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» Tomato Relish
by freebird 21st October 2020, 9:57 pm

» What are you harvesting today?
by freebird 20th October 2020, 9:05 am

» Ross Cobbs
by FloBear 19th October 2020, 7:19 pm

» What arts and craft things have you been making lately?
by Dandelion 7th October 2020, 9:50 pm

» The October garden
by Dandelion 3rd October 2020, 10:16 pm

» Red Mite
by Dandelion 19th September 2020, 10:33 pm

» The September Garden
by Dandelion 14th September 2020, 9:59 pm

» Bit of a wobble
by Dandelion 17th August 2020, 9:48 pm

» Ex-commercial hens
by Dandelion 17th August 2020, 9:45 pm

» Welcome guest
by FloBear 12th August 2020, 9:44 pm

» Pesky blackbirds
by Chilli-head 10th August 2020, 11:16 pm

» Cambridge replacement folk service
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» What have I done in the workshop today?
by freebird 20th July 2020, 8:14 pm

» July - welcome to the Autumn garden !
by Dandelion 16th July 2020, 6:35 pm

» What can I do with ...?
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» New Kiva loan
by Dandelion 3rd July 2020, 12:37 pm

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by freebird 2nd July 2020, 8:43 pm

» New arrivals
by FloBear 29th June 2020, 7:38 pm

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by Chilli-head 24th June 2020, 11:18 am

» The June garden
by Chilli-head 23rd June 2020, 10:50 am

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Post by Dandelion on 8th July 2020, 4:53 pm

The blackfly in my garden, having been ousted from the broad beans when I put them on the compost heap, have unexpectedly turned their attentions to the rhubarb. I always consider rhubarb to be fairly easy and trouble free, apart from crown rot, but having pulled some stems this afternoon the leaves are crawling with the little beasts. And as a consequence I now have blackfly - my clothes are covered!!


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Post by freebird on 8th July 2020, 8:03 pm

Goodness, you seem to have a plague of them, Dandelion. I'm amazed as I still have broad beans in, and so far no sign of blackfly. Wonder if it's an altitude thing, or whether I've just been lucky.
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Post by Dandelion on 8th July 2020, 10:16 pm

We're in the centre of the town so it's probably warmer and more sheltered than your place Freebird (we have hills up behind the town so we're in a bit of a hollow)

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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 freebird on 9th July 2020, 8:15 pm

First few French beans, first dessert gooseberries, first tomato out the greenhouse.

Today I ate 11 different things that I've grown. Aren't we lucky.
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Post by Chilli-head on 9th July 2020, 8:23 pm

It's not luck a+
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Post by freebird on 10th July 2020, 10:25 am

Thanks CH - though I suppose I meant Aren't we fortunate. Eating our own produce, especially this year with so many unknowns, makes me feel rich. Lockdown has been pretty grim for many people, but for me it has been something of a blessing. It has allowed me to concentrate my time and energy in the garden, and taken me much further ahead than I might otherwise have been.
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Post by Chilli-head on 10th July 2020, 11:04 am

Yes, I know what you mean. My allotment has demonstrated very clearly that what is needed for it to be at its best is time and effort. This year I've been able to give it, and it is being rewarded !

I had a look in at the greenhouse this morning when I went down to pick some rocket for my lunch. Five cucumbers will be ready over the next few days (from 2 plants) and ... I have some tomatoes that are not green ! Zlatava are just turning orange. Very full, regular trusses. They look really promising, but the truth is in the eating... need a few days yet.

Weekend plan is to walk the 8 mile round trip to the farm shop, at the request of my teenager, who is that desperate to get out of the house ! - well, he is also fond of their rather good meat too. So we have to find something to go with the produce - patatas bravas is on the agenda, and tzatziki. I think I have a few padron peppers ready too.
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Post by Dandelion on 10th July 2020, 10:28 pm

That's a long way to go for meat - it must be good!

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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 Chilli-head on 11th July 2020, 12:01 am

It is rather good. You can brown it without it quickly starting to simmer in a pan full of exuded water.

But we enjoy a good walk too, and from here you can get there with maybe 200 yards of road walking, the rest on farm tracks or field margins. It is good by mountain bike too, if you head on the track through the woods.

Oops - just realised I'm in the harvesting thread, not the tea room ! We had lettuce, spring onions, plus cucumber and garlic in tzatziki with our lamb kofte tonight. Tomorrow I need to find a bit of time to check the gooseberries.
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Post by Chilli-head on 13th July 2020, 5:37 pm

Gooseberries are not ready yet, but the allotment had potatoes, courgettes, spring onions, beetroot and dwarf French beans to offer.

I've lifted the overwintered onions, now wondering what I can do with the space - what will grow to fruition in the remains of summer ? I have pak choi seedlings, and I could sow some mustard as green manure. Hmm. More beetroot would be useful, if there is time.
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Post by Dandelion on 14th July 2020, 10:55 pm

What about kale? Or late carrots?
I have carrot seeds poised ready to sow once I've lifted the last of the new potatoes (although one of the new hens is doing the job for me - she has escaped into the vegetable plot three times this week, and each time she has dug up some potatoes! She has also made a row of leeks look like the palm trees on Tracy Island... one of my first jobs this morning was to clip her wings, so hopefully my vegetables will be safe now!

