Sunday 28 August 2011

More Brassicas Planted

This patch, where the Onions were, is now partly planted up with Borecole we still have more Leeks to put in yet.

As you can see the flowers are still in full bloom, which is good for the Bees that are still collecting nectar.

This aerial shot is showing most of our plot.

In the foreground is the patch where we had Broccoli and Cauliflowers, which have finished so cleared, weeded and soil turned over ready for next crop, see below.

The white tunnel/cloche you can see alongside the cleared area still has late Carrots under, hopefully root fly free!

Anyway, back to the cleared area, here you can see the new netted cover made from a climbing frame garden construction kit we had for the kids in the 80's, think it was called Quadro. I knew it was a good idea to keep it, also made staging from it for the green house.
We planted more Kale under the netting, mainly for the Chickens, they love it.

So to this weeks harvest:
Potatoes (White & Purple)
Beans: French (Green & Purple) & Runners
Courgettes: Green & Yellow
The Trug shows just today's (Sunday) harvest.

And for those who love
Sunflowers, and there are many, here is one of many on our plot just for you.

We are not going for the tallest Sunflower, this one is only about 6ft tall, but for a full head of seeds for the birds and maybe our Chickens too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 21 August 2011

Raspberries, Potatoes & Chickens

Three of my favorite things.

Here are the Autumn Raspberries still cropping well and the fruits are huge, we expect them to keep going well into September or even early October.

Today's harvest was another 1.5 lb, which we have Frozen for later use.

So today's bumper harvest as mentioned there are Raspberries, also:
Tomatoes 'Plum & Alicante'
Climbing French & Runner Beans
Potatoes 'Markies'
& Sweet Peas flowers.

Chicken News:
We also harvest Weeds for our Chickens, Hetty, Betty, Peggy & Maud.

Here you can see them tucking into 'Chickweed' one of their favorites. But they also love Kale, Pak-Choi, Cabbage & Broccoli, we grow extra just for them. Makes lovely golden yellow yolks.

Here you can see one of the 'Markies' main crop potato plants, as you can see the foliage has died back that means they are ready to dig up, but don't be so hasty, if you cut the dying foliage (halums) off and leave the tubers in the ground for an extra week or so, this will harden off the skins which will help the Potatoes store longer and makes a better crispy skin on baked spuds.

I dug some up for tonight's dinner, this amount I got from 2 plants, so the yield is quite good, just wish they were a bit bigger, but dry conditions are to blame.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Thursday 18 August 2011

Busy ,busy week still Harvesting

Another busy week harvesting, this is what we have collected this week so far. On Monday a Trug full of goodies:
Courgettes, Yellow, Green & Round.
French Beans
Raspberries too

Today still more Courgettes.
French Beans
Broad Beans
and 1.75 lb of Autumn Raspberries.
If you remember last time I mentioned how to get an extra crop of Raspberries, most of what I have harvested already are from canes not cut back last autumn.

The Allotment looks lovely and lush now, lots of Flowers and the Bees are still visiting.

But planning to plant out more Leeks, Carrots and Brassicas to over winter.

On the left are the 'Markies' main crop Potatoes, soon I will cut back all the dying foiliage 'halums' to harden off the skins before digging up.

If you remember back in Jan/Feb I used an old shelf unit, with added shelves, for 'chitting' the seed potatoes.

It's now being used to dry the Onions, I started to dry them on top of the Chicken run, but the rain set in and I had to bring them inside, so thought the 'chitting unit' would be ideal and it is.

It's important to dry them not touching one another, where rotting can set in and I think I have achieved this here.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 7 August 2011

So much harvested this week, Purple Spuds too

Back in May, my neighbor brought back some Bleu 'd' Artoise French Heritage Potatoes and gave me some to plant, so this week I dug some up and what a surprise, a good yield from only one plant and very Purple too.

We decided to have them for dinner so lightly rubbed the skin and put into boiling water and simmered for 20 mins, the skin turns whitish but the floury flesh turns Blue!

But the taste is supreme, with butter or gravy they are very tasty. I would certainly grow them again, if I can find them in the UK. A great way to get kids to eat Veg too, Blue Spuds!

Cracking harvests this week, here you can see:
Climbing French Beans
Courgettes, Green & Yellow
and Raspberries
All picked today.

Here's what we picked on Friday:
Climbing & Dwarf Beans
Courgettes, Green & Yellow
Kale & Pak Choi
Spring Onions
Raspberries, Blackberries & Bluberries
Hunter & Bleu 'd' Artoise Potatoes
And Marigold petals too, Mrs is making a body cream from the Grow your own Drugs book, James Wong.

Our autumn Raspberries are starting to fruit now and as you can see here they are Huge! (my thumb in shot for scale).

A good tip if you want more fruit and who wouldn't:
When you prune back the canes after fruiting, only remove 2/3rds leave a few old canes, they will fruit again early, so you get a double crop, no harm done there, works with both early & late Raspberries.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian