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August 2014

Harvesting

12 August 2014

 

Harvest 2014

It’s a very busy time in the Genus garden.  The flower garden can pretty much look after itself for a few weeks, just a bit of weeding, tying in, and cutting back, but the veg patch needs lots of attention.

This is what I've been harvesting this morning.  Cauliflowers are always a bit difficult to grow.  Some years they form a lovely curd, like this one, but other years they can end up, what I call, pixelated.  The individual florets grow with small heads and tall stalks and separate before forming a proper curd.  Apparently, this is due to too much sun.  I’ve avoided that problem this year by tying the leaves over the heads as soon as they began to form.

I love carrots, so I plant them every year, even though they’re so cheap to buy in the supermarket.  I don’t think the tastes compare.  I’ve never had a problem with carrot root fly because I cover the bed with Enviromesh, an insect-proof netting.  I put eight bamboo canes with rubber tops in the inside edge of the raised bed, put on the mesh, then secure it with a brick along each side of the bed and fine metal pins in the corners.  The Enviromesh and pins can be bought online from Agralan, a company that actually happens to be quite near to Field Cottage.

I also use Enviromesh on all my brassicas.  The first year I grew kale (without netting), I harvested it and cooked it for a family occasion.  I thought I had washed it properly, but when dishing it up on a serving plate I could see lots of shriveled up caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly.  Luckily boiling frozen peas instead only took a few minutes and the grandchildren never knew.

This time last year I had so many peas, I was making enough pea and mint soup to fill half of a chest freezer.  This year, the crop was a lot earlier and I didn’t quite manage to harvest in time.  But you can see in the photo that there are still some delicious peas to be had.

I have four plum trees in the orchard and this year the crop is so heavy that several of the boughs are weighed down to the ground.  We’re now going to hurry up defrosting and eating the stewed plums I made last year so that we can start on the fresh ones.

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