Some little beet roots (that were where I needed to sow the beans) and a few onions from the shed
I used up a butternut squash (roasted, so tasty but only one left now)

And picked the rest of what was left in my lean-to greenhouse at home, as the cold weather would start to spoil them:

Some basil (and chilli peppers from the plant I brought into the house recently)

And some baby aubergines and sweet peppers! These all went into a ratatouille type thing (which was a tad hot due to the three chillis) with a couple of tins of tomatoes.

The photo is quite a small chopping board, so makes them look bigger than they really were!

And I made another batch of elderberry and apple jelly (8 jars) using the same method as last time except I also added some red currants for extra pectin. I still had to boil it for ages. Maybe the fruit is particularly watery and needed to boil-off a bit first.

So a much more productive week for me. I didn't get chance to dig up any parsnips as it started to rain (yawn, more rain) so maybe I'll get some this week.

Linking in with the good folk for Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions



  1. Aubergines are a bonus at this time of year,

    1. Thanks sue, I only picked one or two little aubergines before this so not an amazing harvest overall but nice to have a few now.

  2. Those greens are so beautiful. I so love greens.

    1. Thanks Daphne, the greens were yummy. We fried the kale so it was crispy, mmm. Wish I had more plants. A little bit more left to pick but not loads.

  3. You did get a lot done! And what an assortment of veg - must have felt so good to cook with all that fresh picked produce, especially at the end of November!

  4. Thanks Margaret, I think it's the latest I've ever picked aubs or peppers. One day I'd like to have a sunken greenhouse / walapini to extend the season more.....just another thing to add to my dream wish list!

  5. Hello Lou - I've just this minute found your lovely blog! I'm a non-gardening cook married to a lovely chap who gardens the way he was taught as a boy, and has no time for my wild plans to extend my tentative herb gardening into the wild shores of square-foot gardening - maybe! Hence I've been searching out you tube videos and blogs on the topic, very few UK blogs/vids, nearly all American or Australian. So good to find yours. Can I ask - one of the few herbs I've never grown is Basil - I've extended the life of shop bought punnets for weeks, but always thought it was too cold in the UK to grow unless you nada heated green house. (I live just north of Kings Lynn. BTW) how did you find growing yours? And inside or outside? Many thanks - Lynne.

  6. Hi Lynne, nice to hear from a fellow Norfolk resident!
    Ah yes, traditional works well for some folks but not everyone. My allotment neighbour gets huge yields from his long straight rows but ends up wasting a lot of it. I prefer to sow smaller blocks (though not quite as small as square foot. I think if I had less space that'd be something I'd give a go though).
    I grow basil in an unheated greenhouse, sowing indoors in late spring and then another a few weeks later. The first lot I plant out under my tomato plants (meant to prevent nasties), and the next lot in pots. You have to be careful not to overwater (they hate wet feet at night especially). It's pretty easy to grow once you've had successful germination. There's lovely purple basil too (which for some reason I haven't grown for a couple of years). With shop bought punnets you can get a bit more for your money by splitting the plants out in to separate pots - normally they have several plants crammed in to one pot. I you can pinch out the middle too, which encourages more side shoots. I reckon you'd be ok growing them outside in a sunny spot but if growing from seed, sow them inside first. Hope that helps!

  7. That's lovely, thanks, Lou. I shall get some basil going come spring - we do have a small unheated greenhouse AND grow tomatoes so the companion-planting will be a good thing to do. I've just spent an hour or so reading your archive - your photos in particular are a joy. Expect more despairing queries as I get going with my first attempts at proper gardening!

  8. Great, your greenhouse / toms sound perfect for tryng basil. And the good thing is there's normally plenty of seeds in a pack so if you don't get great germination the first time round you can have another go. I usually find my second sowing does better then the first anyway.
    Thanks for your kind words! Glad you've enjoyed reading the blog :) I'd like to post more photos - I nly have an old laptop which is too painful to crank up to get photos from my camera, and as I don't have a smart phone I have to use the iPad for taking pics to put on the blog, which is why most of them are taken in the kitchen! The lights not very good in winter though but I try not to get too many shadows.
    More than happy to attempt to answer any questions! I love encouraging my friends to grow food and a few of them have got the bug now too.