Monday, 6 June 2016

Harvest Monday - summer!

What's that? Summer has arrived (for a while at least). Following on from some very chilly autumnally weather we've had a lovely couple of days, and look......a strawberry
There would've been another one too but a beastie had enjoyed it first. This one was yummy anyway (Jan and I had half each). Hopefully the first of many.
I've lifted all my garlic, bad rust had developed and some of the plants started to rot in the ground. So it won't store, but we'll try and eat it up before any more of it rots. I might sow some carrots in the space where it was, as the garlicky-ness might put off carrot fly? In other years I've planted out squash after lifting garlic, which seemed to work ok too.
Brace yourselves.....this was my potato harvest today. My early potatoes are in flower so I thought I'd rootle around in the soil to see if I could find any reasonable ones to harvest. I think you can see how that went.
I also picked some baby chard leaves. The plants self-seeded in amongst my onions, so hopefully they won't affect the onion growth too much. Posh bags of salad leaves quite often include baby chard so it's nice to get some for free here.
My autumn-sown broad beans have started fattening up. The plants themselves look awful (having been battered by winds and squashed by cats or foxes over winter, then more-recently eaten by slugs) but they've hung-in there and produced some decent beans
I've probably picked about two thirds of them so far
Whilst I was podding the beans, Jan made us this tasty soup with a fresh garlic, the potatoes and then the beans and chard plus a bit of coriander and mint that I'm growing at home. Lovely, with a spoonful of goat yogurt.
Yesterday Jan really wanted a BBQ, so after all the effort of getting it going just to cook a few veggie sausages, I had a think of what else we could put on. Turns out that you can BBQ rhubarb, and there were some stalks that needed pulling from my pot in the back garden. After drizzlling with oil and about 10 minutes on the BBQ they softened up nicely. We ate them with balsamic vinegar and honey (it actually worked!).
And we've finally been enjoying salad leaves from the back's 'freckles'
I've planted out the lettuce on two sides, and have been checking for slugs most nights. Plus I'm trying out the bran trick, you can just see a white barrier of it around the lettuce patch in the piccie below (the bran's only been in place two days though, so will have to see how effective it is)
I've also finished off the rustic 'gate' made from buddliea prunings...the diagonal stem gives it stability (otherwise it's a bit wobbly). I'm quite pleased with it actually, I might make one for the other side too if I've got enough sticks.
In naturey news, I keep seeing this lovely toad on the allotment (pic by jan). At the moment it seems to spend most days under a pile of rosemary prunings. I'd like to tidy them away but feel a bit guilty whilst the toad's there. I saw a really big frog today too, hope it gets munching on those slugs.
On Saturday we got the bus over to the east coast for a walk. It was a bit misty to begin with but cleared up later....Here's a few of the famous Horsey seals. Well, their bums anyway.
And a beautiful blue sky by the time we headed inland a bit. We were lucky to see swallowtail butterflies and painted ladies (plus the usual marsh harriers, skylarks, stonechats etc , we're a bit spoilt for wildlife round here).

That's me for the week, thanks for reading and hope you've been enjoying nice weather, nature, and some harvests too.


I'm linking in with Harvest Monday, kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres


Oh, I forgot to include this basil, picked when pinching-out some basil seedlings (to encourage bushy plants), which we had with a pasta dish



  1. Grilled rhubarb!? What a terrific idea, I will have to try that for sure. And that soup looks delicious. As with your chard, I have volunteer potatoes coming up in my shallot patch - I'm pretty sure it's going to knock out the shallots but I do love my potatoes and can't bring myself to destroy the plant.

    1. Yes, grilled rhubarb seems to be an actual thing Susie, I found a couple of recipes online after this (one had lime I think).
      Oh yeah, I've found loads of volunteer potatoes this year (but have dug them up). It's amazing how many potatoes you miss when harvesting them! Hope you still get some decent shallots though.

  2. Your spring crops are really coming in, and the gate looks fantastic. The herbs in your potato and bean soup sounds really interesting, I'll need to give it a try.

    1. Thanks phoung, I made a gate for the other bed this week too, it was fun and much easier to get in and out of the veg patches now :)

  3. Grilled rhubarb might catch on! I was once sceptical about grilled Asparagus, but having tried it, I agree that it works well, so why not Rhubarb? The potato "harvest" is less impressive, but I'm sure there will be more to follow...

    1. Hi Mark, yep give grilled rhubarb a go! I bet there's lots of flavour combinations to try with it.
      Haha, yeah hopefully more potatoes though I'm not sure if it's going to be a good year for me with them... I'll find out soon enough.

  4. Oh, that's a lovely strawberry! Mine are just starting to set, so I'm hoping in another couple of weeks, we'll be popping them into our mouths. And SO very jealous of that Freckles lettuce!! That was supposed to be a new variety for me this year but the seeds I purchased just didn't want to germinate...I'll be trying again, though, once it comes time to sow the next succession of lettuce.

    1. Thanks Margaret, the strawberries have really started going now.
      Ah, shame about the freckles lettuce, hopefully you have better luck with the next sowing and it's not a duff packet of seeds.

  5. I would never have thought of grilling rhubarb! I'm thinking it was tart and still a bit crunchy, depending on how long it was on the grill. That toad has sure picked out a fragrant place to hang out. Maybe I need some to eat up my slugs. I am ready for some new potatoes too, but mine are not flowering yet.

  6. Hi Dave, it was quite a gentle heat on the BBQ, and I put the lid down too which I guess helped the rhubarb soften up completely - no crunchy bits after about 10 minutes or so. They were quite thin stalks as well (I cut the thicker ones in half lengthways).
    The toad's not been in the same spot recently but hopefully it's still around on the plot somewhere, helping to keep the slugs under control...there's plenty for it to eat anyway!