Monday, June 23

Let the harvest commence

The title of this post is a bit of literary license as we have been harvesting bits and pieces in previous weeks. Last week however, seemed the first week when we came home from the plot with a box of produce making it feel like the real start of harvest time - the point when planting starts to give way to picking. 

One harvest was unplanned and the result of our early potatoes being infected by blight - I posted about it here. We would maybe have waited a week or so before digging any potatoes but seeing as some of the Winston plants had no tops left with which to feed the tubers we dug one and had the first of our new potato crop.
We have been harvesting the autumn planted onions for a couple of weeks or so now. After last year's failure these have been a resounding success. Even the red onions which can be a bit temperamental have done well.

Yesterday we came away from the plot with this.
The spring cabbage and calabrese were from plug plants bought to replace our own seed sown brassicas that succumbed to club root. The year before it was wood pigeons! Martyn posted on our plug plants here.

We've already had a few spring cabbages. Even though the slugs have browsed on the outer leaves peeling these away reveals a good clean heart. Some of the one above was made into coleslaw and some of the calabrese was also eaten raw with a salad.

We also had our first Mini Munch cucumber - thanks to Jo for the seeds. Two plants are growing in a cold frame. We look set for a few more soon.
The rest of the harvest was fruit. Picking redcurrants is a much easier task this year since Martyn constructed a mark 2 fruit cage. I now have an access door so don't have to creep under netting and also I can stand up without entangling my hair. The blackbirds aren't impressed!
The strawberries are providing a steady supply of fruit. The berries are smaller now indicating that the plants are tired. I wonder why the blackbird prefers to sneak under the netting but leaves the un-netted berries alone.
The alpine strawberries are also producing lots of ripe fruit. It's a mystery how I can think I have picked over the plants and then Martyn goes over the plants and finds more.
Another favourite with the blackbird is the tayberry that is planted just under its favourite singing site. Hopefully there will be enough fruit to share.
Lastly there are the flowers that I posted about here. I bought some fresh sweet William seeds, some mixed colours of sweet rock and some ammi which I am about to sow to add to nest year's cutting material but at the moment it is sweet Williams and ox-eyed daisies to brighten up the house.
This week I am linking to Daphne's Harvest Monday over at Daphne's Dandelions.


25 comments:

  1. What a wonderful harvest. I especially love the berries. I planted currents for the first time last year. there are just a couple of trusses and they are starting to turn. But I'm not sure when to pick the Pink Champagne current as I really don't know how pink it gets. But I guess I'll find out.

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    1. I'll be interested to hear about the pink berry, Daphne

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  2. Fantastic harvest Sue, look at all that fruit!

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    1. Fruitbushes really earn their keep, Jo

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  3. Great stuff. Less good to read about the blight though.
    Something is getting into our fruit cage and pinching the redcurrants. I have yet to identify the culprit but squirrel, mouse and blackbird are all under surveillance.

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    1. You'll have to set up a camera, Jessica. It's amazing how things find a way in,

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  4. A wonderful supply of natures bounty, pleased the spuds are not a complete disaster

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  5. Such lovely berries! Maybe the blackbirds like a good challenge. And congratulations on the onions. They are a difficult crop in my garden.

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    1. Maybe like us they appreciate things more if they have to work for then , Dave. Lasy year the autumn planted onions were a washout!

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  6. Great picking of berries! We'll be looking to maybe dig up our potatoes late July if everything goes OK.

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    1. Those are the earliest potatoes, TG

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  7. I'm very envious of that spring cabbage. Was it really only planted this year? Amazing. I'll definitely try some next year. If they're ready to harvest before the cabbage white butterflies get going then that might work for me. I picked masses of tayberries last night after the eldest boy had supposedly picked them all. Just one plant has a really high yield, it's a good value for money crop. I lifted one lot of onions on Sunday and left them at the allotment to dry. There was a heavy shower last night, which was most unexpected, but no doubt they're dry again by now.

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    1. It was planted as a plug plant though,CJ. Do you use butterfly nets?

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  8. Such a good haul for so early in the harvesting season.

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    1. It almost seems a shame to pick things when they look so good in the ground., Elaine but we overcome our reluctance

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  9. Great harvest Sue! The cabbage snd calabrese are so interesting for me. Your berries look so appetizing. So various berry!

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    1. And lots more to come we hope, Endah.

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  10. It's great when the harvests start. My strawberries are producing well, I'm really pleased with them being inherited plants, I wasn't sure if they'd produce much or not this year. Glad to see that the cucumbers are producing too, I got loads of small fruit last year. I've got a plant in the greenhouse this year and one outdoors too and they've both got quite a few small cucumbers growing now so it won't be long until I'm harvesting some too. Thanks for the mention.

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    1. So Mini Munch will grow outdoors too, Jo - Interesting as we thought that it had to be indoors and the cold frame was risking it Maybe we can let it escape out of the frame too then

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    2. It grew well outdoors last year, but we had a good summer, didn't we? I'm trying it again this year so I'll be able to tell better at the end of the season, comparing it to the one growing in the greenhouse, but it's looking ok so far. Plenty of fruit growing on it at the moment.

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  11. I agree with you - this past week was the first "real" harvest week, with a selection of crops available, not just one or two. My cucumber plants have grown a huge amount over the past few days, and their first fruits are swelling rapidly. Picking that quantity of Alpine Strawberries must require a lot of patience!

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    1. It's not too bad, Mark the alpines form a border and so are close together. Not as bad as picking currants especially blackburrants!

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  12. Struth, harvesting all that fruit already? Amazing, I bet it tastes even better than it looks! I don't have a single strawberry yet so am rather envious!xxx

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    1. They went down a treat, Snowbird except for the r3dcurrants that have been frozen. I picked another two punnets of those today now I have the tedious task of pulling the currants off the sprigs

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