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» What are you harvesting today?
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What are you harvesting today?

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Post by Ploshkin on 11th July 2016, 10:31 am

My tomatoes could have done with a bit of sun but I needed them to make up numbers for a salad.

I've just come back from the polytunnel with my first winter squash!  (Uchiki Kuri)
weighing in at just over a kilo.  It's probably not as ripe as it could get but it has been a good dark orange colour for quite a while now and I have at least another 15 coming, many of them bigger. I'm going to have to seriously tweak my timing next year.  I'm happy to have squashes any time but I do like to store some for the winter and somehow I don't think 7 months storage is feasible.

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Post by Dandelion on 11th July 2016, 6:14 pm

I emptied my dustbin of potatoes yesterday - a little bit underwhelming in terms of quantity; not much more than the quantity I was getting from a builder's bucket of potatoes. I've also been picking peas - OK, it would be easier to open a bag of frozen peas, but the flavour is so different and wonderful, so I'm happy to carry on making the effort to grow them. And tomatoes - Latah, Maskotka, and it looks as if a Bloody Butcher is ready to pick.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 13th July 2016, 12:36 pm

Yay, first 3 tomatoes yesterday. Yellow perfection, and not bad at all. This morning I found the overgrown cucumber hiding behind the plant pot which was probably the cause of the new fruits starting to abort. Why is it I always seem to miss one ?

Cobra French beans look to be not far off now. Hope they go on cropping for a bit longer than the very brief season I've had the last couple of years.
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Post by freebird on 14th July 2016, 11:02 am

Tomatoes, sugarsnap peas, first small courgettes, more lettuce and salad burnet.

Has anybody else grown salad burnet? There was a 4 for 3 offer at the GC when I needed to replace some herbs, so thought I would give it a try. So far it seems well behaved, and is a pleasant addition to salad leaves.
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Post by Ploshkin on 14th July 2016, 2:26 pm

Never tried salad burner. I need to sort out my herb section now overrun, of course, with mint. I can see a nice load of ripe raspberries but need to go armed with my bee veil to pick them as they are next to my hives and the bees are vile at the moment because of the weather.
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Post by Dandelion on 14th July 2016, 5:16 pm

Salad Burnet grew wild on the Cotswold hills near to us when I was growing up, and I can remember nibbling it, and it having a pleasant taste.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird on 20th July 2016, 9:54 pm

First French beans. Sugarsnaps dwindling fast, courgettes being a bit tardy, but picked a couple of little ones, handful of raspberries, tomates.
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Post by Ploshkin on 21st July 2016, 7:23 am

Probably my last big pick of strawberries (have been picking since the last week of May). Coming to the end of polytunnel French beans, they've produced brilliantly from a few straggly plants that I bought after my seed failed to germinate. Courgettes have slowed to a pace I can keep up with. Cucumbers are slowing down too but still have a mountain to eat through. Picked enough tomatoes for a salad. Had a good pick of raspberries which have suffered from the constant wet weather but picked up in the last few days and potatoes from the garden.

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Post by Chilli-head on 21st July 2016, 2:53 pm

We made warm broad bean and feta salad last night, with greenhouse tomatoes and homegrown broad beans.  Unfortunately the dill is a bit slug eaten, so we had to buy some.

We've also still got new potatoes (a few) and Cobra climbing French beans.  Maybe some peas at the allotment by now, I hope.

We have also picked off this year's blackcurrant harvest; we had some in summer pudding yesterday, and if I get time I'll be making blackcurrant sorbet again tonight.
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Post by Dandelion on 21st July 2016, 4:42 pm

The first picking of Kew Blue climbing French beans, which are such a beautiful colour it seems a shame to cook them and turn them green!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 25th July 2016, 4:50 pm

Yesterday I made my old favourite Indonesian vegetable curry, kari sayur. This is great when you have bits and bats of lots of veg. I used home grown onions, garlic, new potato, broad beans, purple teepee beans (from the seed swap), Cobra climbing french beans, peas and our first calabrese. I think it should count for the 5 a day in one meal !

Today it was tomato and olive salad with fresh basil from the greenhouse for lunch. It will be tomatoes for some days to come, looking in the greenhouse. It might be time to dig out the passata press Smile

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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd August 2016, 8:57 pm

Yay, had my first ever sweetcorn today - one cob between us. It was really good and sweet despite the fact that we have only had about 5 days of sun in the last 7 weeks. It was a decent size too, 9" long.
I also picked my first red chilli, nothing for Chilli Head to get excited about, I only do chillies for wimps.
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Post by freebird on 2nd August 2016, 9:10 pm

Well now, lunch was a homemade tuna burger with home grown lettuce, salad burnet, tomatoes and a bright yellow, round cucumber.

We were away this weekend, and didn't get around to doing any picking the day we went (Friday) until today. Three elephantine courgettes, three smaller ones (and the plants are making a bid for world domination), a very few french beans, sugarsnap peas and tomatoes. Oh, and our first ripe Victoria plum. Loads of mouldy ones on the tree though. I see a few of our Stirling Castle cooking apples are starting to drop. I reckon they'll be usable if they're not too small.
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd August 2016, 10:20 pm

Tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and shades, and the first lemon apple cucumbers from a plant a friend gave me. I'm also picking ridge cucumbers from the greenhouse - at this rate I may be giving some to the hens for a treat as I'm the only one who eats cucumbers!! Lots of Kew Blue beans and a few courgettes.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird on 5th August 2016, 6:33 pm

Windfall cooking apples - actually I think they are a dual purpose variety. More cucumbers, very few tomatoes, 2 French beans, and first Apache chillies. First blackberries. A couple of plums, but it looks as if 3/4 of the fruit has succumbed to a fungus. Having to pick it off and destroy it. Had a little of it last year, but nothing on this scale.
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Post by Dandelion on 5th August 2016, 10:02 pm

We had a Jubilee plum, but it was never entirely happy (despite the soil in the county having the reputation of being able to grow anything!) It had maggots in - I wrote to Garden organic and asked what the organic answer was to this, and they said to grow a different plum (very helpful!) The tree deteriorated, picking up all kinds of complaints, and eventually looked so pathetic that I cut it down one day. Some people seem to be able to grow plums - I'm not one of them!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 6th August 2016, 10:53 pm

The stone fruits I've tried to grow have all eventually succumbed to fungal infections. I think I'll stick to apples and pears !

