Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday 21st July 2008 - weather: hot and breezy

Today was a picking visit and there was plenty to pick. I had also purchased a tray of onions to plant out so I needed to oik out the broadbeans and plant the hunions. I didn't actually dig the plants up but cut them at ground level so they can release that all precious nitrogen back into the soil. This does often mean that the plants reshoot and I have been known to get a bonus crop of young beans in a month or so's time. I also filled my trug with the first French Beans of the season, a lovely amount, a variety I brought in France last year, a long slender pod with darker blotches. Of course I cannot remember the name. The onions all went in and filled the old broadie bed. Hopefully they will grown and provide me with a few decent bulbs as the overwintering onions didn't do so well this year thanks to the dreaded white rot.

From here I went over to plot number one and picked the peas. Of course, can't remember the variety but they are one of the leafless varieties, all tendrills and pods. Easy to spot the pods but boy do they get tangled up with all of those tendrils. Anyhow, whatever the variety is, it's a winner as it has produced loads of lovely long pods packed with up to 10 peas in each one. These were shucked and in the freezer within a couple of hours of picking, sweet as the moment and all that.

Then into the fruit cage I ventured. The raspberries are still covered in fruits at all different levels or ripening, but I suspect there will be only one or two more decent picks before the fruits start to become thin on the ground. I stripped the red gooseberrys as they were all sweet and juicy and picked the blackcurrants from one of the bushes. This one is different from all the others, much larger currants and already ripe. The others dotted around both of my allotments are still very sharp and would probably benefit from another 2 or 3 weeks of sun and rain before I pick them. Next visit I will strip the redcurrants as they are pretty much ready now.

Picked a couple of little gems - might try that recipe where you braise the little gems with peas. Never had it before....should give it a go really. Also pulled 4 spring onions. Never had any luck with these, but this is going to be their year on my allotment as I have several rows and they are all looking amazing.

All in all, both plots are looking in good shape. Plot number 2 could do with a weed in the sweetcorn/squash area, but the weeds won't do much harm now the other plants are romping away. I also need to take the netting off my strawbs and get in there and give them a serious weed. I also want to tidy up around the globe artichokes as weeds have crept in there and because they are permanent, I don't tend to bother much with them.

Hope to get back later in the week for a couple of hours.

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