Monday, March 2

Sifting through

We managed not just one but two harvesting visits to the plot last week. That's the 'royal we' as Martyn made the first visit on his own whilst I was out. His real mission was to coppice one of our hazel bushes as he described in his post.

Before he returned home he grabbed a few supplies,

The carrots above are Chantenay Royal. Although the size of the roots varies considerably - largely to the fact that we don't thin out the seedlings - you can see that they are stubby with a short root.

Our second harvesting was combined with snowdrop rehoming and clearing the bed that is to become our new strawberry bed.
The above carrots are St Valery, although these again range from very large to tiddlers, these roots are longer in shape. As we would expect at this time of year, not all the roots are harvestable. Some are badly split and others have provided a meal for something other than ourselves. It's just a matter of sifting through. There are still plenty of edible roots which in spite of being in the ground so long would beat any shop bought carrots in a taste test.

We dug two varieties of leeks, on the right are Blue Solaise and on the left are Prizetaker.

I wasn't sure how good the sprouts would be once they'd been tidied up and outer layers of leaves removed but they were fine. There are some tiny sprouts at the top of the plants that may not be worth picking so this lot could be the last of out sprouts.

The stored potatoes are beginning to shoot and so we are experimenting with freezing some parboiled. I know potatoes are cheap to buy but why waste some that are home grown?
Yesterday, I combined some with leeks to make a batch of leek and potato soup - co-incidentally it was St. David's day, I'm sure he would approve.





35 comments:

  1. I am sure Dewi Sant would approve of your soup! I know I would, especially with a chunk of cheese and some crusty home made bread ~~~ hungry now.
    Those 'not worth picking' sprouts ~ would they work in a soup maybe? I am always freezing potatoes, I boil them in bulk and freeze ready made mashed or creamed potatoes in portions ready to pull out and just hot through.
    ~~~Deb

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    1. I had wondered about doing this too, Deb. Do you add milk or butter before freezing or after?

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  2. You're still getting some lovely harvests. I've never frozen potatoes but I don't see why it can't be done.

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    1. I know that you can freeze them, Jo - it's just how will they taste when thawed out?

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  3. I remember reading somewhere that you could freeze part-roasted potatoes (slightly browned & then cooled before freezing, I guess) and when needed you put them in a hot oven from frozen to finish cooking and heat up. I suspect it works best with small pieces of potato or even wedges - but if it works, it would be very convenient . I have often frozen portions of freshly cooked mashed potatoes (also pumpkins, swedes, parsnips) - reheats really well in a microwave. (I hate waste too !)

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    1. I wondered about roasting the par-boiled ones when thawed SandD

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    2. I've not tried it myself - I wonder if they fall apart at all when thawed (? depending on potato variety) - could be better not to thaw fully before roasting (trial and error is probably involved !). By the way, I add milk and butter to my mash before freezing.

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    3. Maybe you're right SandD

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  4. I've not tried freezing potatoes myself. I hate to waste them too. We eat them as long as the skins aren't greened up, which they usually don't for us.

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    1. Ours tend to go soft and develop long shoots rather than go green, Dave,

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  5. Lovely. The cabbage look small, but oh so good. It makes me wish I had bought some at the store when I was there. And I bet the carrots that have been in the ground over the winter are really tasty and sweet. I have gotten good carrots from one of the local farms, but the carrots from the store are all the same and so boring.

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    1. The cabbage was small, Daphne but large enough to enjoy. One went to my sister,

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  6. Carrots are always best fresh out of the garden, who knows how long the shop bought ones have been sitting around. That little cabbage makes everthing elso look so big in comparison!

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    1. Some of the carrots were huge Michelle

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  7. Your post has hit home today Sue - a pot of Tattie and Leek soup is presently cooking away on the stove - tomorrows dinner, yum!

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    1. We will be having the same today (Tuesday) Angie

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  8. Being the beginning of March, that is definitely a harvest to be envied. I'll be interested to know how your parboiled potato experiment turns out. I have only ever frozen mashed potatoes.

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    1. I'll report back Margaret as we are going ti try some today before freezing any more

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  9. Nice good harvest. I love leeks and savoy cabbage.
    http://LivingItUpAlternatively.blogspot.com

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    1. They are good to have at this time of year REA

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  10. Quite a good harvest for this time of year. Leek and potato soups sounds really good.

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    1. I suppose we could eat it cold and call it Vichyssoise Kelli although I guess this would have less potato and be thinner,

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  11. I think that twisted Parsnip is a classic! Your produce might not win any prizes for good looks, but it does well in terms of volume. And I thoroughly agree about the taste of home-grown carrots. They are just so much better than mass-produced ones. I wonder why this is...

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    1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Mark. I wonder which variety is grown commercially and would it taste as bland grown a gardem

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  12. A lovely harvest, but we're heading towards the hungry gap now I think. I have a few sprouts and leeks left, but not many. That pile of carrots would go down well here, we get through mountains of them.

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    1. They'll go down well here too CJ

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  13. I just love how you manage to harvest right throughout the year. The cabbage looks fab along with everything else. I totally agree re the carrots, I'm still pulling them up and they are far tastier than shop bought.xxx

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    1. Except May, Dina when we have to rely in the freezer

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    2. In case you haven't tried them before - Durham Early cabbages could help feed you in May - sow end Aug (or early Sept), plant out Sept/Oct - eat from march to early June. They start off as loose spring cabbage, but will happily stand for ages ultimately making big solid cabbages.

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  14. Great harvest sue, the number of carrots you've had over the winter has been fantastic.
    My potatoes are starting to sprout too, I keep meaning to try making a big batch of mashed potato to freeze.

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    1. All this talk on freezing mash has convinced me, Lou

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  15. Great harvest Sue! The carrots look so fat and juicy even though short in length! ;)

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    1. The ones in the bottom photo weren't really short Malar it was just that being so fat made the, look shorter.

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  16. Lovely harvest, Sue! The cabbage looks so healthy. And the tubby carrots are so appetizing.

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    1. Tubby carrots what a cute description Endah

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