Monday 9 October 2017

Harvest Monday - hanging on to summer veggies

Down at the allotment I had a pleasant surprise - my best courgette plant had pushed out another fruit. I was pleased I hadn't got round to clearing that bed yet! If we have a bit of decent weather (which is looking like a possibility later in the week) I might get another one too.
I podded a load of the blauhilde beans from the allotment - they look really lovely. I quite enjoy the podding, apart from when there's an unexpected manky bean inside (which doesn't seem to be indicated from the outside of the pod so not sure what causes it).
I ended up with a nice big bowlful that I made into a stew which lasted several meals.
I've been clearing the bed where I'll be planting Autumn broad beans, and in the process harvested a load of self-sown rainbow chard that would otherwise be in the way. I love the brightly coloured stems (the yellowy photo doesn't do them much justice) -
And a nice amount of leafage too. I added the chopped stems and leaves to the bean stew as well. The fiddly thing is making sure you've got rid of all the tiny baby snails that have been making their home in the chard. I find them wandering off round the kitchen.
The baby snails have been enjoying the kale leaves as well. Here's some that escaped the munching. I've made an effort to weed around the kale now, to reduce the hidey places for the snails. I've also been sorting out my compost bays and last year's leafmould pile, starting to cover the beds with protective mulch for the winter. The worms will do their work, taking the goodness into the soil without the need to dig it or even fork it in, which has many benefits that I won't go into right now.
I've had a huge crop of apples this year from my four dwarf trees - in particular the Charles Ross eaters (which were huge) and these Caroline dual-purpose (which are actually quite sweet too) - several colanders of these alone. My other two trees did pretty well (Katy and Discovery) but they needed harvesting and eating a while back. I'll make sure to give all the trees and fruit bushes a good layer of mulch too. I've stored a couple of trays of the Carolines in the shed (with each apple wrapped individually in paper).
At home I've finished clearing all the tomato plants from their pots in the lean-to greenhouse, and the remaining toms are slowly ripening together. I've brought this tub inside now as it gets so cold at night (and sometimes during the day).
So, in the ex-tomato pots I've been planting out previously sown winter salady things, like winter purslane (here with some self-sown corn salad from the allotment). I also have sweet rocket, mizuna and coriander, plus dill and a couple of other things that were spares from Eves Hill Veg co where I volunteer. So it's nice to see the lean-to still providing some food despite the change in seasons (I still have a bit of lettuce outside in the garden too).
And the sweet peppers in the lean-to are doing ok too, continuing to ripen slowly as well. I also picked a couple of green ones that were showing signs of damage. Unfortunately I lost a nice big one that I hadn't noticed was rotting on the plant.
I was going to head to the allotment today but it was a bit drizzly on and off, so I cleared some of the beans from the back garden instead, inbetween showers. I had a problem earlier this spring with weevils emerging from last-year's saved borlotti beans, so didn't actually have that many to sow, but ended up with a reasonable amount from half a wigwam of beans. I'll pod and cook-up the fresher beans, and save the drier pods for sowing next year (keeping a closer eye out for weevils).
The beans are lovely, they remind me of mini camouflaged birds eggs.
I grew some more blauhilde up the fence behind the wigwam, and they looked about right to harvest aswell - more podding required.
There were a few that could be eaten as flat beans, plus in the other bed the runner beans had a handful of nice ones too.
Out at Eves Hill Veg Co this week (not-for-profit market garden where I volunteer), the two polytunnels are also reflecting the change of seasons, with cucumber and tomato plants being cleared for winter salads. They're looking really healthy.
And some of the winter squashes are curing inside too. We harvested the remaining crown prince, which was a fun treasure hunt, spotting the delicious fruits amongst the underlying clover green manure. There are still lots of the small sweet dumpling squashes to harvest, which we'll get this week.
In the smaller polytunnel the basil is just about coming to an end so we each took some bunches home to make a tasty pesto. I combined mine with toasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Ooh that reminds me, I have foraged a few walnuts from a tree near the allotment....I've had my eye on the young tree for a few years, waiting for it to start producing nuts. I'll have to see if there's actually anything inside the shells.
Back to the polytunnel - some lovely salad plugs that will fill the rest of the beds once the summer crops are all finished. Yum.

So there's still plenty going on. I'm hoping to get my garlic and broad beans planted out on the allotment this week, and continue clearing beds and mulching, plus collecting leaves for next year's leaf mould. I didn't get round to creating new strawberry beds, so I might take a look at the old ones, and see if I can at least take out some of the older plants.


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



  1. I meant to pos some of our beans but never got round to it. I wonder whether I still have time to do some as we still have some purple climbers on the leafless plants.

  2. Your crop of blauhilde looks very good... we haven't picked ours yet, but seeing your has reminded me I need to get on with it before the mice start helping themselves to the seed!

  3. There is still plenty going on in your garden still. The Blauhilde beans are lovely. It's surprising to see a white bean coming out of a purple pod, at least to me.

  4. I had already added Blauhilde to my grow list for next year, and now that I see how pretty the 'shellys' are inside that just makes it even better! It looks like you have a lovely mix of goodies coming in from the garden now. That stripey courgette looks perfect!