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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 freebird on 15th July 2020, 12:03 pm

Today's pickings - greenhouse cucumber and tomatoes, outdoor basket tomatoes, green and red dessert gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries. Especially pleased with the fruit as the plants only went in the ground in October, so I had no idea what to expect.

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Post by FloBear on 15th July 2020, 7:51 pm

What a lovely harvest, freebird. So glad for you that all your work is paying off already.
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Post by Ploshkin on 15th July 2020, 8:13 pm

Wow Freebird, that all looks lovely.
I'm just about fruitless this year. Everything in the fruit cage is new - I've had 12 redcurrants and I should get a small bowl of blueberries when they ripen. I've got no plums or damsons (late frost) and no crab apples (bullfinches). I've just realised too that the jays are pinching the raspberries. They've become very bold in the last couple of years.
I did get some strawberries and melons from the polytunnel.
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Post by freebird on 15th July 2020, 8:17 pm

I made sure that I put my lovely Polka raspberries in the fruit cage, Ploshkin. Don't reckon I would see any at all, otherwise - the blackbirds would have the lot.
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Post by Dandelion on 16th July 2020, 6:42 pm

I picked some greenhouse tomatoes this morning, which were sweet and tender, but I have to say that it's not going to be a great year for tomatoes as far as I'm concerned. Flowers dropped off in the hot weather, some fruit has had blossom end rot, and some has split, so there just isn't going to be much fruit. Fortunately what there is, tastes good! The plants whch have done the best are in the Easy2Grow modules (although I didn't set the tank up because I couldn't get any compost or perlite to have the right growing medium, so I have just used the pots and the stand they go in.) So I think a lot of the issues probably come down to watering, although I have watered them twice a day in the hot spells.

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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 Ploshkin on 16th July 2020, 6:54 pm

My tomatoes are starting to ripen but they're a bit lacklustre. Somd of thd big ines are rotting while they're still green - not blossom end rot.

Ive had my first French beans today out of the tunnel. They were a bit late starting as I couldn't get seed. I sowed all the old seeds I had but nothing appeared then the garden centres opened and I was able to get seed. A couple o the old ones must have germinated because I have white and purple flowers.
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Post by freebird on 16th July 2020, 8:06 pm

Oh Ploshkin, you should have said you didn't have French bean seed. I had plenty of saved seed, and picked my first beans outside about 10 days ago.

Tomatoes are incredibly slow to ripen, but are starting to come good - I've picked about 10 ripe so far. No rot that I can see, but not many on each truss. Watering hasn't been an issue as they are in the Easy2Grow pots, with a self-filling reservoir connected to the main water supply. Those pots may not be the best way to grow the best tomatoes, but for someone who's rubbish at watering (like me!), they are brilliant. All I have to worry about is feeding.
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Post by Ploshkin on 16th July 2020, 9:24 pm

Freebird, I did have some seed but it was older than I had thought and wouldnt germinate
By the way, after repelling an onslaught of mealy aphid the romanesco and psb that you sent me and the cabbage that Dandelion sent me are looking very good.
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Post by Chilli-head on 20th July 2020, 10:39 am

A fairly good weekend for produce - a salad on Friday evening with only home grown ingredients - lettuce, cucumber, first of the tomatoes, spring onion, and cooked French beans. Potato salad with home grown chives. Saturday, for lunch παντζαροσαλατα/pantzarosalata - a Greek beetroot dip, like hummus, and for dinner home grown veg with barbecued lamb - potatoes cooked in a foil parcel with butter, sliced (slightly oversized) Romanesco courgettes, and spring onions caramelised on the grill.
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Post by freebird on 20th July 2020, 11:37 am

Wow, that all sounds good CH - well, apart from the beetroot. Bleurgh. Can't stand the stuff. Lucky I'm not Russian!
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Post by Dandelion on 20th July 2020, 4:17 pm

freebird wrote:Wow, that all sounds good CH - well, apart from the beetroot. Bleurgh. Can't stand the stuff. Lucky I'm not Russian!
Laughing Laughing
Beetroot seems to be one of those 'marmite' things; you either love it or hate it.

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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 Chilli-head on 20th July 2020, 4:48 pm

I have always liked beetroot. I guess some dislike it because they associate it with vinegar, not just pickled but lots of recipies use some. I guess it is possible to dislike its earthy taste. Or the scary moment the first time you pee red and think you are about to die Laughing
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Post by Dandelion on 20th July 2020, 5:05 pm

Shocked Shocked Yes, that's never good!

I love it oven baked, with garlic, rosemary and a little olive oil

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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 freebird on 20th July 2020, 8:20 pm

I'm not sure exactly what it is I hate about beetroot. It smells vile, both raw and cooked. I've tried it in soup, salads and a beetroot chutney recipe my grandmother gave me, which she told me I was bound to like. Tried it again more recently in case my taste had changed (as it did with blue stilton) but nope. Shame, because it's a beautiful colour.
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd July 2020, 9:51 pm

Curry night tonight, with a fair few home grown ingredients - onions, garlic, chillies, French beans, coriander, and even lemon grass Cool
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