Monday, July 10

We pick, pull and water

Again this week we are being kept busy picking berries. Despite the lack of rain it has been a very good berry season with the exception of most varieties of strawberries.  Most have been disappointing. The exception is the late fruiting Malwina which is the only variety this year to produce the large berries that we expect. I wonder whether the conditions favour a late variety more? Most of the other varieties of strawberiies have stopped producing fruit and so I have given them a good water and feed to try and build up the plants for next season.
4 July
Towards the end of the week, Malwina was providing us with delicious fruit.  We grew this variety for the first time last year and were bowled over by the flavour. The fruits are a dark red which apparently causes it to be unpopular in some circles. Not in this house.
The blackcurrants are now ripening quickly. Picking them is a very time consuming job which I guess explains their high cost in the shops.
The earliest blueberry bush also has fruit ripening quickly. It may be my imagination but it seems that picking the ripe berries encourages the green berries to swell. Fruit on the second bush are now starting to ripen too.
As well as picking berries there are peas to be harvested. So far we have managed to mitigate the lack of rainfall by a copious amount of watering. On our return home from the plot I've been sitting in the garden podding peas. Fortunately only one or two pods have had unwelcome squatters. I did wonder as I was sitting popping the pods open, how many people - especially children - don't realise that peas form in pods. When I was a child podding peas was one task that I was given and it was impossible to carry out the task without more than just a few never making it to the pan.

There have also been broad beans to pod. Witkiem Manita have now just about been picked over but the diminutive Robin Hood plants are loaded with flowers.
Whilst the summer onions are still growing, we are harvesting the over wintered onions. Although many of the onions sent up a flower stalk, there is still plenty of useable onion. It's a case of nipping any in the bud so that the onions don't produce a flower. The aim is for as many leaves to form as possible as each one forms a layer of onion in the bulb.
6 July
The calabrese has more or less finished producing side shoots and now it is the turn of the cabbages to provide our brassica hit. The variety - Regency - scores well on flavour and has a very solid, pointed head. The bed that the early brassicas are growing in has so far shown no signs of club root and again despite the lack of rainfall the plants have done extremely well. Other than when they were first planted the plants haven't been treated to much watering.
8 July
As yet the courgettes are not yet in glut mode so we are keeping up picking a couple of fruits in each visit to the plot.
9 July
As I mentioned earlier the cabbages are doing very well. The one below harvested last week weighed in at over 2kg. (just over 4½lb)

To avoid the risk of us turning green, this individual is now in the freezer.

I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres



22 comments:

  1. This must be the best berry season over there! How the strawberries taste? are they sour? All those berries are very expensive over here! ;)
    The cabbage is so huge!

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    1. It is definitely berry season. The strawberries aren't sour, they have a very deep strawberry taste that is difficult to describe, Malar. Some strawberries are flavourless.

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  2. I love blueberries! One of my cousins has blueberry bushes, and she gave us a gallon of them last week. I used 3 cups to make a pie, and put the rest in my freezer. More blueberry pie in our future!
    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. We'll have lots of berries in the freezer by the end of the season, Lea.

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  3. I think the dark-coloured Malwina strawberries are very attractive - you could imagine them having a taste nearer to Blackcurrants! I was interested in what you said about the onions that bolted. Several of my "Red Baron" ones bolted. I picked a few yesterday, and the useable bit (if it is indeed useable) looks very small and feels very hard. Certainly not good for using in a salad!

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    1. We think that they look attractive too, Mark.

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  4. Nice crop, Sue. Your strawberry look very juicy, and I also love your broad beans. My black currant is green yet so your are ahead of mines :-(

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    1. We have early and late blackcurrants, Nadezda. The later ones still have green berries.

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  5. Sue,those Malwina strawberries look so impressive I have made a note of the name for when we buy in some new plants next Autumn!! You are so right about picking currants being time consuming, but it is so worth is, isn't it?

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    1. It is definitely worth it, Kathy

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  6. That is a whopper of a cabbage! I too give the pea podding task to the kids and they just love it - if I am podding at the kitchen table, one or the other will come up and ask to join in.

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    1. As long as they don't come across any pea moth grubs, Margaret

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  7. I think the dark red of the Malwina strawberries is very attractive. The cabbage is magnificent!

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    1. We like the dark red strawberries too, Michelle but apparently the orange red ones are liked more by lots of people. Malwina are a deep red all the way through.

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  8. What a lovely harvest. JUst drooling over all those berries! i think those dark red strawberries are the prettiest and look the ripest.. I don't even bother buying them at the store, they are half green and hard and mold before they ever get soft. I need to remember to plant some fava beans when it's time; I forgot last year.

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    1. The Malwina strawberries are very juicy, Mary

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  9. 'Malwina' looks and sounds most impressive Sue. Name noted as I need to replace all my strawberry plants. I imagine that the peas must have lapped up yesterday's rain with great gusto.

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    1. The rain was welcome, Anna. The peas and beans especially love it. We really like Malwina and can't understand why it isn't more popular. It is late though so bear that in mind.

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  10. Wow! That's all I can say - what bountiful harvests 🤗

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    1. It's the bountiful time of year, Carrie

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  11. What a harvest Sue, you are way ahead of me with the blueberries and courgettes.xxx

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    1. It's the earliest fruiting blueberry bush that has ripe berries, Dina. The other three bushes have nao ripe fruit yet. Well that's not exactly right, the second earliest has had a few ripe berries but it is only just getting started.

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