Mid September grow your own update

Friday, September 15, 2017

An all encompassing update from the allotment, greenhouse and flower patch in mid September. The surprise since the last update a month ago is that the french beans have started up again with plenty to harvest. C grew a purple variety which look interesting on the plant but revert to green upon cooking, rather disappointing.

Having eaten the white cabbages, we've moved on to the savoy which take a bit of unwrapping to get to the edible heart but have been excellent. On the brassica front, the very first sprouts were eaten as part of a Sunday roast. In fact all the vegetables and potatoes came from our plot.
The courgettes and squashes have been trying to escape all summer. C made these bays which we filled sky high with fresh manure over winter then planted the butternut squash and courgettes directly into in late spring. The level has sunk to around half now which makes it particularly difficult to reach the courgettes. On that front, though, I'm winning the battle and harvesting even the small fruits before they resemble marrows. All surplus is given away - nobody dares complain, fearing thy will not get the goodies they are actually after. C had cut one pumpkin off it's plant but upon reading it appears unwise to move any more until the main plants die back.  
Here's a squash I roasted. My favourite thing to do with roast squash is to peel off the skin then eat the flesh with homemade bolognese. It's good, especially with a dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream or mayonnaise.
I had reservations over the quality of the sweetcorn on the plot. It turns out these are first class cobs with beautiful pale kernels. The sweetness is high although the flavour is medium strength. The best I've ever tasted, best served with melted butter. Alas there aren't many left, another couple each? But they've been amazing!
From the greenhouse, the outstanding achievement is the ripening of peppers. Never before has this been possible (most likely due to neglect) but this year my careful tending and observation has enabled peppers to reach the stage of being picked. The flavours have been very good. The bell peppers are slower to ripen but plenty of the pointy ones are almost there. Melon wise, still a gimmick really. I won't be fussed about eaten the ripening one and the gammy one is still lingering around as it's tied in and I don't want to bring the whole trellis down with my clumsy antics in a house made of glass.
 As the sole consumer of tomatoes the rate of supply has been convenient. I loathe pre-split ones.

 The blooms are rapidly drawing to a close. This basketful was the last day of August. Since then the rudbeckia have stopped new production, the scabious are few and far between and not many sweetpeas appear. However, last year's annual seeds left a larkspur legacy which I've been enjoying very much. They smell lovely.

Our potatoes for over winter are looking a little peaky - hopefully it's not blight but realistically it probably is.
The recent wet weather has given everything such a soaking, not to mention the winds shaking everything to it's roots. I lost quite a few zinnias which is really sad!
Take care,

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