Monday, 5 June 2017

Harvest Monday, allotment peep, and Eves Hill Veg Co

We've eaten a lot of Broad beans this week - I've picked all of the Autumn-sown super aquadulce. This pic is about 2/3 of the crop, my bag was rather heavy on the way home.
I quite like podding beans, as long as it's not in a rush just before cooking, so I did a whole load at once.
Some of them went into a poached egg dish (added a bit of water, eggs, a few noodles and stuck the lid on)
I also made a couple of curries, this was the first, which I then repeated as an easy meal last night when we had a couple of friends over. It includes my own garlic (which I had to lift because of white rot), and a big bunch of chard from the plot too. I harvested the rest of the broad beans so that I could plant out a couple of winter squashes in their place. This means I have another big bag to use up somehow...I feel maybe a humus is on the cards.
I've been harvesting lettuce leaves from a tray I have growing in the lean-to at home. The baby chard leaves are from the allotment, where loads of self-sown seedlings are popping up all over the place. I've planted out some lettuces into the back garden too but I'm not sure how they'll get on, I have a idea they'll get slugged. I do have some anti-slug wool pellets but as the lettuce plants didn't look that great to begin with, I think I'll save the pellets for another time.
Strawberry season has arrived in earnest, I've been picking loads. I weighed them all last year (total 19kg) but have forgotten to this time round.
Nice with brekkie
Saturday night treat - caramalised strawbs with Stilton, honey and toasted walnuts on sourdough, yum.
The allotment is looking quite good at the moment (I'm surprised!). Jan has helped with cutting the paths recently, which really makes a difference. It also helps reduce hidey places for slugs. Though as I write this, it's raining, which will set the grass off and the slugs n snails will be on the move, darn.
Looking down the main path from just inside the entrance (shed to my right, and two dwarf apple trees to the left)
A few maincrop potatoes, and just-planted Nero kale on the left under the mesh (I have also sown some dwarf French beans inbetween the kale as an experiment)
I was weeding the red onion bed next to the sage hedge and kept getting the lovely scent as I accidentally brushed against the bushes. There have been so many bees on the flowers too, and I even saw a painted lady butterfly the other day.
The Spring-sown broad beans (Eleanora express), with radishes intercropped (and parsnips if they ever germinate)
Red onions in the foreground, with some self-sown chard seedlings. The various wigwams are for winter squash, cucumbers and beans. I still have more to put up / plant / sow (I've also been giving squashes and cucumbers away - I sowed loads). The other side of the plot has three beds I need to clear for these and more brassicas. Behind me are mainly all the fruit bushes (red currant, blackcurrant, raspberry, Saskatoon, gooseberries, hazel trees etc). Yesterday I also sowed more beetroot and lettuces in modules at home - an attempt to be organised and have things to plant out once other crops have been harvested, or squeeze into unoccupied spots. Oh I also need to pot up all my peppers and aubergines. Wow, it never ends eh.
Last Wednesday I headed out to Eves Hill Veg Co (not-for profit veg farm on two acres) to volunteer as usual. We had a nice day for it, skylarks and yellowhammers singing away, and a good gang of volunteers and trainees. These two lovelies were planting out the summer squashes. Just think how much food this will make! So much more productive than 'conventional' farming.
I was mainly helping to plant out celery and celeriac - with a good thick layer of mulch on this sandy soil. We went a bit wobbly but nevermind eh. The salad area is looking amazing, as is the big polytunnel, I'll have to take some more pics this week if I get the chance.

One of my gardening jobs has swapped days this week, so if there's a break in the weather I'll hopefully pop down to the plot tomorrow for a bit of slug patrol. I did find a toad the other day but I think he or she needs a bit of support.


Thanks for reading, I'm linking in with Harvest Monday, kindly hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.



  1. Your plot looks amazing Lou. We tried to maintain grass paths but found it so much work that we went to membrane and woodchip.. much prefer the look of grass though! Love the idea of strawberries with walnuts and stilton, so thank you for the idea!

    1. Thanks Kathy, the plot's looking a bit raggedy now after all the wind and rain. It does take a lot of work cutting and edging the grass paths...I'm gradually going to reduce them, definitely the smaller ones between the main beds to begin with.
      Yum it's a tasty dish :)

  2. We differ in that podding broad beans is not one of my favourite jobs. I end up with black nails. Your allotment looks great.

    1. Thanks sue. It's funny, I never get black fingernails when podding broad beans...must have a different technique!

  3. The sage hedge is positively beautiful! I bet the bees and butterflies do love it. And those strawberries look yummy too! I bought some yesterday but they don't compare to homegrown ones.

    1. Thanks Dave, it's lovely when the sage is in flower.
      The strawberries are coming on strong at the moment!

  4. Your plot looks absolutely wonderful, so lush! So different from the dry summer landscape around here, not complaining though, it means almost zero slugs and snails. 19 kg of strawberries last year, amazing!

    1. Thanks Michelle, yeh I guess every climate has its pros and cons....not having to worry about slugs sounds good!
      I picked 1kg of strawbs today...might have to freeze some so early in the season!

  5. Your allotment is looking so brilliant! The slugs keep beating me to the strawberries this year - I've had 4 so far!!