Monday, July 3

Sweetly scented harvest

We had some long awaited rain last week and the plants have appreciated it. Unfortunately so have the weeds. It's at time like this that we really appreciate the weed control fabric as only the beds where it is not used need attention. I'm really trying to keep on top of the beds that I cleared this year - the autumn raspberry bed and the long perennial border. I'm especially vigilant for any emerging bindweed as I don't want it to regain a strong foothold.

Last Monday after the other tasks for the day - which I posted about here - we managed to harvest a few things.
26 June
We gathered our first lot of broad beans - Witkiem Manita. Although the plants were battered by gales, they seemed to pull themselves upright and are actually the most upstanding plants we have grown. 

We lifted the first of the open ground planted potatoes - Casablanca. These had grown well despite not having any water at all through the dry spell. The tubers were clean and had no damage - slug or otherwise - at all.
There were still a few sweet Williams but I reckon we have now picked the last of them. It's now time to sow next year's seeds along with wallflowers and sweet rocket.
We can't visit the plot without spending a not inconsiderable time harvesting berries. As lots of the fruit will be frozen to enjoy throughout the rest of the year, I feel a bit like a squirrel must when busily collected nuts to stash as winter supplies.
30 June
The jostaberries have been really prolific this year. I have picked lots despite the sound of wood pigeons taking off every time I approach the area where they are planted. Fortunately they have done little damage to they branches which they often snap in their efforts to reach the berries. Last year I pruned them harder than usual and they seem to have responded. They'll be given the same treatment this year.
Although the sweet Williams are coming to an end, the sweet peas are beginning the flower. I managed a couple of small posies but there should be lots more to come and it will not only be berries that I will be kept busy picking. 
I also picked a couple of posies of lavender which I am sure the bees won't resent as I have left plenty for them.
The calabrese has produce plenty of side shoots, some are even almost as big as the main heads. We are just hoping that the cauliflowers will match up to the other members of the collection and will then earn a five star rating.
1 July
We have a couple of pots of parsley in the garden greenhouse. One is curled and one is flat leaved. Both will soon be moved out into the garden but the flat leaves had already grown enough to allow for a modest harvest.
The smaller of the two punnets of raspberries below contains the early variety Glen Moy, a plant which survived after we removed a row of canes some years ago. One clump was missed and quietly built up to fruiting strength behind the quince tree. The larger punnet contains Tulameen.
2 July
Another first for the week was a picking of blueberries from the earliest of our four blueberry bushes. There are plenty more to come. The blackbird isn't happy and complained at me loudly whilst trying to figure out how I managed to get under the netting.

We were surprise to notice some red berries on Malwina which is a late fruiting strawberry. We picked the first fruits in mid July last year. Malwina is in a class of its own when it comes to flavour. We were happy to note that this years berries were just as delicious as those produced last year and are hoping for lots more to come.



If you are interested:
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I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres




32 comments:

  1. Great cropping as ever. My blackcurrants are picking a full fortnight early this year and will be done by the time picking normally begins. It was an odd winter, I wonder if this is behind some of our crops being early birds?

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    1. Our blackcurrants haven't really produced good pickings yet, Deborah. It's just as well as we are busy picking the other berries and then they have to be prepared for the freezer.

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  2. Fantastic potatoes Sue. And how do you get through all that fruit!
    Picked my own self sown parsley today. Brenda is making kedgeree for Cathi who comes round after our pilates!

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    1. We like our fruit, Roger. You could say that we are fruitaholics.

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  3. Particularly good-looking beans and potatoes, Sue. The spuds did well to develop so nicely without artificial watering. And the berries... what can I say? Maybe just Yum, Yum!

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    1. We thought the potato harvest would be sparse considering how dry the ground was where they were growing, we never water our ground planted potatoes, we just don't have the time to water everything.

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  4. Those are some lovely potatoes - the skins on mine are never that pretty. Such a pretty lavender too with the deep purple flowers. The bees and butterflies both love ours for sure!

