Thursday, 20 September 2018

July 2018 harvest summary

Weight 15.797kg

Garden produce price: £67.23
Foraged: £36.00

Garden crops

Weight g

Shop price

Runner beans448£3.14
Swiss chard291£2.19
Broad beans182£0.90
White currants148£2.50
Spring onions59£1.00

Lettuces, salad leaves, mustard
greens, garlic scapes 


Hazelnuts       5967    £36.00

June 2018 in pictures

The weather started to heat up significantly this month and we started harvesting significant amouts of fruit and veg.

The peas in particular are doing well this month: Golden Sweet, Blauwschokker, Shiraz and Giant Bijou. 

We have plenty of potatoes and onions this year...

... and garlic scapes, and the best harvest of garlic we have ever had.

On the wildlife front we again have frogs hopping around the shadier and damper areas of the garden and two separate bumple bee nests under the shed.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

June 2018 harvest summary

Weight 7.202 kg

Garden crops

Weight g

Shop price

Broad beans620£2.67
Garlic (6 bulbs)154£1.80
White currants68£1.13
Cavolo nero66£0.50
Swiss chard46£0.35
Curly kale36£0.35

Lettuces, salad leaves, mustard
greens, garlic scapes 


Monday, 10 September 2018

May 2018 in pictures

The bluebells were starting to take over the herb patch and were probably responsible for killing off the chives, which had been there for years. They might be pretty but they were in the wrong place so out they came. In any case, they were the Spanish bluebells and not the native English variety.

After a late start, because of the consistently cold weather, the lettuces and peas are catching up in the gro-beds and I've risked planting out the first few tomato seedlings. The overwintering onions are also starting to fill out. 

In the main part of the garden the broad beans (Eleonora) are doing well. This is the first time I've tried to grow them. Underneath the beans I've scattered some mixed salad leaves seeds together with some carrots.

By the end of the month the beans had really taken off, the potatoes in the grow sacks are surging ahead and the overwintered garlic looks as though it will soon be ready for harvesting.

The rhubarb now seems well established and there was enough for me to experiment and make some rhubarb and citrus marmalade.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

May 2018 harvest summary

Weight   1.306 kg

Garden crops

Weight g

Shop price

Curly kale100£1.00
Cavolo nero72£0.55
Swiss chard56£0.45
Spring onions36£2.00

Red veined sorrel, ramsons
Lettuces, salad leaves

Friday, 29 June 2018

April 2018 in pictures

After a horrendous March in terms of weather, April brought better conditions but everything is way behind. The over-wintered crops are finally starting to grow again but we are holding off planting out most of the seedlings until we are certain we have decent temperatures and no more snow storms. We decided to chance it, though, with some of the lettuces and that gamble does seem to have paid off.

The strawberries seemed to have been unaffected and have been putting out runners. We had so many of them that we donated the spares to Southcote GrowAllot.

The rhubarb (Timperley Early) has also started in earnest and we have had our first stalks since we planted it about 18 months ago. We've also had our first home grown asparagus.

The damson plum and pear have blossomed and fingers crossed we don't have have too many heavy frosts before the fruit has set.

Pear blossom

Monday, 25 June 2018

101 ways to eat parsnips when a friend gives you bags of them

Our 2017/2018 parsnip harvest was a disaster. They were planted close to a dividing fence between us and our neighbour and when that fence came down during the storms in autumn 2017 it flattened half the plants. Most of the rest where later squashed when we had to trample over them to remove the old fence and put in the new one.

In April 2018 a fellow member of the Reading Food Growing Network gave us a couple of bags of parsnips. He wanted to clear his parsnip patch and prepare the ground for the summer and autumn crops and didn't have enough room in his freezer for them. There were a lot, and they were very large!

That is how the 101 challenge started. Rather than just roast or mash them what else could we do with them? We came up with 10 ways of using parsnips before we ran out of the vegetable and here they are. Please note: there are no NO detailed recipes. This is not a recipe blog; if you are interested in any of the dishes mentioned below then Google them!

Numbers 1 and 2 Parsnip chips and mash

A traditional start to the challenge with parsnip chips (pan fried) and parsnip, swede and potato mash. Also in this veggie extravaganza are carrot chips, cauliflower and various greens from the garden.

Number 3 Spicy parsnip soup

Spicy (very) parsnip soup and garlic sourdough toast. Parsnips and a couple of potatoes mashed up with coriander, cumin and chillis, and a slice of toasted home made sourdough bread with plenty of garlic on it.

Number 4 Parsnip and onion bhajis

Standard onion bhaji recipe using half thinly sliced onions and half coarsely grated parsnips.

Numbers 5, 6 and 7 Rosti, scones and sauerkraut

The rosti was made with grated parsnip, sweet potato and swede. The parsnip and cheese scones were a bit crumbly but delicious. The red cabbage and parsnip sauerkraut was was made several weeks before we were given the parsnip glut. The parsnips for that were bought at the local farmers' market. I always include them in a sauerkraut mix during the winter months.

Numbers 8 & 9 Parsnip latkes and horseradish/parsnip sauce

Parsnip latkes (pancakes) and fermented horseradish and parsnip sauce. Served with home grown salad leaves, red veined sorrel and ramsons, and asparagus.

Number 10 Parsnip and cheese soufflé

The last of the parsnips :-( Parsnip soufflé with asparagus and courgette, carrot and sweet potato "noodles".

This was the first meal I had prepared after I had bought a spiralizer, which creates "noodles" from vegetables such as courgettes and carrots. I considered spiralizing a parsnip but the ones we had were far too big to fit the spiralizer!

And that is it until the parsnip season starts again next winter.