Today we've picked a lot of stuff. Plum tomatoes for passata; they have been the best ever for us I think - perhaps as Ploshkin's polytunnel shows, stuff grown under cover has done well this year. Also picked cucumber, a few chillies, Purple Teepee beans, Cobra beans, a few beetroot, a head of calabrese, and peas.

I dug the first few allotment potatoes. These are very interesting. I had one potato volunteer plant last summer that was amongst the squashes, so just got left. The interesting thing was that all my other potatoes, and those on the neigbouring allotments, succumbed to blight. Except this one, that grew away healthily and produced a small crop of red skinned potatoes. Now, I haven't grown red potatoes for some time, so no idea what it is or where it came from, but I broke the usual rule and saved half a dozen to replant. Forgot this completely, puzzled for a while this spring over the small brown paper bag of potatoes in the garage, then remembered and planted them. Again, lots of blighted potatoes at the lotty, but these are unaffected. Perhaps I should save a few again.
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Post by freebird on 8th August 2016, 7:01 pm

First red peppers. Had one of them in a pork risotto this evening.
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Post by freebird on 9th August 2016, 1:58 pm

Must have missed a courgette at the last picking - found a huge one. Cue a batch of marrow and tomato chutney, simmering as I write, including our cooking apples and peppers. Not tomatoes though as mine are nowhere near ready.

Went to the greenhouse to pick a green pepper for the chutney and spied the runner beans - so first few runners picked today as well.
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Post by Ploshkin on 11th August 2016, 5:02 pm

Red stuff today. My first big tomatoes - Marglobe and Scipio Ibrido from seeds of Italy. First red peppers, small and squat but unblemished and a bonus picking of more strawberries.

The rest of my peppers are a reasonable size but horribly eaten. I picked a green one and cut it open and found a small slug inside. I've also found a few very tiny green caterpillars on the underside of the leaves. I'll have to think about how to protect them next year.
I've also cut a lovely vase full of sweet peas grown from seed swap seeds.


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Post by Dandelion on 11th August 2016, 7:57 pm

Were you pleased with the taste of your tomatoes Ploshkin? I've grown a lot of new varieties this year, but I have to say that one only or two of them have really hit the spot as far as taste goes. The rest are OK, but they're pretty average, despite the glowing recommendations in the catalogue!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Ploshkin on 11th August 2016, 10:09 pm

Well, my big tomatoes did at least have some discernible flavour, rather than completely tasteless as they have always been previously, but nothing to write home about. However they have ripened with virtually no sun so I'm thinking that could improve them if we ever get a decent summer again. My small varieties are very tasty as well as being much bigger. A heritage variety I have grown for several years is Fence Row and it has always been a reasonable, red, cherry Tom. This year they are cropping brilliantly, very tasty and golf ball size. They are firmly on my keeping list with sungold and black cherry but I'm afraid Auntie Madge won't make the cut next year as they are just too unruly.
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Post by freebird on 17th August 2016, 1:45 pm

Runner beans are in full flow now, and they are the best I've grown in years. Lovely long straight pods while still young. Really pleased with them.
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Post by Ploshkin on 17th August 2016, 2:29 pm

I can never get sensible cabbage timing. I've got a bit of a glut now and we don't tend to eat much cabbage at this time of year.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th August 2016, 3:36 pm

Ploshkin wrote:Well, my big tomatoes did at least have some discernible flavour, rather than completely tasteless as they have always been previously, but nothing to write home about.  However they have ripened with virtually no sun so I'm thinking that could improve them if we ever get a decent summer again.  My small varieties are very tasty as well as being much bigger.  A heritage variety I have grown for several years is Fence Row and it has always been a reasonable, red, cherry Tom.  This year they are cropping brilliantly, very tasty and golf ball size.  They are firmly on my keeping list with sungold and black cherry but I'm afraid Auntie Madge won't make the cut next year as they are just too unruly.

I've grown Black Cherry for the first time this year - they haven't cropped much yet (they're outdoors) but the taste was lovely. I'm afraid being boring, Black Russian are still our favourite for taste (and colour!) but I will also try Rose de Berne and Jen's Tangerine again next year as the taste was very good.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 19th August 2016, 4:42 pm

I really rate Rose de Berne, lovely size, colour and flavour.

My tomatoes are in a bit of a lull after we picked off loads before heading to Cornwall. We did get some big Red Pear though earlier this week to make Greek style stuffed peppers and tomatoes. Last night at the allotment I picked another 2lb of purple teepee beans. A 4-5' row seems to produce that many about every two weeks. I have again cooked them to Madhur Jaffery's
spicy green beans recipe, which freezes much better than the raw beans and is my favourite curry side dish. They are cooked with lots of garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, dried red chilli and tomato. I freeze them mostly cooked, and freshen them up on re-heating with ground roasted cumin and a squirt of lemon. Interestingly, though the purple of the beans fades on cooking, it imparts a wine dark red colour to the tomato sauce, which I rather like.
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