first harvests

July 23, 2010 at 11:00 am 9 comments

Having been out of action for several weeks after Easter I’m harvesting my first crops later than my fellow plot holders.  Many are already fed up with courgettes swollen to marrows with the recent rainfall whereas I picked my first ordinary sized courgette just a few days ago.

We’ve lifted all of our first early potatoes and there’s a whole other story’s worth about how we’ve rated them.  For now though the spuds pictured above are Vales Emerald and Red Duke of York.  The unusually warm, dry Spring weather massively reduced the number of potatoes we’ve had on each plant and the average size of the tubers.  These Gloucester Black Kidneys were planted with the main crop potatoes but have already given up in the fight for water.  
The runner beans have survived the black fly again this year with a little help from squirty washing up liquid and an army of hungry ants.  They were grown from the  polestar stringless beans  I saved from last years crop and are my first foray into sustainably grown food from saved seeds.

These beauties were so moorish they only lasted a day or two.  You just can’t beat the simplicity of freshly boiled beets munched off a fork.  Beetroot lolly anyone?

And the rhubarb?  I think you can guess what that’s been turned into?

Entry filed under: allotment tales.

goosegogs making rhubarb chutney

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cheryl  |  July 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Wow! Everything looks so good! Those beets & potatoes looks fantastic! I’ve got to check and see if it’s time to pick my beets yet. It’s my first year growing them so I hope they turned out.

  • 2. Tom  |  July 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Good work!

  • 3. Nic  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    What a fabulous crop, all so perfect and fresh. What a great feeling to pick your own grown fruit and veg.

  • 4. alifelesssimple  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I have only just picked my first courgettes this week too, and they were very yummy too

  • 5. Tracey  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I too have just harvested some baby beets and theres still bigger ones in the ground and I had no idea how to cook them so many thanks for the boiled tip.

    I’m more intrigued by the beetroot lollys though, have you got a how to guide or recipe for them?


  • 6. Choclette  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Your harvest is looking great. I’m dead envious of your beetroots. I had a great crop last year, but they just don’t seem to want to grow this year and I’ve tried several sowings.

    All of our potatoes have got blight really badly so yesterday we harvested all of the ones you sent us last year and a some of our own. The Vales Emerald was astonishing in the size of the crop. Your black kidney did a lot better than ours (loved the shape of these). We had a taste test today which was fun. I’ve really enjoyed having a few different ones to try this year and we’ll definitely be keeping some of the harvest for planting next year. So a big thank you. CT will be doing a post about it in the next week or two so I’ll let you know when he’s done.

  • 7. Bilbo  |  July 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    All looks quite delicious!

  • 8. Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers  |  July 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Oh it looks wonderful!

    I pulled up a handful of beets and 2 courgettes last night too. Can’t wait to eat them tonight.

    The beans look fantastic – I’m so interested in harvesting seeds too – nice to see it worked so well for you. I need to read up a lot more on the varieties of beans and which ones are best for drying and for keeping for seed. Any tips?

  • 9. nic @ nipitinthebud  |  July 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Cheryl – thanks. Beets fresh from the ground are really great so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for your first harvest too.

    Tom – I agree :o)

    Nic – definitely, brings a massive smile to my face every time!

    Poppy – enjoy (and keep picking!)

    Tracey – beetroot lollies are not as exciting as they sound just the simple delight of sticking a fork in a massive beet and munching away! There’s a recipe on my blog for baked beetroot risotto and beetroot muffins if you’re looking for other ideas

    Choc – big boo for the blight but hooray that you had a lovely varied crop too. I had a couple of baking potato sized Vales Emerald too but the rest were cherry tomato size where it was so dry! I’m aiming for sustainable potato growing in the future by saving some of each variety too.

    Bilbo – tasted delicious too |:o)

    Christine – a great first harvest for you too then.
    re. saving seeds I think the key is in how you dry them rather than the type of bean you choose. Drying the beans out in their pods is the best way to do it. If the weather starts to turn before they are dry enough on the plant pick off the whole pod and leave them in a warm place until the beans inside rattle about inside. I saved runner beans, borlotti beans and broad beans last year by pegging them out on the notice board above the kitchen radiator.


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6 years ago today I took my last waddle to the allotment to pick green veg for a vitamin packed last supper.  I knew baby was on his way but had a feeling he wasn't going to be quick about it.  It's his birthday in 2 days time and I'm so excited for him, my darling Whopper (he was 10lb 2oz and my bump in this picture is 48"!)
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