Monday, July 20

Pick, pull, cut and pod

Harvesting is almost a full time job at the moment and we are having to squeeze in some essential jobs when we can which includes writing blog posts and visiting favourite blogs. 

It's not just the picking - you can understand why soft fruit is expensive - but there's also all the podding and picking over once the harvest arrives home. Not that we are complaining as our hoard will serve us well throughout the year.


Monday and Tuesday's harvest

The peas are producing well at the moment giving us lots to eat fresh and lots to freeze. Frozen home grown peas in the midst of winter are a treat.

The courgettes are now producing fruit in a range of shapes and colours. We are trying to catch them whilst they are still small but no doubt we will fail to keep up.

As we enjoy the first of they courgettes we have harvested and thoroughly enjoyed the last of the cherries. What a treat they were.
A few cherry tomatoes from Martyn's early experimental plants were added to out salads which also include freshly picked herbs and salad leaves that don't feature in photos.

Thursday's harvest



We picked the last of the Witkiem Manita broad beans and the cauliflowers just keep on coming and so some have to be frozen. 

The main problem was prioritising the fruit to be picked and trying not to devote all our time to picking as much of one type of fruit as we could
The sweet peas are beginning to flower just in time to take over from the sweet Williams which have now gone over.  The dianthus that has sneaked into the vase are the first flowers from cuttings that I took from bunches of flowers bought earlier.
The jostaberries have done really well this year and maybe to make up for devastating the plot cherry tree, the wood pigeons have either been content to eat fallen fruit or found something more to their liking elsewhere.

Jostaberry bushes grow quite large and even after yearly trimming have slightly outgrown my 5' 1" (approx 1.5m). We inadvertently ended up with six bushes as bits of prunings root really easily! It's a good job that we like the fruit.
 Saturday's harvest

We picked the first of our dwarf - Robin Hood broad beans.  The plants grow between 1' and 1.5' (30 - 45 cm) tall. We picked these small.

This time the sweet peas have been combined with a few cornflowers and some ammi from the annual bed which is just beginning to flower.

The collection above shows a small collection picked to add to our evenings fruit salad. We have no idea what some varieties are as they were grown from cuttings given to us. The green one is Hinnonmaki yellow and we have a Pax some of which we picked on Sunday. All develop into sweet fruit if left to mature fully before picking. I tend to use the taste and squeeze gently test.
It's tempting to just carry on picking fruit until the bushes are bare but we really have enough redcurrants now even though the bushes are still dripping with fruit. Up until now they have been protected under netting but I have now opened up the 'cage' to let in the blackbirds. Knowing how contrary they have been in the past they will probably lose interest now the currants are being offered freely.




48 comments:

  1. It may take them a day or two but the blackbirds will find the redcurrants. I've had so little time this year I haven't done anything with ours so left the cage door open as soon as they started ripening. It took the birds a week! And last year they were breaking in through the net roof! But when they did eventually find the confidence all the berries were gone within hours.
    Fabulous harvest Sue.

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    1. They know that they are there Jessica as they make a lot of fuss when I am in the cage picking them They may think that the fact that there is now access is a trap!

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  2. Such a fabulous harvest Sue, the birds have ignored my red currants this year & have gone for the black ones instead I have enough for some pots of jam so that's good enough for me. I'm picking the last of the peas today but have a few plants to replace them with also the broad beans with a bit of luck will be pulled out too I need the space & rather strangely they seem to have matured all at once x

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    1. If we didn't net the redcurrants they would all be gone on a day, Jo. The blackcurrants seem to survive better although often a blackbird will fly out of the bed squawking as we approach

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  3. You've certainly got your work cut out with that lot. As you say, it isn't just the harvesting, it's the processing once you get it all home which takes a lot of time. One thing's for sure, you're going to be eating well. Great harvest.

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    1. I think we'll manage our five a day, Jo

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  4. You two are real workaholics! How do you do it all. It must be a true labour of love. - and time to blog too!

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    1. We get plenty of time to sit and stare Roger and lots of coffee breaks although maybe not as much at fruit picking time

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  5. Ripe tomatoes - I am envious.
    As I don't have large storage facilities, I try to continually grow vegetables to pick and eat fresh, using mostly heritage varieties of seed which crop bit by bit (which is why commercial growers now use modern F1 varieties which crop all at once) or by staggering sowing into modules to plant out a batch at a time. Sometimes they all catch up with each other and a glut appears, but generally it works, spreading the crop into manageable eating quantities over the whole season.

