Monday, 12 September 2016

Harvest Monday - late summer

Well the tomatoes are still looking good, though there's not too many left on the plants.
And the peppers are picking up, prossibiy because the tomato plants aren't shading them much anymore. These are two Lipstick I think.
The runner and French beans in the back garden are limping along a bit now though. On the allotment they've gone stringy and aren't really worth eating....I am still picking them though (just not eating) in case we get some decent rain which gets the plants going again...if you let bean pods mature on the plant, the plant stops producing anymore. In previous years I've been harvesting them into autumn but I think the dry weather hasn't helped.
I've only picked a little bit of chard because there's been other things to use up.
I really like the little yellow summer squashes, but the plants are looking rather poorly (mildew etc) so not sure if there'll be any more.
You wouldn't think it from this piccie but the courgettes are going the same way. (I can't get down the plot for a few days so have today picked even the smallest fruits to avoid getting marrows).
I lifted some main crop potatoes...this year I've grown Golden Wonder for a change. This was from two plants, so not bad.
And we baked the spaghetti squash I was given
WhIch along with some borlotti beans from the plot..
Went into a tomatoey thing, featuring all veggies from either the plot or at home....onion, garlic, toms, courgette, sweet pepper, spaghetti squash and borlotti beans, mmm
Today I also brought home one of my winter squashes....I won't use it up for a while though hopefully.
Now, this week I volunteered at a gleaning day organised by was great! These are events where a farmer lets us go and pick crops leftover after harvest, which then get given on to charities etc. So about 15 of us spent the day harvesting broccoli (calabrese), cauliflowers, cabbages and marrows. It was incredible the amount of food that would've otherwise been wasted (Thank you mister farmer for letting us pick it)...and we didn't have time to pick all that was available either, so the more people who help at these events the can find out more on the Feedback website. They're only just getting going in Norfolk but have been around a while elsewhere. I'm hoping to help at some more this autumn, and take a camera next time too.
Anyway, there were some broccoli plants which were a bit past it to harvest for the charities but still edible, so we could take some for ourselves. There were already loads of plants that had gone to flower...the bees were enjoying it though. The farm was organic and it was nice to see lots of wildlife...buzzards, hares, a huge flock of goldfinches...lovely.
Anyway (again), I made a big ol' pot of broccoli and potato soup, which we had with a bit of added milk and Stilton cheese (much tastier than it looks in the photo)
And we also made a big roasted veg 'allotment salad' following a recipe Jan found from the restaurant "Bill's". We roasted the spaghetti squash at the same time but didn't use it for a couple of days - it kept fine in the fridge.
With quinoa..mmm
Back to allotment veggies, I've made-up a couple more batches of fermented courgettes, and one of runner beans
I did one lot of courgettes in thin strips (thinking they might be good in sandwiches) and the other in chunks, leftover from cutting the strips to the right length for the jar. There's a vine leaf in with each too, which is meant to help keep the courgettes crisp.
Here are the ones I set up a couple of weeks back...they taste real good now
And to finish, one of the delicious figs, from my friend's allotment last good.
Thanks for reading this week...I'm linking with Harvest Monday kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres



  1. That basket of tomatoes has such beautiful colour! I tend to pick mine under-ripe to avoid critters getting them so I don't often get that uniform perfect red. And yummy, lots of healthy tasty looking vittles.

    I don't recall if it was from you or another blogger that I first heard about gleaning. Love that idea, and I'll keep an eye out for opportunities in my area.

    1. Thank you Susie, luckily I don't have any beasties munching my tomatoes.
      I think it might have been Daphne that mentioned gleaning before? This is actually the first time I've done it, I happened to see the day being shared on some local Facebook food waste pages I follow. I've just had an email through and apparently we saved about 1.5 tonnes food going to waste, wowee!

  2. I have seen some other people write about gleaning too - I think it is becoming popular again. My wife remembers gleaning peas in the field behind her mother's house (about 50 years ago), though that was probably not for charitable purposes! I'm glad you like the fermented courgettes and beans. It's another good way to preserve vegetables that have a reputation for producing gluts.

    1. Hi Mark, yes I think there's quite a bit of momentum getting behind gleaning now, Hey it's great your wife was able to glean the field near her - I can see how it fell out of fashion, with farms (and fields) getting bigger and less people actually knowing their local farmer.
      It would be good to experiment a bit with different spices for the fermenting....maybe next year, I don't think I'll have too many more gluts this year.


  3. What a lovely assortment of zucchini! And that spaghetti squash dish sounds good too. The gleaning event sounds like a great deal. I wish we had something like that around here.

    1. Thanks Dave, roasting the spaghetti squash gave it a good flavour.
      I'm pleased I was free for the gleaning day, hopefully I can make some more when they come along. According to the coordinator of the day, we saved about 20,000 portions of veg from being wasted, incredible..especially as there as still even more that could have been harvested. Maybe a group will come together near you?

  4. Thank you for posting about the Feedback gleaning. There is nothing et in our area but I have signed up for being notified when there is. It is a brilliant idea. Our courgettes have mildew leaves too, despite my efforts to keep thm well watered -- I guess it is just what they do around now!

  5. Hi Kathy, that's great, am really pleased to hear you've signed-up to the gleaning group. It seems as though they're expanding the network as the coordinator for my area has only just started, so hopefully they'll reach you at some point.
    My squashes all had mildew from quite early on so I used a milk spray a few times which helped knock it back. But yeah, I think it's pretty standard to get it at this time of year.
    I just took a look at your blog - amazing variety and quantity you guys grow...and well done on the chick pea, that's a crop I'd like to have a go at.

  6. Our courgette plants have been finished off by mildew. Like others have said it is good that food isn't going to waste,

  7. In a world where so many people go hungry, with food banks in every city, it's a wonder that gleaning is not more prevalent. It's truly a win-win for everyone involved.

    Delicious meals by the way - it's been a while since I've done a tomatoey thing :), but now that cooler weather is here, that's definitely on the menu again.