Monday, October 24

Not every pear shaped fruit is a pear and not all pears are pear shaped.

17 October
The two plastic bags above  contain our smallest shallots which I brought home to pickle.

In the group photo above you may just spot some small - very small - sprigs of broccoli. Martyn cleared one of the brassica beds and found this offering before consigning the rest to the compost or - in the case of the roots - the wheelie bin.

Last week marked the last of out actual apple harvest. This time the apples in question were Queen Cox from one of our small apple trees.

We had two - cut open of course - with our coffee break during one visit to the plot. On another day we spotted a couple of Egremont Russet left on the tree. Nothing can beat a ripe apple picked fresh from the tree although equal enjoyment was provided this week by our now ripe and drippingly, juicy pears.

I think this year has been our best ever apple and pear year. They seem to have enjoyed the conditions.

We have a quince tree on the plot that people often mistake for a pear. You can see why.
This year it is loaded with fruit. It's the last of our fruit to reach maturity. Each year as summer ticks by we are convinced that the fruit just isn't growing and then it seems to suddenly put on a growth spurt. It loses its furry coat and starts to give off a lovely aroma indicating the fruit is ready to be picked.
The difference in colour of the raw fruit is due light conditions. The large photo is most true to life.
All the quince photos, except for the stewed fruit, are of different fruits and I reckon we have as many again left on the tree - it's been a very good year for quince too. The fruit isn't something to be eaten raw. The centre is reminiscent of a brick. We pick our fruit in batches to be stewed and frozen.

I keep being asked what recipes we create from our fruit and my reply makes us sound very boring as most is either eaten raw as an after dinner/lunch dessert or stewed and frozen. Some will be eaten throughout the year on top of our morning porridge but no doubt some will end up being used in tarts, pies and crumbles. The fruit is so delicious that we don't like to add too many other ingredients to it and use as small an amount of sugar as we can get away with. 

On Saturday we had an added bonus as a Delsanne pear had fallen from the tree - I must have missed it when picking. Fortunately it was undamaged and hadn't been nibbled.
Not everything has done well this year though.
It hasn't been a brilliant year for peppers and aubergines. Ours are grown in our garden greenhouse where this year the lack of sunshine has impeded growth and ripening. The aubergines have remained very small. Fortunately the variety we grow - Jackpot - produces fruit that are edible when very small.  The peppers weren't going to ripen any further and so both peppers and aubergine plants have been stripped and fruits frozen.
19 October
The autumn raspberries are not enjoying the lower temperatures one little bit and I don't expect to pick much more fruit. On the other hand the alpine strawberries should continue to fruit until the first real frosts which usually occur during November.

We are still managing to pick a few tomatoes, the ones in the photo are from outdoors on the plot.

The plastic bag above contains a batch of chives that I brought home to freeze. I read somewhere - maybe on one of your blogs - that I could chopped up the chives and fill ice cube trays with the clippings and freeze. Then I could tip out the trays and end up with little cubes of frozen herbs.
It didn't work as the chive cubes crumbled when tipped out. Still I have ended up with a small bag of frozen chopped chives.  I want to try to freeze more herbs so maybe I will need to add a drop of water to the cubes so the herbs freeze in a little ice. Anyone any tips?

Finally our mini harvest on Sunday confirmed to me that the seasons are shifting.
Swede and our trademark wonky carrots! It's been a while since we grew swedes so we will enjoy them all the more.


Today I am linking to Harvest Monday on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

25 comments:

  1. Re the freezing of herbs in ice-cube trays: I was always told that you need the herbs to be in water, although recently I have seen somewhere that doing it with olive oil works well too. The oil solidifies around the herbs, but I can't help thinking that it would taint the herbs too. Maybe OK with things like Basil, which are often cooked with olive oil anyway?

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    1. I read that you could freeze without water too, Mark which is why I tried it.

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  2. Yes, I would fill the trays with water as well as the herbs. Or otherwise maybe they can be frozen on trays and put into bags and spooned out as needed. Your quinces look brilliant.

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    1. According to my sister I shouldn't have dried the washed herbs. CJ. Makes sense so I'll try a different herb

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  3. For leeks and chives, after washing, I slice/chop, place in freezer bag and freeze, and like CJ, spoon out as needed. I like your treatment of fresh fruits, not at all boring as I do the same, eaten raw as an after dinner/lunch dessert.

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    1. I'm glad that you don't think it's boring Norma

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  4. The quince fruit is lovely. My parents had an ornamental kind but I don't recall ever eating them. They were round and not nearly as big as yours. And those wonky carrots look good to me, as I never got around to planting any this year.

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    1. The ornamental quince is a different species, Dave but I think they are edible. We have one on the garden and I've never tried the fruit either. Nothing wrong with wonky carrots.

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  5. I'm amazed at all that gorgeous quince. It's hard to find here and when I do find it it always seems to be too green.

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    1. We don't see quince in the shops here, Michelle.

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  6. I'm like you in that I prefer fruit in as close to it's natural state as possible. Thankfully one of our favourite fruits - apples - store quite well, depending on the variety. That was a big consideration when I was picking out our trees.

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    1. Another vote for fruit 'au naturel', Margaret so maybe we are not as boring as we thought.

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  7. I'm in awe of your quince harvest! We planted a quince a year ago and although we had flowers this year we do not seem to have any fruit. Probably too young yet.

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    1. We planted our tree six years ago, sweffling it is a Meeches Prolific which variety did you plant.

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  8. What a fabulous harvest. I love the smell of a bowl of quince - like nothing else and hard to describe, but gorgeous :)

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    1. The taste is very hard to describe too, Jayne.

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  9. It's quite an achievement to grow Cox in the North. I am lost in admiration.
    Our village plot has a wonderful crop of apples this year. Any villager can help themselves but very few do. Its a shame!

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    1. It is Queen Cox, Roger - does that make a difference?

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  11. I think it was Caro who was freezing the herbs in ice cube trays..
    My peppers did badly this year too!
    You do still have a great harvest there, reading about your juicy pears had me remembering Gardener's World, where Monty was saying that pears ought to be eaten while bathing!xxx

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    1. I'll be trying again, Dina I'll look back at Caro's blog.

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  12. However, your pears make me so jealous.

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    1. And I am jealous of your lemons.

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  13. That's good harvest! The Quince really like ripe pear!

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