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Harvesting & Storing

Apologies for not keeping up with my diary – I’ve been really busy preparing an upgrade for the web site which should be going live today, unless something awful happens. One of those jobs that takes a lot longer than you think and even then you realise you’ve forgotten something so it seems to go on forever.

I have managed to sneak a few hours on the plot, taking advantage of the nice weather. Had to laugh when I heard they were getting some rain in the south east, had to be their turn, I thought.

We’ve had masses, and I mean masses, of French beans. The purple tipi, courtesy of forum member Dave have just produced and produced as have the climbing French beans and the runner beans.

Val pointed out we had enough beans to feed the street and the freezer was filling up so time to leave the runners and just harvest the actual beans from them. Runner bean, beans are quite good in stews and very nutritious so we tend to just freeze them.

The tomatoes still on the plants are ripening well now, I’m quite surprised by how well the Alicante have done. They’re not my favourite in flavour although not bad by any means. However, I think some of them would have been good enough to enter for show, maybe not the NVS Nationals though!

Val’s been skinning and whizzing them in the blender to freeze, ready to add to sauces etc. Someone passed her a good tip, cut a cross into the skin at the top before blanching to ease the skin off. They certainly peel more easily that way.

Now what do you do with 18 cucumbers. There’s only so much cucumber salad a man can eat. We have been having a version of the Greek Tzatziki – we call it tizitoki – where we slice the cucumber and coat with a mix of thick Greek yoghurt and crushed garlic. Nice but not for breakfast.

So Val made some cucumber and  apple chutney, which used a few along with some cucumber soup, that freezes well.

Next was the brassica patch. Here it was a really mixed bag. It seems that whilst we were away a plague of caterpillars had descended and they make locusts look like wimps.

Most of the brassicas are down to skeletons but the cauliflowers were looking good. A couple had gone over but the rest were fine, if a little yellow due to the lack of leaves to shade them.

We got a couple of nice cabbages as well, even if they did have a few munching monsters attempting to grow into those pretty butterflies. We washed the cauliflowers and then froze them. You can keep a cauliflower quite well for a few weeks in the fridge, tightly wrapped in clingfilm, but not if it has a passenger hidden in the depths.

All in all, not too bad a result considering my lack of attention to them.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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