THE trouble with going on holiday for a veg gardener is that your plants don’t take a break while you are away. In fact they seem to work overtime, which is very good of them, and I appreciate the effort, but it does make coming home a bit burdensome.
So this week’s Six on Saturday is all about the harvest which should be a joyous time – except we are also frustratingly experiencing yet more power problems. In fact the generator has packed up completely and we are limping along with a borrowed little engine which can only run for a few hours everyday. It is also so noisy it sounds like you have a tractor running in the garden and it doesn’t produce enough energy to power the washing machine. Fingers crossed the freezers, already packed with garden produce, hold out on this limited power supply.
The plants are heaving with fruit. So much so in fact that during my absence a few broke their supports and toppled to the ground. It appears sticks and garden twine were not up to the job. I have re-strung them with bailer twine and I will consider building a wooden frame next year.
Never in more than a decade of kitchen gardening have I had such a fantastic pumpkin harvest. This lot ripened while I was away and there are still plenty more on the plants. Even the hens were impressed.
The Autumn fruiting raspberries are early this year. They started to ripen while we were away- usually I’m only harvesting them when the kids are back at school. It meant that when we returned from our ‘holiday’ about half had gone mouldy on the canes and many had been eaten by wasps which hung around the fruit cage in menacing numbers and made picking pretty uncomfortable. Still there’s more than enough to be getting on with and there’s plenty more to come. As well as making up a few batches of compote I dehydrated some whole and made a few trays of fruit leathers. For anyone who has experimented with my roll up recipe this mix is delicious; 1lb raspberries, 8oz redcurrant, 4oz blackcurrants. After pushing the puree through a sieve I found the consistency to be a little too runny so I reduced it in a large pan before spreading on a baking tray. The result was exceptional and definitely the best roll up mix to date.
4- Runner Beans
I do love runner beans, which is just as well as we have a wall of them at the end of the garden. I picked this lot in one go and expect a similar harvest every few days for the next couple of weeks. They freeze well, as long as the freezer is working of course, which requires electricity that we unfortunately only have in very short supply.
The hot house at the back of the green house is living up to its name with a fantastic crop of red chillies and some lovely sweet peppers too. Quite chuffed to have grown these all from seed, especially this far north in the UK.
Parsley seed can be fickle to germinate and the old adage goes that whoever can grow it wears the trousers in the house. I think this healthy looking patch I have cultivated proves the point completely.
If you enjoyed this and fancy popping into other gardens for a look around this weekend then head along to the The Propagator website where you will find lots more posts like this.
If you’re reading this in the UK then enjoy the bank holiday weekend.
All the best
Mum in the Woods