Saturday, 5 September 2009

It's that time of year again !

It's that time of year again when beds have to be cleared, the last of the harvesting done for vegetables that had run their course, and plants dug up or into the soil and weeding where it's been impossible to weed whilst some crops were growing.

Personally I look forward to this time. I love clearing the beds, weeding and raking them and covering them with black plastic to keep down the weeds over winter. There are beds that have to be left uncovered, for growing Brussel sprouts, Purple sprouting broccoli and cabbages to see us through the winter and Spring, not forgetting the garlic and leeks.

We spent 3 hours yesterday harvesting the remains of the sweetcorn. I then cleared the bed and dug it over and weeded it. I also dug up the last of my carrots and a very large and deformed parsnip. I blanched the sweetcorn ( 8 cobs) for 2 mins and then froze them. The carrots and parsnip I cut up and blanched and froze them in a bag together, ready to put into soups or casseroles. I bought back a small trug/bucket of runner beans. I have enough frozen to see us through the winter, so these are going to neighbours as we are sick of eating them now.

Sadly my favourite French beans are finished and I picked the last handful today and pulled up the plants. I also pulled up the last remaining cabbages. We managed to save three firm heads, the dark outer leaves were munched by slugs and caterpillars, so we stripped them back to the middle and composted the outer leaves.

The plot already looks tidier with the sweetcorn all gone.

Parsnip, carrots and the last remaining cabbage heads. A new batch has been sown.

Sweetcorn, blanched and ready for the freezer.



This is the largest, I could just about lift it to put the wood underneath it. I can't wait to weigh it.

I found this one growing under a leaf.

This is going to be a whopper as well. Great, lovely pumpkin soup & pumpkin pie.

This one is beautiful

The 'Munchkin' squashes are scaling the wire perimeter fence. They are unstoppable.

This squash is amazing, I bought one to eat from the supermarket last year and saved the seeds. I cut off a large one and it's ripening, (the original was yellow when I bought it.) I found three more growing today.

These photo's are for KELLA, as she is keen to grow 'Munchkin' next year. I found that is I leave them to ripen and become a deep orangey yellow they aren't good to eat. They go green near the skin and as they are so small, if you cut that away there is hardly anything left to cook. So I am going back to what I did last year when I first grew them and that is to pick them when they are still a creamy yellow. I scoop the seeds out, cut them up with the skin still on and roast them in a small amount of olive oil and garlic until the flesh is soft. The skin then peels off easily with a knife and they can be eaten or made into soup with other veg added.

Just right

Too ripe


Two photo's from the Garden.

Thunbergia 'Mango' I know I showed this on a previous post, but many flowers are opening now and it looks amazing, it's such a vibrant colour.

A friend gave me a rooted cutting of this Goji berry bush and it's doing so well and flowering.

And finally (sorry about the long post) I have made some beetroot and apple chutney. I have so much beetroot I didn't know what to do with it. I even bought home a bucketful yesterday and there is still more on the plot. I Really have to get my planting amounts sorted, I grow too much of everything.



hmmmm....well, the first two words that come to mind: beautiful and yummy...

Kella said...

How can you say you grow too much, not when you can store or give away the surplus, that is till you run out of storage space and people to give away too ;)

Thanks for the photos re the 'Munchkin' squash, I can see what you mean about the ripe fruit not being good to eat. The ripen fruit looks a little dehydrated as though the flesh is dried out but on the other hand the seeds look ripe for storage. Have you saved those seeds to try next year, although I'm sure you could test a couple of seeds from the ripe fruit now in an airing cupboard for seed viability.

Well done on starting to clear your beds for the autumn thats very organised of you :)

The Thunbergia 'Mango' sure is a stricking flower.

How have you been using the squashes you grew from the saved seeds from a supermarket purchase. What I mean is; are the green and unripe like a summer squash or are they ripening to look like a different squash all together from the one you purchased?

I'll go now, it was a lovely long post.

Jo said...

Plots can look a bit messy when the plants are tiring and producing the last of the crops. I'm looking forward to getting everything out and giving the ground a good weed and dig ready for tucking up over winter.
You have a good array of squash there, and your sweetcorn looks delicious.

Scattered Gardener said...

Hello Maureen, thanks for posting about the 70s party - we've got a 50th party on the same theme coming up in October, good to have some inspiration!
You're really well ahead of me with clearing your veg patch, sweetcorn looks superb, I'm still coaxing mine along (tho some of them didn't get sown until late June as I was planning for a late crop - lets hope the weather stays fine thru September.)

Kavey said...

Hi thanks for visiting my blog!
I read that one should blanch courgette slices before freezing but, if I recall correctly (we did this last year) we simply sliced them and froze them like that. But you know, I can't quite remember. Maybe we did blanch them first?
Sorry, I'm a senile old coot!

allot of veg said...

Wow Maureen that's a lot of stuff. I love this time of year getting the harvest in feels very satisfying to me. my plot neighbour is letting everything rot or go over, she did the same last year too seems to enjoy the doing in spring but not the harvest - very weird!.

Pam said...

You've reminded me to ask BB to bring all the remaining cobs home for freezing, and to try the beetroot and apple chutney. In fact, today just may be the day I go visit for myself. Wouldn't that be a great step forward!
Definitely bring some hydrangea blooms inside - if you're lucky some of them will dry and then they can be used in Christmas wreaths.
P x

Chellebab said...

Hi Maureen,

Wow haven't you done well? Your sweetcorn looks delectable - ours hasn't done quite so well this year. Mmm, beetroot chutney has got to be one of my favourite preserves. Looking forward to making some myself next year. Congratulations also on your squash - they have inspired me to try some different varieties next year.
All the best,

Prospero said...

Hi Maureen. I'm glad you're enjoying clearing the garden (I'm not - it's 28C at night and the humidity is around 100%). It will cool off in about 6 weeks.

Pumpkin soup. Excellent. I had so many last year. This year, not so good.

Goji. I eat goji berries every day and have been trying to grow them here (no success yet). Have you seen what's in this stuff - 18 amino acids, vitamins galore...
Have you seen it on the ORAC scale (antioxidants) - it's quite impressive.

Maureen said...

Thank you all so very much for the visit and the comments, I am sorry that I took so long to acknowledge your comments, and I will try and visit your blogs this week.. x