One Peak Harvest Period Ends…

Yes the peak harvest of mangetout peas as now passed, and the broad beans as well. Even the new row of mangeout peas only has a few flowers now so there won’t be many more. Not that I’m complaining too much, the mangetout have ben very nice uncooked with salad or cooked with hot food, but at the peak production point a few days ago I had to give some away to my neighbour since we couldn’t eat tthem fast enough.

Meanwhile the broad beans are now pretty big when they are podded and almost at the point where the bean needs to e shelled, so far we’ve eaten them as an accompaniment to a hot meal or cold with salad (did I mention I like cold broad bean + salt sandwiches?) so it looks as though I’ll have to look up one of the N African/Middle Eastern recipes using broad beans. There are still a few pods left after a mass picking yesterday. One good thing to note, the blackfly threat seems to have been much less this year. It did help that I remembered to pinch out the tops of the plants early this year, but all the same they haven’t really turned up at all. I have noticed them on some nasturtiums though.

Also harvested and eaten have been the gooseberries – two bushes new a couple of years ago at the bottom of the garden and one growing in the hedge have produced enough for a pie which I baked on Monday and now fully consumed (with custard of  course) – yum! See below (note a couuple of stray redcurrants from one of the nearby bushes as well).

Gooseberry harvest

Gooseberries (the red ones are from the new bushes)

Meanwhile I should be complaining about the weather – it’s been too fine and sunny. We’ve had nothing but sunshine and temperatures in the mid 20’sC for what seems like weeks now. I’ve had to water every night and it’s getting to be a bit of a trial really – still the broad beans won’t need much more I suppose. No sign of rain for the next few days either – hmmm.

Tomatoes in the greenhouse have just started to ripen so the tomato glut is almost upon us as well, plus the courgettes are producing pretty rapidly right now (though  only small as yet) so we’ll scrabbling around for things to do with courgettes before too long. The cucumbers are flowering now and one or two proto-cucumbers are in evidence.

Tomatoes developing

Tomatoes outside kitchen - developing nicely

Some of my potato plants are now flowering so I guess it won’t be long before the early ones can be harvested. The climbing french beans  are just in flower – so that’s another glut that will come along soon…

Potato flowers

Pretty potato flowers

In the greenhouse, the pepper plants have at least one pepper developing and the aubergines are in full flower, with one or two set already I think.

Aubergines in flower

Aubergine flowers

For various reasons of disorganisation I haven’t had any lettuce growing this year until now, but I have a tray ready to plant out in the garden (more watering) so in a couple of weeks or so there should be some to eat. The container of salad leaves is now in full flower, but I’ve ot some more seedlings in a large pot in the greenhouse just coming through. Plus there are some more mangetout peas just coming through in pots so we should get some more to eat in a few weeks.

I was harvesting the gooseberries when I heard some rustling in the grass (I let it all grow wild in that part of the garden)  –  I thought it might be a fox or cat, but when I turned round after collecting the gooseberries I was faced with – a hedgehog – it just stood and looked at me for a bit then wandered off into the undergrowth – strange as it was in the morning so pretty unusual. One or two buterflies are around but I would expect to see more by now, the buddleia bushes are just coming into flower so maybe I’ll see more then.

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