Monday, 5 December 2016

Harvest Monday, mushrooms and a glean

Whilst I was at a carrot glean on Saturday, Jan made us some tasty falafels, using dried split fava beans as a base, plus our own (small) red onions, some slightly weary-looking mint from the front yard and chillis that were originally in the lean-to but now are in the lounge near the window. (She used a lot more beans than in this photo!).
Yummy. There were even a few lettuce leaves from the lean-to, and a sweet pepper left from last week.
The beans and recipe were from Hodmedod's, a local company selling British-grown pulses and beans, a great company to support.
Jan's look a bit like this I think!
This week I also harvested a few veggies from the allotment....some Brussels sprouts tops, chard and these leeks. They're a bit small but I dib the seedlings out quite late in the season, where I've had early potatoes, to avoid the leek moth caterpillars. Actually I wouldn't have had many leeks at all this year if my allotment neighbour hadn't given me some spare seedlings, 'cause I didn't get very good germination with mine.
For my birthday I was kindly given a grow-your-own mushroom kit, which uses spent coffee ground spores as the growing medium.
You make a cut in the bag (on the already-marked cross), soak it for 12 hours (it needs weighing down), and then spray the opening twice a day. (You get a spray nozzle in the kit too).
After just a few days the 'shrooms are starting to grow, ooh. Should be another week or so before we can start harvesting.
So, on Saturday we had probably the last glean of this season, rescuing organic carrots graded-out mainly because they're not the 'right' size or shape.
I may have climbed to the top of the carrot mountain, hehe.

We saved just under a tonne of carrots (which have gone off to various charities via Fareshare) but only nibbled around the edge of the heap. Blimey. And to end the day, we were treated to a huge skein of pink-footed geese flying over at dusk, heading from the sugar beet fields where they feed, out to The Wash for the night. I've really enjoyed the gleaning this year and hopefully there'll be more opportunities to be involved in the future. If you'd like to get involved in the gleaning network, check out the Feedback website to sign-up.


Thanks for reading this week, I'm linking in with Harvest Monday kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.



  1. Our leeks are a bit small too. i just can't believe that enormous carrot mountain!

  2. Ooh, I love falafels, though I've never had them made with favas. And growing mushrooms in coffee grounds is a new one on me. It sounds like a great way to use up those leftovers. We sometimes spread ours around the blueberries. I would have liked to see you climbing the carrot mountain too!

    1. Hi Dave. Yeah, I think the mushrooms need quite a lot of coffee grounds, they're really packed in to the bag - it would take quite a while to collect that much on a domestic level, but making friends with a local coffee house would be handy! The grounds in the pack have already got the mushroom mycelium growing through it, so the process is quite quick once you start adding water. I'm tempted to have a go from scratch, depending on how we get on with this lot first.

  3. Oh my, what a mound of carrots, and what a shame if they go to waste. Coffee grounds are an interesting medium for growing mushrooms. I hope you show us the mushrooms that grow. My spent grounds go straight into my garden when I dig in my other amendments, they just disappear!

    1. Hi Michelle, yep I will definitely be sharing more photos of the's amazing how quickly they've come on this week!