unexpected harvest

Doing some much-needed weeding, I unearthed some unexpected and still perfect Orla potatoes which, alongside a kuri squash and the first reddened Sigaretta di Bergamo, will make a lush supper – with bay leaf, garlic and thyme also from the huerto. Just a good glug of olive oil and seasoning and it will now sit on the Aga with a lid until tender and slightly caramelised.

Also found these last few little rosebuds & chrysanths I had forgotton I planted. A nice surprise.

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today’s harvest for tonight’s supper

Three types of courgette, rose de roskoff onions, garlic and waxy Orla potatoes – chop, add bay + lemon + rosemary & lots of olive oil with a splash of water, season, mix, put lid on and simmer for about 45 minutes. Boil runner beans for 5 minutes then drain and finish with butter.

Serve with large glass of Sancerre rosé.

Oh, and put dahlia in jar on table for a smile.

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hot heights of summer – all from tiny seeds…

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busy bee

Forage in the borage…

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golden sweet & parsley plugs

These yellow mange tout peas are so easy to grow and absolutely delicious. Sown in double rows into a length of plastic guttering in the greenhouse, they were more than ready to plant out into the pigeon-proof sanctuary of the fruit cage; roots tangled below, desperate to get into the ground.

roots matted at bottom of guttering – plants needing more nutrition to grow healthily
staked and interspersed with dead blackcurrant branches, ideal to support upward growth
newly planted out multi-sown plugs of curly parsley
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bean feast

fresh Czar & Borlotti beans, with aromatics : carrots, onion, garlic, sage, bay and rosemary – all from the huerto
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Time to clear the broad beans to make space for the winter kales that have been growing on in the greenhouse. Surprising how long it all takes, but very satisfying to go from a post-productive, weedy and dead leaf covered bean patch to a neat butterfly-proofed brassica bed.

old broad beans (celeriac in front)
old broad bean plants chopped and composted
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Rose de Roscoff onions, Sunshine beans & early autumn raspberries
Red Baron, Snowball, Garlic & Setton drying in the greenhouse

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…an hour later…
bon appétit!
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roses and a peony

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busy times

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harvest of PSB, flower sprout shoots and what’s left of a slugged January King cabbage
L-R: Chicory Variegato di Castelfranco, yellow and pink chard, beetroot (boltardy, golden and chioggia), newly pricked out Little Gem & Great Lakes lettuce. In plot beyond, onions under fleece, Bunyards Exhibition broad beans and Northern Lights leeks
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surrogate flowers

Recent displacement activity, missing both skiing and flowers, I knitted a cashmere ski hat with a flowery motif. Good diversion while waiting for the garden to wake up 🙂

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midwinter pickings

So few grains of happiness

measured against all the dark

and still the scales balance.

Jane Hirshfield
Kohl rabi (varieties Gigant & Azur Blue), Florence fennel (Rondo), parsnips (Tender & True), radiccio, a rather slugged January King cabbage, yet more chillies, flower sprouts, thyme and a couple of branches of bay.
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gage tree and brassicas

The Old Gage tree I planted 2 years ago mysteriously started to die just as it was in the full glory of spring blossoming – an ominous harbinger, though we didn’t know it yet, of the year to come. On investigation, it turned out that the council strimmer had been a bit over-zealous and had damaged the bark just above ground level. Anyway, I have now just planted a replacement Oullins Golden Gage, and the council have kindly provided a protective guard so hopefully this one will thrive.

strimmer damage
newly planted Oullins Golden Gage – snowdrops also planted at its base

The brassicas are doing well, various kales, PSB and trying purple cauliflower Graffitti for the first time, along with flower sprouts and brussels sprouts. All need protection from the voracious pigeons who have shredded the red and yellow chard.

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