Sunday, 3 August 2014

Seasonality

 

My main aim this year was to grow and eat as many fruit and vegetables as I could find space for.  This, so far, has been largely successful with crop after crop ready for harvest. Growing my own has really moved me towards eating seasonally, enjoying food at its peak, from plot to plate often in less than ten minutes. When I need to supplement my veg patch I have strived to buy only British produce again dictating seasonality.
 
Far from being a burden this has been a real joy, with the only problem being deciding what to make with the abundance I have found in front of me. At the moment we are enjoying a glut of courgettes as I'm sure many other growers are. The timing of this has worked out perfectly, with the plants in the polytunnel now getting a little tired after giving me crops for the past two months the plants outside are now bearing fruit of a decent eating size.
 
 
These have been accompanied by early potatoes and shallots planted back in March of which the shallots will now be left out to dry and should store well into the winter.
 
My first sowings of peas and broad beans have now begun to come to an end. The broad beans will shortly be followed up by a later sowing extending my harvest season by a couple of months. With limited space however the peas were sown as one group so had to be enjoyed while we had them. This will need to be rethought before  next year as their sweetness and flavour was second to none, mainly due to being eaten so quickly after harvest before the sugars turn to starch.
 
The next glut will be runner beans, with three sowing in three different areas of the garden they all seem to be doing really well. Hopefully good news for my longest runner bean entry in the local show at the beginning of September.
 

 
As mentioned in previous posts the polytunnel has been a revelation with regards to growing tomatoes. I'm still yet to enjoy any but the sheer quantity that are beginning to ripen should make fantastic eating. With sauces, ketchup, chutney and of course fresh to name a few, there are a lot of ways to enjoy tomatoes so the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.
 

 Looking ahead the pumpkins and squashes are coming along nicely and should produce a good few meals. This has been a bit of a sacrifice of vital space in the garden and I may plant them somewhere less valuable next year as they seem to be able to grow anywhere. Nevertheless I'm sure they'll taste great and see me through the chilly nights of Autumn.


Today I have sown cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, chard and swede to go in when the last of the potatoes have been dug up. I plan to get some more chickens to over winter on the reaming part of the veg patch, keeping it weed free and fertilising it at the same time.

It will be interesting to see when the veg in the garden runs out and the shops stop stocking British produce in the depths of winter whether there is a massive disappointment in eating something that doesn't quite live up to what I have produced so far this year. Or perhaps more meaningfully something that I haven't planted, protected and watched grow in to something spectacular that livens up my dining table. It's not a day I'm looking forward to and I'm already making plans to delay this further next year or possibly not even have to buy any vegetables at all.
 

 


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