Picking the Produce

The beginning of June started off very warm with temperatures above normal, but I missed it due to being quite poorly with Covid. Yep, it got me, even though I’ve had a vaccination. And no, I wasn’t sloppy with social distancing etc it got me in my own home, via my son who up until that point hadn’t had a vaccination. Horrid virus. Typically, now that I’m well (and testing negative) to come out and play on the allotment again there’s a noticeable dip in temperature, unsettled weather has returned with some days and evenings feeling quite chilly for the time of year. We’re promised warmer weather soon, I’m just grateful to be outside again, rain or shine.

Although the plot is a bit behind this year ( the same for many other gardeners too) I have begun to harvest some things which is always exciting! Strawberries are very good this year, I suspect the wet weather of May and scorching start to June played a key role. Garlic scapes have been a real treat in stir fries, even though my sense of taste is not what it should be (thanks Covid) I could just about make out some garlicky tones. Not having my sense of smell is probably a good thing after eating this little lot, perhaps not so good for other people though……

Broad bean flowers were amazing this year, but they seemed to take forever to form pods which actually worked in my favour while self isolating, otherwise I would have missed out on the young smaller beans that I love to eat raw, straight from the pods. They’re also lovely as a dip for crusty bread or other raw vegetables, just whizz them up in a blender with garlic, olive oil and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Delicious!

Kohl Rabi are swelling nicely, I picked a couple today for a slaw. Despite their alien appearance I think they’re a beautiful vegetable, just look at the colour on these purple ones!

I’m harvesting immature onions grown from seed from multi sown clumps and using as spring onions, hopefully the ones that are left with more space will bulb up but they’re not looking as good as the ones growing in my garden at home. Oh well, they make great spring onions so it’s not a fail!

That’s about it for the harvests on the allotment for now, I plan to harvest some second early potatoes that went in a bit later than usual and the garlic very soon too.

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Pumpkin Harvest

Autumn has arrived with falling leaves and fresh frosty mornings, I’ve already gathered my pumpkins from the allotment to store at home and it was another great year for growing them. They happen to be my favourite crop to grow which makes a good harvest even more rewarding.

pumpkin and squash harvest

The varieties I grew this year and number harvested are as follows:

  • Rouge Vif D’Etampes pumpkin x 6
  • Sweet Dumpling winter squash x 29
  • Waltham Butternut squash x 12

I’ve already used a pumpkin for making pumpkin and raisin cakes and donated my biggest pumpkin to the village show raffle.

pumpkins

Sweet Dumpling winter squash are absolutely delicious with a sweet nutty flavour and just so pretty too, try them roasted whole in their skin or simply chop into bite size chunks to roast with your other favourite vegetables. They’re super small and hunting for them at harvest time is so much fun!