Monday, July 7

A First for Some

Things really seem to have started to happen on the harvesting front. It's reached the stage where we have a choice of which vegetables shall we take home for dinner or which fruit really must be picked today? 

The birds are in a frenzy of making choices too regarding which fruit should they steal first. Most of the fruit not covered with netting we don't mind sharing but the jostaberry bushes are too large and scattered to net and the birds have developed a taste for them and stripped the bushes of the few fruits that they produced leaving us with just a tasting. I think it is their revenge from not being able to access the redcurrants.
Redcurrants, raspberries strawberries, jostaberries, red gooseberries, tayberries, Glencoe raspberries, green gooseberries, and alpine strawberries
One of our first harvests of the week was of gooseberries - we have picked both red and green varieties. The two bushes with the most fruit are sort of trained up wires and the branches allowed to grow quite long.

Another fruit first harvest was of blackcurrants. We have three Ben Connan bushes, two later fruiting Ben Lomond and one Ebony. Ebony developed big bud and so was severely 'pruned' so won't fruit this year. Mysteriously one Ben Connan always produces ripe fruit first even though the other two bushes of the same variety are more exposed to sunlight.

We only have a handful of raspberries but on new canes this is a bonus.
Casablanca potatoes, Witkiem Manita broad beans. blackcurrants, red gooseberries and mangetout
Two other firsts, this time vegetables, are broad beans and mangetout. After a slow start the broad beans have grown well - this variety is Witkiem Manita. The mangetout are Carouby de Mausanne which has grown better this season than it ever has for us. Previously we have started the seeds in pots but this year the seed were planted directly in the soil which seems to suit it better.
Salad leaves, spring onions and Mini Munch cucumber
Much of our harvest this week has been eaten raw in salads. When we have remembered we have picked Little Gem lettuce but having left the plot without said lettuce we resorted to cutting the salad leaves growing on a tray in the greenhouse. These had been overlooked and were past being planted out but in the end were not wasted.

This year we have actually managed to grow spring onions in a large pot in the greenhouse. In the past spring onion success has eluded us but we are hoping that we will have similar success growing them in our new Woodblocx raised bed. We have continued to harvest Mini Munch cucumbers which have been a revelation - thanks Jo.
Courgettes - Zucchini and Tondo Chiaro di Nizza
Two of our four varieties of courgettes have begun to mature so soon we will be in glutland. I have a courgette recipe page linked for the sidebar on my blog and will be revisiting some of my favourite recipes. We also eat the courgettes raw in salads.

Another revelation is just how delicious raw calabrese is but as the heads all seemed to come at once this lot is destined for the freezer


Despite being badly affected with blight we are harvesting Casablanca, Rocket and Winston potatoes. Fortunately these had produced a crop before being blighted. Winston seemed to be the most quickly affected. So far, fortunately the blight hasn't spread to other later planted varieties.

We keep a full details of our month by month harvesting on our web page here but this week I am joining the Monday Harvest over at Daphne's Dandelions.


40 comments:

  1. WOW on variety of your berries! LOVE IT! And Such gorgeous alpine strawberries - most americans don't know what they're missing but people in Europe know what taste good :)

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    1. You do need lots of alpine strawvberry plants to produce a useful harvest, Jenny. We use them to edge our fruit beds,

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  2. wow that`s one heck of a harvest, I believe the potato council gives a list of varieties that are more resistant to blight than others, sarpo is one but it`s a main crop

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    1. We have grown the Sarpo varieties in the past, David and they do have some resistance to blight but we prefer other varieties and usually manage a crop in spite of blight. This year the blight has just struck earlier than usual..

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  3. Those are some nice berries. Most of my berry harvest was meager this year, but at least the gooseberries provided.

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    1. We still have lots of blackcurrants to ripen, Daphne.

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  4. Your fruit harvest is impressive, I hope one day we will be able to match you.

    Jean x

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  5. That certainly is a good harvest Sue. I am so behind on everything this years it's unreal so most of my crops will be late but they will come and I will enjoy every mouthful I get!!

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    1. I'm sure everything will catch up Tanya especially if the weather is kind.

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  6. What a wonderful harvest and so soon, isn't it just brilliant to be able to pick your own food and know exactly how it was produced. Good to hear you have spring onions, they seem to be one thing I never have a problem with.xxx

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    1. Yes spring onions at last, Snowbird! It is food to be able to pick your own food - something primeval about it.

