Sunday, 5 September 2010

Harvest Time

I had a good haul from the allotment today. I'm still digging up my second early potatoes, International Kidney, but I'm not keen on their flavour or the way they break up on cooking so I won't be growing them again. I've started digging up my maincrop potatoes, Lady Balfour and Blue Danube, a blue variety, but haven't eaten either yet so can't give a verdict on taste. I've also harvested runner beans, three varieties of French beans plus the last three Sonesta which are the yellow beans, chard, curly kale, cavolo de nero, courgettes, tomatoes and a swede.

I've started thinking about crops for the winter. I've already got some curly kale, cavolo de nero, chard and purple sprouting brocolli in the allotment. I have lots of leeks at home which are still waiting to go in, and at the weekend I bought some plug plants from a local market. I got some spring greens and also some savoy cabbage. They were only £1 for each tray and look like strong healthy seedlings.

I don't think I've given the allotment the attention I should have done this year for one reason or another. Even so, I think it's been well worth the £20 per year rent. I've definitely had more than £20 in produce from it, strawberries alone would have probably cost me more than this in a supermarket. Next year I want to give the allotment more of my attention, so I intend to get as much of it dug over before winter comes so that the frosts can help break up the soil. This was my intention last year but somehow it didn't happen and this year it seemed like a mammoth task to get it all done. Let's hope that the weather holds up now so that I manage it this year.


  1. Sounds like we're at exactly the same place between our intentions and reality. You've done pretty well tho with this range of crops. Happy eating!

  2. The haul you have photographed is worth the money I'll bet. I'd love to devote more time to the veg but best laid plans and all. You're right to get ahead of the winter jobs, good prep now will pay dividends next year.

  3. I really wanted swede this year and got the seed but never got the land prepared in time...I will definitely have some next year though as they are one of my favourite veg.

    I wish you luck with the winter dig...this is my intention on the new half that has been finished off yet as well, I dug the other side over for winter last year and it did make a huge difference come spring and I have had no nasties in the soil this season either.

    You really did have a great haul today....I can't imagine how much produce you will get if you give your plot the time it deserves!!

  4. Nice little harvest Jo. I might just get to harvest myself something as spotted a few stray late strawberries fruiting, a good punnet at least. :D If lucky, maybe some potatoes for Christmas if the frost doesn't get them.

  5. Good luck with the winter preps Jo. My strawberries were my big money saver this year - in fact I was almost relieved to go on holiday just to stop having to pick them :) A fine haul from today - I smiled at your mention of the last three beans.

  6. Even with less attention, allotment gave you all these wonderful vegetables and fruits! I'm looking forward to see what it can produce when it gets all the attention it needs.
    I would love to see a picture of your allotment.

  7. £20 a plot - with water rates ours are just under £60 a plot. Great harvest though hope that you enjoy eating it or freezing it!

  8. What a fab harvest! Our beans have done really poorly this year - a shame because they're one of my favourites! Must start thinking about winter crops too...

  9. Very nice harvest!
    everything looks delicious

  10. I was surprised at how much I bought home from the plot today!
    The early potato I like is Charlotte which I'll be growing again next year along with a few first early Vales Emerald about which I know nothing!
    I think that all allotmenteers reading your last paragraph would agree with, I certainly do.
    I like to have done any digging and tidying up that I want to do by the end of October then have a well deserved rest over the winter leaving the plot to the wildlife. Flighty xx

  11. Thanks, Linda. Good intentions and all that, I must make more of an effort this year.

    It's all a balancing act, Damo, and I haven't yet got the hang of it. Something always has to give and it's usually the allotment, but I'll give it my best shot to get it dug over this year.

    I've had plenty of produce from the allotment this year, Tanya. It's surprising how well things do even when you're not giving them your full attention. I love swedes too.

    Thanks, Craig. Strawberries will be a nice little bonus for you. I'm hoping to get some everbearers in the ground for next year along with the ones I already have.

    Waste not want not, Anna, I wasn't going to leave them there to rot, plus those three little yellow beans will brighten up my plate.

    The photo will have to wait, Vrtlarica, it's in such a state at the moment that I would be embarrassed to show you it. Wait until I have got the weeds under control and have started to dig it over and then there'll be no stopping me with my camera.

    We don't have water on our site, Green Lane Allotments, and my plot is just over the size of a half plot, so we're nearly on a par.

    I love beans too, Nome. I made sure that I grew plenty of plants and lots of different varieties too, and there's loads left to come.

    Thanks, ~fer. There's nothing quite like the taste of home grown veg.

    I haven't grown Vales Emerald either, Flighty, but I'm sure it was those which were given a thumbs up in Gardener's World magazine. You make a very good point about the wildlife, I will remember not to tidy up too much, in fact, I tend to leave most things in the garden until spring now so that there's plenty of places for the wildlife to overwinter.

  12. Wow! that's an amazing harvest!

  13. You've done amazingly well AND it's your first year? I always start off with good intentions, but the weather, slugs and long walk get on top of me. We've still done better than we have for a long time, but nothing like what you've been producing.

    We grew Vales Emerald for the first time this year. They produced masses, but they had an odd taste which I didn't like. But I guess it's all about individual taste- we also grew some black kidney's this year and I really liked those!

  14. Thanks, Matron. It makes all the work worthwhile when the harvests come.

    Thanks for visiting, Choclette, and for leaving a comment. I'm actually in my second year of having the allotment now but I used to grow veg in containers before I got the plot. I'm pleased to hear that you've had a good year too. I think you have to find the potato which works for you, those grown on one plot can taste different to the same potato grown on a different plot. I was really looking forward to my International Kidney but they were disappointing.

  15. Wow Jo - Youve been hard at it! What a fantastic harvest! Im looking forward to hearing your verdict on the blue potatoes they look very interesting!

  16. Least said about the blue potatoes, Freerangegirl. I'm very happy with this years harvest considering the little effort we put in. I'm hoping with more effort next year we can do even better, but it doesn't always work that way.

  17. What a fantastic haul!!! We used to have an allotment, I loved the produce, but not the work!!!
    Thank you for visiting my blog, and for your kind comments.

  18. Thanks for visiting, Angel. I love having fresh veg on hand. You're right, it is a lot of hard work, but worth it in the end.


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