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    1. The cauliflowers were plug plants SandD so we didn't really have a lot of choice over variety and couldn't stagger planting. Fortunately we like having some frozen. We so have another variety coming on but again we have a limited choice as we plant club root resistant varieties where possible. It's a case of all at once is better than none at all which was often the case before we settled in the varieties,that we now grow. I'm sure though that you are right about the heritage varieties,

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    2. It's a pity they haven't yet combined the advantages of heritage varieties with the excellent club root resistance of the modern resistant varieties. I usually include a few plants of these types along with the heritage ones (just to ensure there is something to eat - as you say) but their all-at-once maturing is tricky.

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  6. You must have plenty of freezer space, and energy to deal with all that. I all looks delicious.

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    1. We do, serendipity although one packed up earlier this year.

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  7. What a great photo of harvest all together - my goodness, you have a lot going on! I've never heard of jostaberries before. They look kind of like grapes in the picture??

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    1. Jostaberries are a cross between a gooseberry and a blackcurrant. Susie

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  8. Wow that requires a lot of picking time. It is an amazing amount of small fruit. I was really missing fruit this week, so I picked the alpine strawberries which I usually don't. They are so much more work than a regular strawberry. But really tasty.

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    1. You do need a lot of plants to get a decent picking of alpines too , Daphne

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  9. Oh boy, those harvests are amazing...it's no wonder you have been having a hard time keeping up!

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    1. It will ease off soon, Margaret!

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  10. Gosh, I can imagine how busy you must be picking and sorting that lot....what a fantastic harvest...especially all the soft fruit! Glad the blackbirds get to have a go too!
    Love the posies and that the cuttings took so well.xxx

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    1. Hopefully the blackbirds will enjoy the redcurrants and leave the blueberries alone, Dina

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  11. Great harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables ! I admire your commitment in the garden !!
    Greetings

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  12. How nice it must be to have such a big harvest, with enough to store away for Winter! The produce from my little plot cannot match the quantities you regularly turn out. You have such dedication to the task as well, because I'm sure it's very hard work.

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    1. There are many advantages to growing in your own back garden Mark and you do well from it

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  13. WOW! I have been scrolling down this post with my jaw dropped and my eyes widening with each click of the mouse. What a harvest!!! Beautiful and well done.

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    1. Amy and Ron I now have a funny mental picture

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  14. What impressive hauls Sue. You've plenty to keep you occupied. No doubt there's topping, tailing and perhaps some jam making going on too.

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    1. We don't eat jam, Anna but there is lots of compote making.

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  15. The Glencoe raspberries look good.Might try these as single plants at the top of my plant well away from my dying summer ones (see my blog post on recent raspberry troubles)

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    1. Glencoe grows like a blackberry, David and the fruit is small - well ours alwaysare

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  16. A very beautiful harvest!

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  17. Jostaberry -- I've never eaten them Sue. I've heard about this berries and should have in my garden but I have no more space for. Love your redcurrants, I soon will have the same harvest, the branches are down to the ground. I will cook gelly.
    Happy new week!

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    1. Jostaberries do take up quite a lot if space Nadezda. You have a good week too.

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  18. Busy busy. Look at all the berry picking and shelling you've been doing. It all looks delicious and well worth the effort.

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    1. Well worth the effort Phuong

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  19. Wow, so many fruit! You have been so busy harvesting. I love how pretty all the berries look photographed together.

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    1. The jewels of the plot Rachel

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  20. Lovely harvest! That's a real berries party, so nice.

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    1. I like the idea of a berries party Endah

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  21. Wowee! That is a very impressive blogpost! Lovely photos of amazing harvests!

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  22. My goodness--what a wonderful harvest. I'm so envious of your large pea harvest. I had chipmunks decimate my crop completely this year. I think I had all of EIGHT peas the entire time. So disappointing......

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    1. Don't know what happened here , Sue as I have only just noticed.

      Shame about the peas at least we don't have chipmunks to contend with.

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  23. Woah, that's a lot of fruit and veggies. I wish I had those peas! I find the raspberries take longest to pick, I didn't have chance to tie them in properly and the taller ones flop around. Plus I eat quite a lot of them as I'm picking so the end product brought home is a bit depleted heehee.

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    1. Raspberries do take a while to pick but I take longer over blackcurrants, Lou. Redcurrants are labour intensive but mainly take time at home destringing

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