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» Shades of autumn in the September garden
by freebird 16th September 2019, 11:12 pm

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Post by frankbeswick on 18th August 2018, 6:48 pm

I got some plums, which we had for dessert this evening. Then there was some squash and runner beans.

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Post by Dandelion on 18th August 2018, 9:59 pm

I have an Oregon Thornless blackberry which is trained (OK, that makes it sound deliberate and planned) which sprawls over a trellis against one of our boundary fences. The trellis was fixed onto the fence by hanging it on cup hooks, which has worked fine untilo this year. It seems to have been a stonking year for blackberries, despite the lack of rain, and the weight of the plant has pulled the whole thing over right on top of a gooseberry bush. So I'm picking the blackberries which I can see and get hold of without falling over - until the plant stops fruiting and I can cut the old canes off, I can't refix the trellis. (I also have massive shoots on the plant for next years crop, which I'm looking forward to getting up off the grass and training when the trellis is fixed.) So I made blackberry and apple pie tonight, using some cooking apples which weren't completely ripe, but it didn't seem to matter.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Dandelion on 18th August 2018, 10:02 pm

(When I said the plant had pulled the whole thing over, I meant that the trellis had fallen over - I didn't want you to think that the fence had fallen over!!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by frankbeswick on 18th August 2018, 11:34 pm

Blackberry and apple pie. I have made them into wine, but a pie sounds lovely; and we have blackberries on the allotment.
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Post by FloBear on 19th August 2018, 9:35 am

My pygmy peach tree gave us a second ripe peach yesterday and my new Autumn raspberries a handful each - deelish together with a splodge of crême fraiche.
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Post by Ploshkin on 19th August 2018, 9:52 am

I love the flavour of autumn raspberries. They're always much sweeter than the earlier ones. I hope the pygmy peach tree doesn't produce pygmy peaches.
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Post by freebird on 19th August 2018, 10:07 am

I don't know the correct way to store pears CH. When I had a Comice pear tree, I used to bring them into the kitchen, if they were already a yellowy colour, and they would start to soften in a few days. Greener ones I would wrap in newspaper and store in the garage, but they needed checking frequently for their half hour ripening window! I don't know your variety, and I think storage will depend on when their season for eating is.

My runner beans are starting to come good now, with this cooler, wetter weather. I've grown twice as many tomato plants this year but had less than half last year's crop so far. Picking autumn raspberries and ever-bearer strawberries, the last few blueberries, plenty of chillies..... which reminds me....... a question CH: I found a pack of chilli seed from a long ago seed swap - Yellow Rocoto? or some similar name. Only one germinated and it is growing well with plenty of small purple flowers. None of those flowers seem to be turning into fruit. Any idea why?
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Post by Chilli-head on 19th August 2018, 10:21 am

Purple flowers and black seeds are the odd characteristics of rocoto. I have found hand pollination with a fine paintbrush helpful in getting a good set. I wonder if they are not like vanilla - naturally pollinated by some insect we don't have here ? It is worth it though, they have good heat and thich flesh. Useful to have some diced in the freezer for a crisis situation.
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Post by freebird on 23rd August 2018, 1:22 pm

Thanks CH though I think I may have missed the boat. No flowers now.

Harvested 14 beautiful sweet corn cobs yesterday - best ones ever. Still picking French beans, strawberries, raspberries, chillies. Started harvesting peppers. Tomatoes disappointing (quantity not flavour). I thought San Marzano would be a largish plum tomato - mine are no bigger than the baby plum varieties, and being fairly dry, no good for eating. I've sliced and dried the few I've had.

Virtually no apples this year. It's the 'off' year for the big trees, and I was brutal with the winter pruning on the cordons. OneI of the five had ceased production altogether and a further two have never had blossom or fruit in the 30 years I have had them. Cut everything back really hard to let in more light and air, and when carrying out the summer prune, discovered that Winston had one (it's first ever) tiny, misshapen apple. So that tree has a reprieve.
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Post by frankbeswick on 23rd August 2018, 1:58 pm

I have just turned a butternut squash Into some soup. With a tomato and a red chilli added it tasted great.
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Post by Ploshkin on 23rd August 2018, 2:07 pm

14 corn cobs, I take them off one or two at a time (often daily) so I don't need to use them all in one go.
We binge on sweetcorn for a couple of weeks and I put some in the freezer.
I'm harvesting potatoes and beans outside, courgettes, carrots, tomatoes, mange tout, sweet peppers and strawberries from the polytunnel and mushrooms and blackberries from the fields.
My lipstick peppers didn't germinate so I grabbed a packet of pointy pepper seeds from a garden centre. They are an F1 called Thor and are phenomenal. Each plant has at least 15 peppers up to 8" long. I rather think they liked the hot conditions this year.

Funny you should say about apples Freebird. My crab apple tree has its first ever decent crop and a small desert apple that I have in an unsuitable location has got about a dozen really nice fruits (usual crop is zero). Victoria plums are looking good, not a massive crop but reasonable and unblemished also damsons, I've only ever had a crop once before. I think the fruit usually has problems associated with cold and wet.
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd August 2018, 2:30 pm

freebird wrote:Thanks CH though I think I may have missed the boat. No flowers now.

