Monday, 15 September 2014

Harvest Monday - the times they are a changing

Well, the weather's changing anyway, and the nights are getting longer and colder. We still have a bit of warm weather, though it can be quite different one day to the next.
I love looking out for things to forage and this is a good time of year. This weekend I've been at my folks in southern England and even on their street in town I spotted quite a few bunches of grapes hidden amongst the ivy along a wall next to the pavement of a house being renovated. We picked a few just to see what they were like...quite small and pippy but the ones in the sun were quite sweet. I suspect the owners don't even know they're growing there. I hope they discover them as it would be a shame for them to go to waste.
I love seeing other people growing their own too, even if they don't have much space. Walking around, my eyes are always caught by fruit trees, looking amazing dripping with food at this time of year. There was a nice looking pear tree in a tiny front garden on the way to the train station from my folks, covered with fruit...brilliant!
Anyway, on to my harvests this week:
Still a few summer squashes tentatively growing. The plants themselves are looking very spent but whilst they're still producing I'll leave them in. I don't have anything to plant out to follow on from them at the moment anyway so may as well leave them.
Last few berries and squashes. I bring onions home from the shed when I need them.
My late apples started having some windfalls but most of them weren't ready (didn't come away when twisted). I pick some chard when we need it, this lot is self-sown.
Corn, which I ate a couple of the small cobs but blanched the rest to freeze - I pick off the individual kernels as my cutting technique leaves too much on the cob. These are from the corn I direct sowed, the ones grown in pots were ready and eaten and while back.
Still lots of potatoes to dig up, this bagful came from two seed potatoes.
Potatoes starting to get slug damage and really all need digging up when I get chance
Minxie is not impressed
Thursday...quickly picking as much as I can as not able to get down for 3 days
Friday morning from the back garden lean-to. The red pears next to the bowl have a tiny bit of blossom end rot but not too bad.
Friday morning, back garden beans. One particular plant is giving out lots of curly beans, even though they have space beneath them so no need to curl. Weird.
Sunday from the allot, after I got back to Norwich. I'd read that at some of the larger allot sites two ladies were seen helping themselves to people's crops and loading them in a van, so I though I'd bring my winter squashes home to finish curing. I think our site is so small that it would be too obvious for someone to come with a van but you never know. Excuse the shadows on the photos, hard to get a good pic in my house after dark...
Potatoes and berries - Sunday from the allot too. Usually I'd dig up the pots at lunch and go back after work so they have some time to toughen their skins but yesterday they only had about an hour, it'll have to do! I don't have a car so take my old-lady trolley to walk heavy stuff back form the allot. It was full on Sunday!
Monday from the back garden...still lots of beans and toms. Also hacked back my rocket plants which I'd been ignoring for several weeks and had got pretty huge. I decided to make.....
Pesto! There was so much rocket...I toasted a medium pan full of walnuts and blitzed with some olive oil and a teeny bit of salt. After putting in the jars I topped them off with a layer of olive oil to seal it in. I think it lasts better without the cheese in and I expect when we use it up we'll just add cheese to the dish.

Tonight I also blanched some of today's bean harvest to freeze (the rest were fully cooked, which we take to work as snacks in the afternoon, it looks weird but tastes good!)
Linking in with all the good folks for Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions


  1. Great potatoes, tomatoes ... well, everything! I wish I had even a handful of berries that look that good! What a shame about people nicking veggies after all the hard work that went into it. Those winter squash look interesting - what variety are they?

    1. Thanks Susie! My berries earlier in the year were better, I find summer rasps have a better flavour than autumn ones. I just have a short row of autumn rasps and have been thinking of replacing it with something else.....who most of us I have lots of things I'm thinking of doing but never get round to! The squashes are golden Hubbard and potimarron, I planted both varieties but not sure exactly which ones grew in the end (they look quite similar and I lost quite a few plants to slug / snails). I only got one squash per plant but they're quite big and hopefully tasty :) I've got one plant in the back garden with two fruits that still need to ripen.

  2. Great harvests - I especially love those squash, just gorgeous. It's so funny how we are across an ocean yet our weather is sometimes so similar - our nights are also getting longer and colder. I keep kicking myself for not getting those fall crops into the ground sooner now as I can see that some of them will likely not mature in time.

    And like you, I love to sneak a peak at other peoples gardens, especially when they have veg growing - I'm not an overly nosy person when it comes to what others are doing, but when I see a veg garden, my nose is right in there ;)

    1. Thanks Margaret, yes I think we're on about the same latitude which I guess influences it with same changes in day length etc :) I have some summer crops that are still yet to get going! A tiny aubergine has started peeking out from the plant, if I'm lucky I might get one this year.
      Haha, yeh same here, love peoples veggie gardens.

  3. You've a great variety there and the tomatoes are a triumph. Must check on our sweet corn

    1. Thank you sue! It's been a surprisingly good week :) hope your corn is ok, I missed a couple of little cobs earlier that had become tough by the time I noticed them.

  4. You have some really great harvests this week. I always find it sad when people steal from allotments. After all the effort and you don't see a harvests. I suppose though they are like any other pest that destroys your crop.

  5. Thanks Daphne! It's been quite a good mix this week. Still haven't sorted my potatoes out for storage though and more to dig up, need a few more hours in the day :)
    Luckily we don't seem to have been hit by thieves this time round (but I feel v bad for the people who have). I had some onions stolen earlier in the year and someone even had a whole apple tree dug up and taken from our site! (Which would've died as they hacked the roots off, v stupid), they came in at night so I'm letting my opening grow over a bit so at night it's not so obvious to see the entrance in the dark. Though I keep nearly scalping myself with the bramble I'm growing over the top!