Monday, August 7

Not what I call small

The Oullins Gage plums are at the delicious stage and we are picking lots on each plot visit. A couple of punnets have gone to plot neighbours. This year we have only had a couple of unwanted occupants in the form of plum moth larvae. We always cut plums in half before eating just to make sure.

I don't know whether the waspinators, which incidentally have survived the rain showers, have been responsible but so far the plum trees have been a wasp free area. Long may this continue. No doubt at some point the wasps will realise that they have been duped.

We are now pulling the second sowing of peas. The pods are in much better condition than the first lot that we harvested.  I'm making sure that both the peas and the sweet peas are well watered.
31 July
Two rows of Kestrel potatoes have been lifted. They produced a modest bucketful of tubers. As was the case last year not one of the potatoes had any pest damage. They are also very tasty. Two reasons why they will stay on our potato list for next season.
Kestrel
I'm picking peas on every plot visit as we want to enjoy them at their best rather than harvesting cannonball sized peas.
1 August
The Robin Hood broad beans are now ready. These are the first broad beans that we have sown direct rather than in pots. Despite our misgivings they are now producing lots of diminutive pods. The beans are miniature sized too but very tasty with no outer shell.
Robin Hood
Last week we picked our first ripe tomatoes. No prizes for guessing that the first to ripen was Sungold.  The ones pictured below alongside the watercress were our second picking. Both were fresh from the garden and enjoyed for lunch along with the cucumber in the first photograph.
 Sweet peas are still being picked by the bucketload
3 August
The ones above went to my sister as we already had vases of them all over the house.
Malwina is still producing a few strawberries. It's just about time now for us to remove the nets and carry out a general tidy up of the beds. Unless there are gaps to fill, all the runners will be removed too.

The Cobra Climbing French beans are giving a steady supply but so far the other French Climbing beans are still to start giving. Likewise Celebration is the only productive runner bean so far.
5 August
I am now picking from the second and third cropping blueberry bush. The third has lots of impressive sized berries.

I'm being selective when picking the blackberries as the dry conditions seem to be preventing all the berries from swelling and some are black but rather solid.

Did you notice the sprinkling of All Gold autumn raspberries?
Kalibro
Our Kalibro cabbages have produced what I would call large heads. We picked one which we brought home wearing, Martyn's helmet
The seed catalogue describes Kalibro as quoted here 'Produces small heads 2-2.25kg in weight'. This cabbage weighed in at 2.3kg (about 5lb) slightly overweight according to this description but another seed company states that the heads could weigh as much as 3kg (over ). I don't really call that small do you? I wonder how long the heads will keep before splitting.
As well as as cutting sweet peas I am also cutting flowers from our newly planted perennial bed and the annual flower bed. More on that in a later post.
This year we have been pleased with the number of fruits that have been produced by the peach and nectarine trees growing in the garden greenhouse. The fruits are fairly small probably due to our extreme reluctance to thin them. The problem is that we are convinced that if we did thin them the ones remaining on the tree would fall off!

We decided to try a couple of fruits to see whether they were ready. The verdict was that they are not quite there although there was a hint of the flavour to come. Now which will come first fully ripe fruits picked from the tree or the tree giving up and shedding under-ripe specimen?

Martyn posted a video of the picking ceremony on his blog yesterday,


As usual I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres





26 comments:

  1. Okay, so wearing a helmet is the new way to protect against Cabbage White, yes? Great harvesting, and I'm pleased your Kestrel are tasty, for nothing is worse than a watery, flavourless potato. Do you ever make wine with your plums? When I made wine, golden plum was one of the best I ever made.

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    1. That's a thought, Deborah but too many helmets would be needed. No we don't make wine, we just enjoy the plums as they are or cook some down to use over winter.

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  2. This is a great time of year when the harvests are so varied. I came home from holiday to find the first of my ripe tomatoes, I'm only growing Maskotka this year but the plants are filled with fruit.

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    1. It is, Jo although the berry harvest is winding down now.

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  3. What a wonderful fruit and vegetable harvest! And the flowers are beautiful!
    Have a great week!

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  4. I see you are growing your cabbage under floating row cover, I am using it for the first time and hoping for good results. I have similar problem with small Asian pear due to reluctance to thin.

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    1. The mesh over the cabbages is an attempt to keep the whitefly off, Norma and it does seem to work.

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  5. A wonderful harvest, that cabbage head is huge (or at least compared to what I grow)!

    Oof, wasps ...

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    1. We do seem to be achieving cabbages larger than usual this year for some reason, Susie.

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  6. That is one mighty fine looking cabbage head! Loved your harvest. Your cut flowers are looking good too.xxx

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    1. Thanks, Dina. There are plenty more cabbages where that one came from. We will be turning green.

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  7. I agree - a 2.3kg cabbage would be a big one for me! Unless I am making kraut I prefer smaller heads, which feed the two of us nicely. The peach and nectarine are really lovely! Brown rot gets all of ours.

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    1. We are hoping that the next peaches and nectarines that we pick fully ripe, Dave

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  8. It's interesting to see favas, um broad beans and tomatoes harvested at the same time. I plant my tomatoes as soon as the broad beans vacate the garden so there's no chance of harvesting them together. Not exactly small is so true! It's like the "baby" cabbage Pixie that I grow, it always grows quickly past "baby" size.

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    1. These are the second sowing of broad beans um fava, Michelle. Large babies eh?

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  9. That's beautiful harvest of vegetables and colourful flowers Sue! The cabbage must be really huge to fit into the helmet!
    Hope it will take long time for the wasp to know that they were duped! ;)

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  10. The cabbage was as big as Martyn's head, Malar :-)

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  11. I always enjoy seeing what flowers you are cutting Sue, and your mix of sweetpea colours is very pretty. It does seem to be a good cabbage-year here too, although nothing to compete with the size of the helmeted one! This year ours at growing under enviromesh to keep out whitefly, which makes a lot of difference to the overall appearance of the leaves (thank goodness!)

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    1. The reason we are using is to keep the whitefly at bay too, and it does seem to work. It is especially good to keep it off the broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
      We've been trying to decide why the cabbages are doing so well this year and wonder whether it is because it has been dry and it has made us water them very well as normally we would rely upon the rain which maybe doesn't provide as much moisture as we have. A strange irony.

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  12. Such wonderful harvests! We too are just starting on the tomato harvests - they seem to be a tad late this year.

    Oh, that peach and nectarine look scrumptious! Fingers crossed that it won't be much longer until you indulge in the sweet, juicy goodness you are anticipating.

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    1. It's going to be a case of whether the peaches and nectarines ripen first or fall off the tree first, Margaret we have had a couple fall off this week.

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  13. Sue, what a wonderful harvest! Your potato is amazing, I've lifted mine - they are smaller than your but I've eaten with appetite, very tasty young potato. I also liked your bouquet of dahlias, it's a really summer bouquet.

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    1. The Kestrel potatoes have a lovely flavour, Nadezda.

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  14. Everything looks grand, but now I am intrigued. What do you do with your harvest if you don't can? That is a lot of harvest.

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    1. We freeze what we can't use straight away, Bonnie. Or in the case of potatoes and onions etc we store in sacks and boxes. Carrots, parsnips leeks and other winter vegetables are left Om the ground and harvested when required. I do pickle beetroot and shalllts though.

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