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It's all about the harvest

This week, time on the Allotment - whenever rain showers allowed - has been spent harvesting and preparing our harvests for freezing. It's that time of year when other jobs have to be placed on the back burner. Harvesting is our priority. If crops are left to sit on the plot, there is really no point in it all.
It's not just the allotment that provides us with a harvest. Tomatoes and Mini Munch cucumbers are being harvested from the garden which, unlike the allotment, has so far avoided the dreaded blight.
Martyn, got out a ladder to pick more apples from the tree in the garden. We passed on a couple of bucketfuls to neighbours. This lot was just from our side of the tree. As it grows on our boundary, at least another couple of neighbours help themselves to fruit growing on the other side. Most of our share has been stewed, either by itself or with other fruit picked from the allotment, and frozen. Like squirrels food is stored away for winter supplies.
We didn't manage our major allotment harvest until Friday but it was definitely worth waiting for.
20 August - Sweet Peas, Dahlias, Plums - Oullins Gage & a few Victoria, Courgettes - Boldenice, Ambassador & Black Forest, Blueberries, Blackberries - Loch Ness, Cabbage - Mozart, Tomatoes - Crimson Crush, Crimson Plum, Sungold & Tumbler, Calabrese - Monclano, Raspberries - All Gold, Apples - Discovery, Potatoes - Nadine, Carrots - Romance and Peas - Onward.

The first lot of pea plants have now been stripped and the bed cleared. The next lot of peas, Onward and Terrain are now setting pods so we will soon be picking and freezing again. Unlike Onward, Terrain produces flowers in pairs. 
I wonder whether the next batch of peas will be free from pea moth grubs too. We also usually have grubs in the first lot of plums that we pick but these too have been bug free. The potatoes lifted so far have been mostly free of minibeast damage. The odd one or two have been nibbled by slugs but, usually some tubers have wireworm damage. It's early days as there are lots of potatoes still to lift but could it be that the pests haven't thrived in this year's weather conditions? Has anyone else noticed something similar?

It's a good job that our garden apple tree has fruited so well this year, as some of the apple trees on the allotment are having a year off. The Discovery tree which is usually dripping with fruit has produced just six apples. It had lots of blossom but the poor weather at the time probably led to poor pollination.

Some of the tomatoes from plants caught by blight were picked whist still green. The fruits showed no sign of blight so will be ripen ay home. Just in case, they will be kept well away from the tomatoes growing in the garden.

There were a few red tomatoes in the plot greenhouse. We have planted, Crimson Crush and Crimson Plum which are both described a blight resistant. Next year we are likely to stick to blight resistant varieties at the allotment. Has anyone any recommendations?

On Saturday, just before we left the plot, Martyn decided to lift a root of Nadine potatoes. He just wanted to confirm whether his doubts that the plants had produced a decent crop were correct. The tops of the plants hadn't seemed to make much growth. Happily, he was wrong and the root that he dug had produced a good amount of tubers.
After digging up a surprisingly good root of Nadine the previous day, on Sunday, Martyn decided to dig up the rest of the row and the row of Elfe growing alongside it. Both rows had produced good crops which considering the tubers were planted in a very rough piece of ground - our old strawberry bed - was very pleasing.
Whilst, Martyn was digging up potatoes, I was loosening the onions. The leaves had flopped over indicating that there would be no more growing. The uprooted bulbs now need to dry off ready for storing and using over winter and hopefully beyond. We could do with a few dry sunny days to help with that.
On the whole, the onions have also produced a good crop but, the bed on the right above was very soggy in places and a few of the onions growing there had succumbed to rot.

The onions that were badly affected have been disposed of but in some cases rot had only slightly affected the outer skins and these will be quickly used in the kitchen. Some of the onions are quite large - too large for using up in a meal for just the two of us, in such cases I fry the whole onion and pop half in a container to be kept in the fridge and used the next day or frozen for later in the week.
22 August - Calabrese - Montclano, Plums - Victoria, Courgettes - Ambassador, Boldenice & Black Forest and Peas - Onward

We have given lots of courgettes away. Thankfully we have neighbours who don't lock the doors and hide in the house when they see me approaching with a bucket.

Monday I used some of the courgettes, an onion and some of our cherry tomatoes in a chicken and courgette risotto. I used risotto rice rather than the basmati specified in the recipe.

Friday I made curried cabbage based on this recipe. The recipe contained our cabbage, onion, carrots, peas and some of our frozen coriander.
On Sunday I used some of the potatoes freshly lifted, a Boldenice courgette and a handful of garden mint to cook a  courgette, potato and mint frittata. This was served with sauteed potato and calabrese. Most of the ingredients - not the eggs were harvested that day so you can't get fresher than that.
Despite the weather not looking too promising, we set off for our usual walk in the park at Nostell Priory. Our walk was shorter than usual as we were caught in a heavy shower and all ended up wet and soggy.
Ruby wasn't in the least bit worried by the rain. Strangely if she had been getting as wet in a shower cubicle, it would have been a very different story!

As always wherever you are keep safe and well.

This week I   am once again joining in with Dave’s Harvest Monday collection of posts over at Our Happy Acres.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett

This post first appeared on Our Plot At Green Lane Allotments, please read the originial post: here

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It's all about the harvest


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