This Week’s Harvest – Week 21, 2017

At last the hungry gap is passing and I have more to harvest from the allotment than rhubarb!

This week we have harvested two heads of lettuce, one green butterhead and one red little gem, a handful of radishes and 250g of broad beans.

20170527_144313

This went towards a lovely meal of hickory smoked beef brisket with a homegrown garden salad and broad bean and bacon potato salad!

I feel like summer is really here!

Advertisements

This Week’s Harvest – 2017, Week 17

There has been a couple of weeks with no harvests but this week I harvested another large amount of rhubarb. The plants were getting out of control so I need to give them a good tidy up. Quite a few stalks went in the bin as they were quite spongy  but I took home a massive 5.6kg of rhubarb. About 3kg will be given out to the Slimming World group (if they want it) and the other 2.6 kg have been stewed and some frozen away for making a variety of desserts.

20170430_182106[1]
Rhubarb for the SW group!

More excitingly, I harvested my first batch of radishes. I think they look absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to put them into a salad. 85g of scarlet globe radishes!

20170430_182119[1].jpg
Homegrown radishes for my salad!

June 2016

This month we have really focused on getting some of plot 3 up together and productive (kind of)!

We started the month by having a generally tidy up of the pea and bean frames, removed torn netting and spent bamboo canes. We also have mowed and strimmed the grass which, unfortunately, left brown swathes of grass instead of a lush green carpet. The constant raining since the beginning of June has helped to ‘green up’ the paths though!

We got underway with digging over bed 2 and planting out the brussels sprouts plants. We found a tomato cage in Wilko which we used to cover the brussels sprouts, mainly to keep the pigeons out – however, there has been damage to the plants which, for a while, I couldn’t figure out what was responsible but have since discovered that we having a visiting rabbit! The cage has now been further fortified! I doubt it will keep the cabbage whites out, or the cabbage mealy aphids (of which we also have a problem with), but I shall deal with these problems as and when they arrive

20160630_200626[1]

We finished digging over bed 1 a month after I first started digging it over. The sweet potatoes were already in but weeds were in abundance so they needed a good hoeing! The Oca has now been planted. The tubers I bought originally shriveled up and didn’t look like they would survive so instead I bought some reduced Oca plants from Wyevale for £1 each! Bargain!

20160623_195006[1]

The herb bed has gotten under way. We have picked through the bed, removing as many weeds and grass tufts as we can. We didn’t want to completely dig over the whole bed as there are a lot of usable plants in the ground and we enjoy the ground coverage that the wild strawberries give! The path went in, but instead of separating the whole bed into four separate beds we have three as you can see in the photo. The crab apple tree has been planted in the middle, surrounded by thyme and chamomile plants. The mint has been severely cut back and the bay tree planted. Maisie’s rose was also planted along with the pots of herbs I had started collecting. It will be a while before the bed starts to fill out but it is certainly coming along nicely!

20160623_195010[1]

Bed3 has quite a lot of escaping raspberry canes in it which will soon have a bountiful harvest of raspberries. I have decided to leave these raspberries and will instead cut everything back in the existing raspberry bed. Most of the canes are dead and spent anyway and come the winter I shall replace them with new varieties!

Plot 2 has mainly been a battle of the weeds! We spend a few hours every weekend weeding, trying to keep the bindweed and other perennial weeds at bay. My new favourite thing is barley straw. I have been putting it down everywhere to kill off the weeds. Works to a certain extent but not on the knotweed-type weed I am having a problem with – will need another solution for this!

As per my previous posts, we have been harvesting large quantity of strawberries (~4.5kg so far), some of the Japanese onions have been harvested for cooking with immediately, broad beans are starting to come along and the first lot of garlic has been pulled up and in the process of drying out!

Climbing beans have grown quite steadily and the spring sown onions are getting big so all is coming along nicely on this plot! I have also been enjoying a good quantity of lettuce; little gem and lollo rosso varieties

20160630_200638[1].jpg

20160630_200618[1].jpg

On plot 1 we had to replace a number of the squash plants as we found that the plants had some sort of foot rot. The base of the stem and the roots had rotted away which explains why they had sat there and done nothing for the last month! Not sure how we got that but will be investigating to find out how to avoid it in the future!

Radishes have been mostly harvested (and slightly woody – left them for too long) and new ones sown and the first spears of ‘tenderstem’ broccoli have been harvested! We still haven’t filled our carrot bed but there is always next month (again)!

At home, the slugs and snails have been attacking everything in the greenhouse – has anyone else noticed a significant slug and snail boom this year? Slug damage is at an all time high this month!

Chillies are finally planted into their final pots. Sam has chopped the tops of the plants to encourage more bushy growth and therefore more flowers, so watch this space. We have been harvesting our first early potatoes. Disappointing yields but just means there is room for improvement next year!

And finally, the wildlife pond is doing fantastically well. Flowers are in abundance and there are quite a number of bees buzzing around. Tadpoles are still happily swimming away and I have even spotted a few frogs around! I am really happy with the way this has turned out!

20160623_194847[1]

May recipes

We haven’t had much this month as our plants are still growing and not fruiting yet. I have had the pleasure of harvesting some crisp and peppery radishes and, of course, there is always the rhubarb!

However, keeping it seasonal, I have enjoyed the British strawberrries that have now been appearing in the supermarkets! They have pepped up my breakfast in the morning where I added chopped strawberries to a bowl of bran flakes and instead of using milk, I add a plain vanilla yoghurt. Filling and healthy!

So onto the recipes, this month I have been looking for ways to use my radishes as my salad leaves are not yet ready to harvest!

Sticky Pork and Radish Noodles

recipe-image-legacy-id--320463_10

I found this on BBC GoodFood – my go to place for all things recipes! I liked the idea of being able to add radishes to meals I already eat and this recipe was very similar to a Korean Pork recipe I already enjoyed just with added radishes and noodles!

If, like me, you are watching the calories, use low calorie cooking spray instead of the oil – same result!

Potato and Radish Salad

recipe-image-legacy-id--592464_12I love a good potato salad, especially in the summer alongside some lovely BBQ chicken and crunchy corn! The radishes give a lovely peppery taste to the potato salad and I like the idea of using crème fraîche instead of mayonnaise although you can substitute it if crème fraîche is not your thing!

Quick-Pickled Radishes

If you really have a glut and no salad to put them in then you can always pickle them and add to a salad later on. I found this recipe whilst searching on google for things to do with Radishes. I have yet to try it but plan to get pickling this weekend when I harvest the rest of my fully grown radishes before they get too woody!

pickled radishes

This recipe originally comes from Cookie+Kate.