Sunday pickings

I had so much planned for today but then I ran out of time. I must confess it was my own fault, I fell asleep after a late lunch and woke up at 4. I would have slept for longer but the plants were calling for some water.

 I had a gentle stroll round the plot enjoying the scents of the flowers on the breeze and the sound of the birds talking as they play. There was no one there as they had already gone home. Sometimes it’s nice to chat but equally, some peace and nature is just as good. 

I didnt water yesterday and boy were the plants looking miserable! I was lulled into a false sense of security by the rain which hammered down for 30 minutes. Given that the ground was like rock when I arrived I think it barely wet the plants’ whistle before it all evaporated. 

As per usual at this time of year everything is galloping along. 2 days ago I harvested a handful of blueberries. Suddenly the whole bush was ready. As you can see below, I will have to eat them sparingly to make them last! The bushes are only 2 years old and this year’s crop is at least double last year’s so I can’t complain.

It has been interesting to compare the different beans. I have climbing bean ‘Cobra’ , yellow french dwarf beans ‘Minidor’ , ‘Wachs beste von allen’ and ‘Kinghorn wax’ as well as purple dwarf bean ‘Purple queen’. The cobra is getting well acquainted/ lost in the sweet peas, the yellow beans are flowering but not yet producing much but the purple beans which have survived a hammering from black fly are throwing out veg left right and centre. The fun thing about them os that when you boil them they turn green. Pretty neat if you have children who don’t mind waiting at least 10 mons to see the end of the magic trick.

I have begun to have pickings of the salad leaves. All my spinach has bolted and been pulled up so I am reliant on other forms of salad leaf until it gets a bit colder again. I have a mixture of cut and come again, iceberg, lambs lettuce and roundhead lettuce. I add in beetroot thinnings every now and again. Each week I have sown more to ensure continuous cropping. I would like to grow winter lettuce but havent found seeds in the local shops; Probably need to order some online. 

I have never really been successful with herbs but to my delight the herbs I sowed ages ago are beginning to pay off. This dinner time I had 2nd earlies ‘Charlotte’ boiled with basil and a bit of butter. The basil was an odd choice you may think but gosh, it was delicious! The man is now sold on basil with everything which is great as we have loads. The other herb which will be used everyday in salads is my coriander. I have 2 varieties ‘slow bolt’ and ‘confetti’. True to it’s name the former is growing slowly and all leaf. Confetti has bolted but the tiny white flowers add a pop of flavour and colour so what’s not to like?

I harvested my red onions ahead of schedule because they were bolting. Luckily only the ones on the bottom right are no good. Everything else was caught in time. Top of the pic are half the shallots. I’m going head to head with my dad at the Frome cheese show this year and the shallots are going to form my entry for ‘a jar of pickled veg’. The loser has to buy icecream so I have my pride and my wallet to think about….

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