Saturday, July 30, 2011

End of July overview

Just a quick note on proceedings. I built some "cages" for the raspberries so they don't flop over so much (just some bamboo canes tied together). Harvested another bowl of blackberries and more beans. Other than that, everything is growing well and taking shape. The sunny weather also helps!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


About a third of the greengages got turned into jam, another third was given away and the rest is waiting to be chopped and frozen (for pies and perhaps more jam). I think I cooked it for a bit too long so it may be a bit more set than I prefer but it should taste ok. Yay jam!

Today I picked the rest of them from the tree (lost about half to roving snails eating them on the branches!). Very good harvest. Also picked blackberries which grow along the fence. And a handful of beans.

The blackberries along with some gooseberries I still had lingering in the fridge are now bubbling away on the stove for more jam. Raspberries should be next in line for harvesting and maybe I'll make more jam, but I think I may try my hand at raspberry vodka (basically just a lot of raspberries covered in vodka - easy!). Considering it takes me quite a while to get through a jar of jam, I may not need to buy any for at least six months (never mind vodka which has been in my freezer for at least a year).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Greengage glut

Now what??!??? I have 5kg of greengages, still some more hanging on the tree! And of course I should have harvested them at least a week ago - because of their green bloom they are quite deceptive and don't look ripe.

Currently making jam, a friend is taking some off my hands tomorrow. I think I may surprise work colleagues with a few. Then tarts, pies, any more ideas???

Monday, July 18, 2011

Full of beans

Took the opportunity to run out into the garden between downpours to check on the pole beans ('Pantheon'). I've managed to pick a good handful of fairly large ones and in between picking and eating barely 30 minutes passed. So delicious! Lots more to come. Now I only need to stop them climbing along my washing line (or maybe I shouldn't?).

Somehow very soon I also need to slot in picking the greengages. I probably will only keep a few of them for eating right now and make jam with the rest. Hopefully it'll stop raining soon - no fun standing in the rain picking fruit!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Between harvests

I'm between harvests. It won't be far off but need to just wait it out. The raspberries have finished their first crop and are preparing for the second big push. If the weather is warm enough they'll grow surprisingly quickly. One or two beans should be big enough to pull off in a few days or so.

Still waiting for the tomatoes, cucumbers and patty pans. The tomatoes have at least set fruit (all six kinds of them, I'm just showing pictures of two of them) but no such luck yet for the rest. At least there's some flowering (even though I lost one of my cucumber plants on the way).

The big-if is the greengage tree, probably ready in about one or two weeks in my estimate. It's really hanging full, so much so that I propped up the main branch because it's bending over so much I feared it would snap. However, I think I may have a stealthy enemy. Some of the fruit are rotting on the tree. I'm not sure if it's the wet weather or it could be greengage sawfly. I will need to keep an eye on it.

In other news I "found" lots of salad potatoes to sow. And when I say I found I meant I forgot about them in my veg rack and then they sprouted. They should make a nice crop later in the autumn. I'm usually quite bad about planting veg for autumn and winter but this year I should have some winter squash, kale and these potatoes. Not quite self-sufficient but nice addition to buying food later in the year.