Monday, 10 August 2015

Harvesting the goodies from our allotment

Ta-dah! Here are the pictures from the allotment. I am already apologising for the amount, but I want to keep some sort of record of how far the things have come at this point of the summer.

I am showing the allotment from the far end going towards the gate.
Here are my beetroot and cabbage/kale beds with nasturtium mingling with them.

Next to them are the pea cage (oh dear, the cage!) and runner beans on their teepee. 

The following bed is a narrow one holding our bean fence. There are some beans, but they got rather miffed by the cold start in the spring and I won't have a bumper crop like the last year. I hope the runner beans will make up for this though.

Just in the front are some courgettes and very overgrown red lettuce. That has now been removed. My courgettes were struggling too in the beginning and when a friend offered some extras, I took them. This was a mistake as her "courgettes" are the UFO pumpkins! They are lovely too, but I will have rather many of them.

On the other side of the fence I planted some yellow-orange-maroon coloured flowers to beautify my patch. What do you think?

The beds on this side of the fence have some shallots and leeks and the bed beyond it was planted with garlic, but has planted again with some bush variety of borlotti beans (fingers crossed) and more beetrooot and some lettuce.

Here is a closer look at the flowers

Just another view, this time towards the tunnel. The big scraggly things against the fence are our artichokes. Beyond the trolley is our potato bed. The tops have been cut down following the blight yellowing them overnight. As they were earlies, no harm done. We have the potatoes in the ground and will keep eating them.

In the front of the tunnel is an odd mummy. Look:

This is how I grow carrots. I don't sow at all in the spring when the fly is rife, but a bit later and even then I protect them with fleece. The container is a stylish addition; an old tumble drier drum.

The view from the tunnel door. I have since tied the tomato canes up and cut the growing tips, so we are now starting to get some tomatoes.

Cucumbers have been producing for a while already. Here is one of the long ones:

I have chillies growing in growbags as well as peppers. I am contemplating on keeping one of the chillies over winter on the window sill in our house.

The grape vine has grown LOADs this summer and I have trained it along the side wall and over the arch of the tunnel.

There are even some grapes and next year I will be even better at leaving only a few and in right places.

The bit between the potting shed/green house and the tunnel is taken up by my salad bed. At this point I have some spinach, which seems to be growing without bolting. (We are past the hot summer months and the days are shorter)

Otherwise there are the currant bushes and the strawberry field and the asparagus. Oh, the asparagus. I let it be this year and hope to harvest the coming year. All the feathery fern like growth is asparagus.

Behind the hut is the cutting garden. Here is the perennial sweet pea taking over the world.

The flowers are a tad smaller than the annual sweet peas, and rounder. They do last well as cut flowers and there are lots of them.

I'll show more of the flowers another time, here is the view round the corner though. I can see that it is hard to see in these pictures how many flowers there actually are.

Inside the hut I have more tomatoes (silly, not to be repeated next year), peppers and aubergines.

On the shelf and also on the bench is basil.

We have only one rule about growing basil in our family and that is that there can never be too much basil!

I tried to grow cucamelons this year. I have them also in the tunnel, but they seem to be doing better here. These are very small beginnings of the fruit.

I was down with gastroenteritis for a week and that has put me behind both with house keeping and gardening. Luckily it is Elf husband's holiday now, so I can sneak out in the morning after six o'clock and garden for an hour or two. It all helps. I also attempt to harvest something every morning, so I hopefully won't need to panic later on. Yesterday I brought in my second batch of mint and lavender harvest. I rigged a pin on kitchen shelf brackets and dry them there.

Today I cut a big bunch of chives, which I chopped and put into the freezer. I also brought the first lot of my beetroot harvest in.

Note to self: this is slightly too much to fit into my 10l pot. Next time slightly less, please. I filled ten jars with these. My neighbour invited me to take some of his because his wife cannot stand the smell of beetroot cooking. He added with a wistful look that he grows them for giving away and then hopes that he might get a jar of something. He will certainly get several jars from me.

I love this time of the year, when we need very little from the shops. It feels also very satisfying conserving the produce, ready to eat during the winter. 

Have you harvested anything? Harvest is also cutting herbs from a pot on your window sill!

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