Harvest Monday for August 8th 2016

So much produce harvested since our last Harvest Monday post. Let the parade of deliciousness begin!

July 2017 - bean bags
Bags and bags of beans for cooking, freezing and pickling.

We planted a lot of beans this year – broad, French and runner – and all but one variety are in full productive flood. We’ve been eating them, freezing them, and I made a batch of runner bean, tomato and courgette chutney as well.

July 2016 beans
Broad and runner beans make a great addition to a ratatouille.

The courgettes are still producing like crazy (no surprises there) and there’s a good selection of other veggies to accompany them:

July 2016 vegetable assortment
A selection of lovely fresh veg – courgette, turnip, spuds, Swiss chard and (yup!) more beans.

The purple cauliflower we sowed turned out not to be cauliflower after all; it’s definitely calabrese broccoli. It loses its colour on cooking, even when gently steamed. Which is a bit of a shame, but par for the course for most purple veg. (The anthocyanin pigments are water soluble, y’see, and probably break down even faster under heat.)

July 2016 purple cape "cauliflower"
Says cauliflower on the packet, but turned out to be calabrese – still very tasty.

We also picked the last of the mangetout-turned-podded peas yesterday, so we’ll be shelling those and finishing them off before too long.

Last week we lifted the last of the onions, before the white rot set in. I was pleasantly surprised to find that only a dozen or so had taken rot, leaving us with this many for drying and storing:

July 2016 main onion harvest
We’re very pleased with our onions this year – they should keep us going a fair while.

Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the potatoes, which took blight a bit too early this year. This is all the tubers we got from an entire three metre row of first earlies:

July 2016 - first earlies
I believe the technical term for this sort of yield rhymes with “diss door”.

Not good. The second earlies are a bit more promising, but yields are definitely way down on last year. We might not have as many to store as we hoped, but so it goes.

So far this year – a load of grey mould infected strawberries aside – the soft fruit and berry harvests have been very good indeed:

July 2016 - berry harvest
How’s this for a berry selection? By no means the entire crop, either.

Clockwise from the top, we have: blackcurrants, redcurrants, Japanese wineberries, blackberries and raspberries.

The Japanse wineberries are definitely winners in our book. The plant is a spiky old so-and-so, but the berries are incredibly easy to pick; they just slide right off their stems once they’re ripe and they taste delicious, sweeter than raspberries but still nicely sharp.

July 2016 - Japanese wineberries
These wineberries are something of a taste revelation – sweet yet sharp.

And we’re glad to see that our twin blueberry bushes in the back garden have produced a decent crop this year, despite being re-potted back in the Spring.

August 2016 - blueberries
A nice haul from our two back garden bushes.

And this is one of the dishes I’ve been cooking up recently. Allotment bubble and squeak, with goat’s cheese and homemade courgette and tomato chutney. Simple, incredibly tasty and highly recommended!

August 2016 allotment bubble & squeak
Leftover veg, re-fried, served up with goat’s cheese and homemade chutney – delicious!

Harvest Monday is a GYO meme hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

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8 comments

  1. You have a lot of lovely berries! Those wineberries may be spiky, but they don’t look as bad as gooseberries which always seem to get me without warning. The purple cauliflower sure looks like broccoli from here. Sorry to hear about the blight issues on your potatoes. Thankfully I don’t have any problems here, at least yet.

    • Darren T says:

      Aye, our gooseberries are particularly vicious. And because yours truly didn’t plant them all that sensibly a couple of years back, they make harvesting our redcurrants and blackcurrants somewhat hazardous as well. A reorganisation of the soft fruit section is called for this winter, I think.

      Hope the blight stays well away from your spuds!

  2. Margaret says:

    Those are some gorgeous harvests! I’m going to have to consider adding wineberries to my list of berry shrubs to purchase. First, though, I’ll have to check to see if they are hardy around here.

    I’ve not seen pink broad beans before, although a variety I’m growing that are green when fresh do go purple as they dry out.

    • Darren T says:

      Thank you Margaret! Those broad beans are a variety called ‘red epicure’ and depending on the stage at which you pick them, they come in all sorts of shades from pale pink through to deep red. They tend to keep their colour when cooked, and the plants are good croppers as well. Definitely a variety I’d recommend and will be growing again myself.

  3. Phuong says:

    Your bubble and squeak dish looks great with the goat cheese. That’s terrible about the potatoes, I wonder if the extremely wet year encouraged the blight. Your onions and loads of beans look good though.

    • Darren T says:

      I think you’re absolutely right there, Phuong. Blight thrives in warm, wet conditions and this “summer” has been one long combination of wet and warm. But those are the conditions that beans enjoy – as my Dad-in-law told me once, they’re originally swamp plants, so love a llt of water – so there’s an upside there.

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