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  7. How nice to have such a varied harvest, and not to have to eat the same thing all the time. I'm glad you managed to same some of the blight-stricken potatoes. Have you tried any of the Sarpo varieties that David mentioned? I have heard that although their blight-resistance is good, they are not so special in terms of taste or texture. I expect they are working to develop those aspects though.

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    1. We tried Sarpo Mira a while ago Mark and although it did get touched by blight it grew through it. There are more varieties now though, Blight was just an early surprise this year,

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  8. Very nice harvest all round Sue, I'm impressed with the Alpine strawberries mine weren't up to standard this time.

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    1. We have some more ready to plant, Rooko. After a few year we dispose of them and keep adding new plants.

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  9. It's that time of year when all your hard work is rewarded with beautiful fruits and veggies!! The fruit photo is so great...love the variety!!

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    1. It is Juliet and let's hope it continues for a while.

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  10. Impressive harvests! All those berries look delicious.

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  11. Marvellous Sue. I love the soft red fruits, my favourite harvest of the year. Blackbirds permitting..

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    1. The blackbirds like soft black fruits too, Jessica. I dread to think what Ptolemy steals.

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  12. You're teaching even when you don't realize it: I'd never heard of calabrese before and had to look it up. Here everything is called broccoli.

    Your harvest looks delicious!

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    1. Well what do you know, tpals. I guess a lifetime as a teacher and the habit hard o break

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  13. What a fabulous berry harvest, your fruit is much further on than ours.

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    1. You'll be enjoying fresh berreie when ours are just a memory, Jayne/

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  14. Wow, what an amazing harvest. And courgettes already! The birds in the garden are stuffing themselves with the last of the tayberries as well as blueberries and raspberries. It seems to be a family of young blackbirds, and they're getting through quite a lot. I haven't seen my allotment in nearly two weeks, I shall try and get down there tomorrow and see what is to be seen. What do jostaberries taste like? I seem to remember they're a cross between gooseberries and blackcurrants.

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    1. Jostaberries taste more blackcurranty to me and more gooseberry to Martyn, CJ. We have blackbirds permanently singing and chucking - even in the rain, I guess they are more than happy at the moment

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  15. Great harvests and that fruit looks really tasty.

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  16. Great harvest! It's a real fruity week! Your courgettes look so healthy. I have been waiting for the first fruit of my courgette-zucchini. Hope it will set great fruits for me.

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    1. I'm sure it will, Endah courgettes are very prolific once they get going

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  17. All your hard work coming to fruition - you should both be as healthy as healthy things with all that fresh veg and lovely fruit. It all looks wonderful.

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    1. I think we will manage our five a day, Elaine

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  18. Wow! That's a lot of berries! Your allotment is rewarding you with a lot of vegetables too! ;)

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    1. It's a good time of year ,Malar

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  19. Now that's what I call impressive - and a lot of follow up work in the kitchen, no doubt! I need to pick your brains as to how to get such a good crop of redcurrants and gooseberries. My redcurrant bush is 3 years old and I've had a meagre couple of strings this year and last. The gooseberry bush is in its second year and has leafed out beautifully but no berries. Some tips on pruning/feeding/netting would be most useful!

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    1. True about the follow-up work, Caro. Our redcurrants are inherited so quite old bushes and the be honest other than reducing the height and cutting out dead branches or those trailing on the floor - we do nothing with them. Martyn did make a netting cage for them as if they are un-netted the blackbirds strip them,

      I do prune the gooseberries again they are fairly old in fact many originally were from cuttings. Most are justin beds and I thin out the branches to create an open shape See this post which shows the shape. The two most prolific this year are pruned in a sort of fan and tied it to a wire fence. We don't net gooseberries. I'll try to remember to do a post when I next prune them. As for feeding the redcurrants have had no feeding at all and the gooseberries maybe some fish blood and bonemeal at the beginning of the year but not much else. To be honest we treat then fairly mean so maybe it's just yours need time to mature.

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  20. Gah! Sorry, comment disappeared on me! Great fruit, impressive spring onions, mine are pathetic this year, think I will go back to growing them in the beds instead of pots.

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    1. We have failed with spring onions for a couple of years now and this year have grown them in a large pot, Janet. Previously we had no problems and I know others have gad the same trouble. Maybe seed quality has deteriorated

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