Rocotos are one of the best chillies for surviving overwintering though, so maybe not all is lost ?
I've got a reasonable crop on Basket of fire, a nice decorative one with upward pointing fruits.  Some Ohnivec too, the others are not ripe yet.  I used the Ohnivec with my own onions, garlic, courgettes, pink fir apple potatoes and dwarf beans in a vegetable curry last night.  We have a fairly good result on the sweetcorn, about 10 cobs left with a pretty good fill.

My pears seem to be ripe enough to eat, and rather tasty too.  Very happy if that tree continues to do well.  

frankbeswick wrote:I have just turned a butternut squash Into some soup. With a tomato and a red chilli added it tasted great.
 

And what doesn't benefit from a dash of chilli ? What are you harvesting today? - Page 4 2922771392   My butternuts are looking promising this year, and winter squash Festival, though I won't be eating them for a bit.
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Post by frankbeswick on 23rd August 2018, 2:49 pm

I enjoyed the soup more than restaurant butternut squash soup because restaurant squash soup always tastes too sweet, but this had a savoury flavour.

My squash have run wild this year, and the sweetcorn has done well. I asked my eldest son did his wife eat corn. He replied, "Have you ever met an African who doesn't?" She is Angolan and her role in my self-reliant operation is that as a trained chef she turns stuff into jam and whatever else I want. In turn she gets a fifty per cent split of the food.
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Post by freebird on 23rd August 2018, 8:32 pm

Sounds like a good arrangement, Frank.

I don't think my Yellow Rocoto has much to fear from the weather in being over-wintered, but I am totally rubbish with things in pots. Hence my automatic watering system - but that will be drained down in the winter. We'll see .....

Ploshkin - all my cobs were in the freezer within two and a half hours of being picked. There are so many other things to eat at this time of year which I prefer not to freeze, such as runner and French beans. We'll enjoy them later on, along with all the broad beans I froze.
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Post by Chilli-head on 24th August 2018, 9:46 pm

I have two very enthusiastic patty-pan type squashes at the lotty. But I still can't see the point of them. They look pretty, but if I pick them small, they are rather vegetal in flavour, not as nice as a courgette. If I let them grow larger, the flesh layer between the skin and the seeds and pith is so thin as to be almost useless.
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Post by freebird on 25th August 2018, 9:14 am

Really, REALLY wish I had grown butternuts this year. I had 12 from 3 plants last year. This season I have 5 Uchiki Kuri from 4 plants. Think I'll do both next year.
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Post by FloBear on 25th August 2018, 1:53 pm

Must admit I'm not keen on any squash except butternut, so far. Have eaten flat ones and stringy ones among others, and found nothing I liked.
My first two butternuts seem to be almost the right colour now but I'm wary about picking one in case they need to ripen some more. I think they need a long ripening period, but not sure if they'll carry on ripening after picking.
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Post by frankbeswick on 25th August 2018, 11:24 pm

I was at the Poynton Show today representing the National Vegetable Society, a marvellous experience; but yesterday I harvested plums in abundance and am sharing them with family members.
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Post by freebird on 26th August 2018, 9:25 am

Leave them on the plant as long as you can, FloBear. When you do cut them, cut either side of the stalk to leave a T-shaped piece, which apparently helps stop fungus getting into the squash. Last year, after I cut mine, I left them in the shed window while the weather was still warm enough, to continue curing the skins, then moved them to my studio which is kept frost-free. Inspect them every couple of weeks, and if any are starting to go soft around the stalk end, use immediately - you can cut the soft bit out if it hasn't gone too far.
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th August 2018, 10:07 pm

As Freebird says - don't pick too soon. They can look the right colour but be tasteless. I generally leave mine on the vines until the leaves die down. I used my last squash from 2017 in March or April this year. It had just started to go soft round the stem.
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Post by FloBear on 27th August 2018, 11:45 am

Thank you, Freebird and Ploshkin. Very helpful for a squash novice. The advice online varies quite a bit.
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Post by Chilli-head on 27th August 2018, 8:56 pm

Courgettes.  Of course.  Also carrots and sweetcorn. But also grapes !
What are you harvesting today? - Page 4 20180817

C-H Jnr helped me press a pint of juice for an aperitif this evening. But there are loads left, they go right behind the greenhouse - enough for a gallon of wine, I think bigthink
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Post by freebird on 31st August 2018, 4:47 pm

They look gooood CH. Are they dessert grapes?

I have just come in with another five sweetcorn cobs. Some are second cobs from plants already picked. These are also in the freezer now, although I stripped the kernels from the cob this time, to save on freezer space.
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Post by FloBear on 31st August 2018, 5:24 pm

My sweetcorn aren't / isn't quite there yet.

I picked my first nearly-red chilli two days ago. It was completely red today but as it was the size of a cherry, I gave it to Lulu - she loved it. I did check first to make sure it was OK togive chillies to parrots!
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Post by Chilli-head on 31st August 2018, 8:19 pm

The grapes are wine grapes, IIRC Sylvaner and Schuerrebe. So sweet, but pippy. Make nice juice to drink, but I have another plan for most of them...

I thought birds were not sensitive to capsaicin in chillies. A clever dispersal strategy, mammals leave them alone, but birds eat them, spreading the seed further afield.

My sweetcorn is either eaten or in the freezer now. It did well despite the drought. I used a Red Savina chilli to pep up my tacos tonight.

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Post by FloBear on 31st August 2018, 9:06 pm

Meant to say, those grapes look fab, C-H.

You're right about birds not being senstive to capsaicin. I thought that was the case but decided to check!
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