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    1. That was straight out of the ground too, Dave. They hardly even needed washng. :-)

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  5. Your berry harvests are enviable, as usual. Broad beans (favas) are just a frozen memory now but I still have a couple of pots of potatoes to upend. That lavender is a lovely color, so unusual.

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    1. We haven't started freezing broad 'fava' beans yet, Michelle as we have only picked for eating. I can't help seeing Hannibal Lecter when I hear the words fava beans.

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  6. Oh...your soft fruit is amazing! I laughed when you said you were just harvesting a few things, that could be my entire crop for a year! I have lots of sturdy broad beans too, they are a little bigger than I like them though, I do need to keep an eye on them but everything grows so quickly at this time of the year. Gosh, blueberries? mine are nowhere near ripe. Lovely looking potatoes!xxx

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    1. Maybe your blueberries at a later variety than ours, Dina. We have four bushes that all ripen fruit at slightly different times and those berries were picked from the earliest the others still have green berries in fact one hasn't really developed its berries yet.

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  7. Your potatoes and berries look so delectable, and the side shoots on your broccoli are huge. So wonderful. We've been preserving our harvests as well, it's a wonderfully busy time of year.

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    1. It's the time we have been working all year towards isn't it, Phuong?

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  8. Blueberries already! and strawberries still! I am the proud recipient of a jostaberry plant. It won't fruit 'til next year but do tell me what you do with the fruit?

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    1. The blueberries are from our earliest variety, Mal. We use the just the jostaberries in the same way as we would blackcurrants or gooseberries although we tend to just make the most of ours into a compote to have with porridge or yoghurt. We freeze lots too. Be warned wood pigeons love the berries.

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  9. Oh that's a veritable treasure trove Sue. All that lovely fruit! Do you ever make summer pudding? Good to hear that the pigeons are staying clear of your jostaberries. I and another plot holder have lost nearly all our goosegogs this year :( Pigeons are the suspect. It's never happened before.

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    1. I have made summer pudding previously, Anna. the woodpigeons often are disturbed from around the jostaberries but I think they are eating the berries that fall off.

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  10. What an enviable harvest! Lovely potatoes, so nice and clean. And great broccoli, rabbits and squirrels did mine in this year, so hopefully the fall plantings will do well. I LOVE all your fruit! I could live on fruit in the summer. I am going to have to find more kinds that will grow here in the desert. I just finished digging all my potatoes, thinking about where to put in a few for the fall.

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    1. That's such a shame about your broccoli, Mary. It's the wood pigeons, butterflies and slugs that try and ruin ours. This year I think we beat them to it.

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  11. Sue, you are also knee deep in soft fruit aren't you? What a lovely "problem" to have though! You mentioned hard pruning the Jostaberry and it reminded me that is what I did last year.. and have partly done this year already. Finish it this week. Hope that is why we both have had such lovely crops!

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    1. We are still picking jostaberries, Kathy but I will prune well again this year. To be honest it grows so much that hard pruning is a necessity

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  12. Colourful and beautiful bounty, a justifiable reward for all your hard work.

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    1. It's what it's all about, Brian.

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  13. An impressive haul Sue, so much fruit already. Be nice to see a normal sized strawberry on ours!!

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    1. It's really just Malwina that has produced decent sized strawberries this year, Dicky. It's the star of the strawberry patch and tastes delicious too.

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  14. Well, wow, that's an incredible harvest - good for you! So much yummy stuff to eat and the flower selections are so pretty. You're way ahead of us in terms of ripeness, we've been rather cold and wet up here. Goodness I look forward to having our harvests now with baited breath! Enjoy!

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    1. It's been very dry here, Carrie. We've been kept busy watering more than I can remember having to do in the past. There's no sharing is there? It's all or nothing.

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  15. Fabulous harvests! And so colourful. I.can just imagine the scents! We're still waiting for rain...

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    1. We are still waiting for rain too , Belinda. We heard distant rumbling on Thursday but that was as near as it got.

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