Monday, 7 August 2017

Harvest Monday - more summer harvests...including sweetcorn!

Wow we've had done really windy weather over the last week. The allotment is now bone dry and the runner bean plants at home have got lots of damaged leaves. But fortunately the only real casualty was a sweetcorn plant, which got blown over. They have shallow roots and this particular plant was on the edge of a bed, so I think was a bit vulnerable. But considering how strong those winds were, it could've been a lot worse. I know some people had bean plants ripped out completely.
Last week I harvested those lovely's what I made with them....roasted beetroot hummus, yum. Basically it's a normal hummus recipe (chickpeas, tahini, garlic, oil, cumin) with roasted beets added. Easy, and delicious. I froze one tub and we've eaten the other.
Very nice in sandwiches (here I made us 'open sandwiches'....'cause you get more filling that way), with some of our toms and purple basil, grown in the lean to at home.
I've picked two or three times this amount over the last week. Lovely colours.
Some have ended up in curries, along with the ubiquitous courgette, and dwarf French beans
Or tonight's tasty salad, with cucumber / yogurt / mint thing, home sprouted lentils and cous cous with more dwarf beans and courgette.
Other meals have included my favourite easy dish - veggies with only uses one pan as you can cook the noodles in the same pot, saving on washing-up, hooray. This included courgette (of course), runner beans, kale and fermented carrot (I still have a few in the jar in the fridge from ages ago).
On the cucumber front, we're picking this amount every two or three days, plenty for sarnies, salads and snacks.
I've been growing gherkins to make fermented pickles, and prepped everything to make a couple of jars. Looks good eh? I even picked some vine leaves as that's meant to help preserve the crunch (due to tannins in the leaves).
Well, all is not as it seems....I quartered the gherkins lengthways, trimmed the ends so they fitted in upright, and squeezed them into the jars. Then I thought, oh I'll just have a nibble on these ends, only to discover a few bitter pieces, and of course I didn't know which gherkins they'd been sliced from. So I had to take them all out and try both ends of every gherkin. Then I thought I'd better try a piece from the middle of a 'safe' one, which ended up being bitter. Wah. In the end I decided it was too much hassle to avoid any bitter pieces, composted the lot and used crystal lemon cukes and ridge cukes instead (which i haven't had any bitterness issues with). They are now sitting happily on the counter (piccie below), in their brine solution (of which I made far too much, so am now wondering what else I could ferment).
On the fruity front, I remembered to check my second dwarf apple tree down the far end of the plot, in case there were any windfalls (I have four dwarf Apple trees altogether, two at the top, two at the bottom). There were a couple on the ground, so I picked them up then gave some of the others still on the tree a bit of a twist. They all started to come away quite easily (the stalk comes away from the branch when they're ripe), so I thought I may as well harvest them all...because knowing me, I'd forget about them and lose them to windfalls / insect damage. They're really huge this year as well, biggest I've ever seen them (double the size of the ones I harvested last week from another tree). So now we just have to remember to eat them.
And there have been more blackberries - three colanders-full in one picking. The freezer is getting very full of them. I had to make a couple of blackberry cakes, just to save a bit of freezer space, ahem.
And yes, today I harvested our first sweetcorn of the year. It's a really good size and I'm pleased with the pollination of kernels, it's almost fully pollinated.
Enjoyed after simply boiling for a few need for butter. I can't wait for the next one. (Obviously Jan and I did share this one, half each!).

You're meant to be able to tell when they're ripe by the tassels going brown, but I find they go brown before the corn is properly ripened, so instead I do the trick of testing a kernel with a fingernail - peel the sheath apart a bit to see some kernels, then break into a kernel with your fingernail - the juice is milky when they're ready.


Well it's now raining, so hopefully the plot will be getting a good soaking. This week I've tried to be organised and have sown a few things in modules, for Autumn / winter harvest (if they work)...rocket, winter lettuce, coriander, oriental greens. I also noticed that the mango seeds I planted in pots a few weeks ago have germinated. I don't normally buy mango but a friend gave us a couple of fruits, and as I'd like some more house plants I thought I'd try propagating them. So after watching a couple of YouTube videos, I prised the seed cases open with a blunt knife, popped them in compost and covered with bubble wrap. I'll have to take a piccie of them...and try and keep them alive until then!


Oh and lastly, out at the not for profit market garden I volunteer at, we got busy with sowing various Autumn and winter salads, weeded the sweetcorn, planted out more salad. They're getting amazing harvests but I didn't get chance to take photos this week. It's looking good though.


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



  1. That open sandwich is a work of art, :-)

    1. Thanks sue, i did take a bit of care placing the basil :D

  2. Beautiful fruits, and oh yummy - sweet corn!

    1. Thanks lea, we had some more corn last night, yum

  3. Lovely apples and blackberries! And the open sandwich idea is great, I'll be giving that a go soon. I made eggplant and tomato sandwiches today for lunch, and I could have had more veggies if I made them your way!

    1. Thanks Dave, yes open sandwiches, the more filling the better! :)

  4. I do like the look of that roast beetroot hummous. Thank you for the idea And it paired perfectly with your purple-leaved basil too, which was inspired!

    1. Thanks Kathy, the beetroot hummus is really good, I'm making more today. Ooh yes the purple basil looks so pretty on the windowsill as well as on the plate :)