Monday 29 December 2014

Harvest Monday - post christmas

So I missed last Monday because I'd picked up the lurgy and didn't do much for a few days. Luckily I started feeling a bit better for Christmas week, and I had a few days off work on holiday too :)

My main seed order came in, which is exciting. I use the Organic Gardening catalogue and get 10% off as a Garden Organic member.

Included are Sturon onion sets:
Colleen early potatoes and Setanta main crop. I've set these out in the greenhouse lean-to (frost-free). The earlies had already started sprouting a bit and I want to make sure I get the right sort of shoots (if you leave them in the dark, they are pale and long, rather than the green leafy shoots in the light)
I picked a bit of coriander from the lean-to.
A small Savoy cabbage and kale for Christmas lunch

Some parsnips for Christmas lunch too. I didn't get a photo of the final meal but it included chestnut roast too (using chestnuts we harvested ourselves from the woods in autumn that I'd kept in the fridge). We also made our own gravy and bread sauce (using herbs from the garden)

On Christmas Eve I went round to friends' houses delivering cards and presents, including jars of my elderberry, apple and clove jelly. I've had good reports on this :).

My first chance to get to the plot for a while, on Sunday for an hour or so, I started a bit of clearing and brought back a few onions.

And today I returned to work (sigh) but it was sunny and I popped to the plot at lunchtime and picked some chard for tea,

And picked a chilli from the houseplant to go with tea too. They're starting to get quite wrinkly! But seem ok.

Zzz feeling a bit pooped after returning to work and with the tail-end of illness. So to end, a not very good but sunny Christmassy photo of my decorated birch twigs! Usually I collect some holly and ivy and make a Christmas wreath but what with being ill I didn't get round to it this year.

Hope you all had a good Christmas and have a great New Year!

Linking in with Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions :)



Monday 15 December 2014

Harvest Monday - a few bits

The cold and wet theme has continued this week. I did get to the plot yesterday and collected up 4 more bags of leaves from nearby. The council had been out during the week sweeping them all up ( I saw them doing it on my lunch break) so thought I'd missed them but then a windy day brought some more along, yippee. I got a few wierd looks but that doesn't bother me!

So harvest wise, I brought a few onions back from the shed (not many left now)

Picked some chard (a bit holey)

And some kale (These are quite small leaves), a tiny bit of broccoli and found a parsnip I'd dropped the other day after digging up a short row. I roasted a few of the 'snips with some potatoes, they were rather tasty :)

And a couple of chillis from the plant I've brought in at home. One went into a curry (with the chard) and the other went into a homemade pizza topping sauce.

So just another quick one from me but nice to be picking a few bits.

Linking in with those hanging in for winter harvests for Harvest Monday hosted by Daphne's Dandelions :)


Monday 8 December 2014

Harvest Monday - parsnips

Unsurprisingly, a bit of a quiet week. Haven't got on the plot very much but I did collect up 4 big bags of leaves for making leaf mould. I could do with some more but ran out of time on Saturday. And then Sunday was a bit cold and rainy so I didn't go down. Of course today, when I was at work, it was lovely and sunny and perfect for a day on the plot, darn.

I popped across during my lunch break though today and dug up some parsnips. Quite a mixture of lengths! This was all the 'snips from one of my little rows. I have another 3 or 4 rows. I sow them in between the rows of broad beans.

I was given another bag of apples this week too from someone at work, which I used to make a big batch of stewed fruit for the freezer yesterday. I'll be giving a jar of preserve as a thanks. The last one (blackberry and red currant jam) went down well.

I roasted my last butternut squash with cashews and flaked almonds (no pics). It was so good, gutted that was my last one. I do still have a couple of large 'orange' squashes and a couple of little ones too but wanted to use up the butternut first as they don't keep so long.

And finally, a little wrinkly chilli pepper that went into scrambled eggs. There's a few more left on the plant but having brought it indoors, the naughty aphids have warmed up too and are going on a rampage.So I don't think it will last that much longer.

Well, that's me for the week!

Linking in with Harvest Monday over at Daphne's Dandelions.



Monday 1 December 2014

Harvest Monday - ooh!

Well, this Sunday was....sunny! In the morning at least. So I finally sowed my broad beans (scattered some chicken-poo pellets on the beds and covered with anti- kitty sticks. I'll probably add a bit of compost in spring too). I sowed about 80 seeds. I'll buy some seeds for spring sowing when I put in my seed order soon as well. In spring I'll also sow parsnips between the rows to make best use of the space. The parsnips don't need to get going too much until after the beans have been harvested.

I also cleared out my leaf mould piles (and bagged them up for using in the spring, lovely & crumbly) ready to receive this autumn's leaves. I'll probably head out at the weekend and collect up leaves from where they pile- up near-ish the allotment, hopefully before the council comes round and sweeps them all up.

And I made a start at weeding round my fruit trees and bushes, so the birdies can get at all the non- friendly bugs that might be hiding out in the soil there. I'll not do too much clearing in general though as our soil is v sandy and the nutrients will leach out with the winter rain if the soil is bare. Plus there's so much weeding to do I won't get through it all anyway!

And on to the harvests:

Tasty greens
Some little beet roots (that were where I needed to sow the beans) and a few onions from the shed
I used up a butternut squash (roasted, so tasty but only one left now)

And picked the rest of what was left in my lean-to greenhouse at home, as the cold weather would start to spoil them:

Some basil (and chilli peppers from the plant I brought into the house recently)

And some baby aubergines and sweet peppers! These all went into a ratatouille type thing (which was a tad hot due to the three chillis) with a couple of tins of tomatoes.

The photo is quite a small chopping board, so makes them look bigger than they really were!

And I made another batch of elderberry and apple jelly (8 jars) using the same method as last time except I also added some red currants for extra pectin. I still had to boil it for ages. Maybe the fruit is particularly watery and needed to boil-off a bit first.

So a much more productive week for me. I didn't get chance to dig up any parsnips as it started to rain (yawn, more rain) so maybe I'll get some this week.

Linking in with the good folk for Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions