Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Out with the old, in with the new

En route
Monday of this week was a resolutely gorgeous day, with nary a cloud in the ether. We made the most of it by putting in a decent shift on the plot, continuing to harvest the abundant crops still doing their thing while putting out a few plants that will hopefully have time to do theirs. We also saw evidence of a few of our more autumnal characters beginning to take shape.

I finally pulled up the remainder of our first early Rocket spuds, resulting in a barely-liftable bag full of the blighters. We've still got a good few rows of second early International Kidney and main crop Pink Fir Apple to come. Another sack of Blue Lake climbing beans were claimed, they have been stupidly prolific; we've been having them on just about every meal but aren't yet bored of the strange squeaky noises you get when eating them absolutely fresh.

Kasia did some serious weeding around our remaining unpicked blueberries and we picked a good punnet of raspberries and blackberries, which served to enliven bowls of breakfast cereal.

In spite, or perhaps because of, the lack of attention we've paid it, the single surviving globe artichoke plant from those we planted at the back end of last year looks like it might even produce something edible. These are coming through far later than those I've seen on neighbours' plots, perhaps we've got a late variety. The chokes are very attractive as they begin to form.

Also making a belated appearance are four or five butternut squash fruits on the one plant we managed to coax to this stage. I'm hoping that one plant can support this many squash, and that they'll still have time to grow and ripen? They're looking pretty dinky at this stage. Kasia sacrificed a nearby Patty Green summer squash plant which was probably nicking quite a lot of its light, hopefully that'll make a difference.

Our romanesco cauliflowers are starting to form heads, but they're growing in a pretty odd way, almost like individual stems rather than a single compact head. Is this them bolting already, and if so is there anything we can do about this? Last year they all grew into handsomely-spiralled heads before some went to seed.

Lettuce corner
I finally got rid of a bunch of tomato plants from the polytunnel that were clearly never going to do anything, and in some cases had developed a nasty and thorough mould. In their stead went some lettuce seedlings that had been raised in seed modules. These are the first lettuces that we've gotten into the ground all summer, which has been a major oversight, especially in this most triumphantly warm of summers. We got some baby gem, all year round and winter density in. A few late baby gems with which to whip up a Caesar salad or two would be most welcome.

Onwards, lads.
Also out of the seed module and into the ground, in the now gloriously fine earth where spuds had been, went some kohlrabi purple delicacy and turnip purple-top Milan. I'm hoping the kohlrabi come good, as these are absolutely delicious and a bit unusual.

Having spent the denouement of the bank holiday weekend catching a good bit of sun and gotten quite a lot done, we trundled deliriously home with a wheelbarrow full to the brim of spuds, beans, courgettes and kale. I never thought we'd ever really need a barrow to transport the pickings of our labours when we started this whole allotment thing. I suppose that speaks of just what an excellent growing season it has been. A bit more of the same, just until our freshly planted seedlings can kick on and turn into viable food, would be great, ta very much.

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