Monday, 28 July 2008

After the beans: beans!

We popped to the plot today to water the tomatoes in the greenhouse and found a few runner beans were big enough to eat. They were delicious, and loads more to come.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Beetroot for lunch

Yesterday we spent a very hot hour or so weeding and tidying up. The bindweed is still growing where it can, but I feel that we are staying on top of it now. The nets are off the raspberry canes since the crop is over and we could get a better look at weeding between the canes. We'll do a better job when the canes have been pruned.

The asparagus is still putting out extra spears. I watered it well a few days ago and this seems to have stimulated more growth. If it stays dry I'll keep watering to encourage more growth. This should build up the crowns ready for sending out spears next spring, which we'll harvest. The runner beans are setting some beans with lots more flowers too. I watered them and will continue to water to help set the beans. One bean was big enough to pick, but one is not much of a snack. I'll be patient.

The waiting is over for the first beetroot. We took three beets and had some with lunch today - lovely. We also had some coleslaw made with our cabbage, also very good. The cabbage is savoy which made the coleslaw slightly peppery; I liked it. Last night we had raspberry coulis (from our raspberries) with home-made icecream; that was really good.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

More beans

We went to make another harvest this morning; all is well. The broad beans continue to produce loads of fat pods. I took a carrier bag full again today. We took the last of the raspberries - about 600g - which will make another fantastic pie. The gooseberries also produced their last crop, about 300g, which added to the other crops is fantastic for just one bush. The runner beans are growing fast, but are not quite ready to take any yet.

The savoy cabbages are looking good, but they are a bit crowded. We planted them knowing they were too close to fit all of the plants into the bed, so now we will thin them to give the other room. Our first cabbage is small, but looks lovely.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Paving Slabs

I've been a member of Freecycle for a while. It helps put people who own things they don't in touch with people who cold use them. Most of the things offered would go to a landfill site if they were not taken by someone. I saw some paving slabs offered and I got them. We went with the trailer to pick them up today - they were heavier than I expected and it poured with rain while we lugged them to the trailer, but they will be useful.

We had some spare plants in the greenhouse in case some died, but everything has done so well that they were not needed. No one else seemed to need them, so they hit the compost heap. The only thing left in the greenhouse is a growbag with tomatoes in it. They're doing well, but we realised that we hadn't been feeding them so they got their first feed today.

The raspberries and broad beans will be ready for another harvest tomorrow. The runner beans are setting little pods, so we need to keep an eye on them to pick them before they get too big. That would make them stingy and tough.

Monday, 14 July 2008


We've been a bit busy, so this is a bit of a catch-up. We've had two big harvests of broad beans. We've eaten some and given some away, but still we have added over a kilo of blanched beans to the freezer. There will be much more yet. The actual take from the plants is much more because the pods are so big. At some point we must let about twenty good pods ripen completely for next year's seeds.

We have also had harvests of raspberries and some more blackcurrants. There are still lots of raspberries to come, but both the strawberries and the blackcurrants have finished. We took our first gooseberries which are ripening in stages. We had to take the first ones to stop them spoiling.

We pulled the redcurrant bushes up. We don't really like them and can't find anyone who does. They are also not producing much fruit. We'll plant new gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes, either bought or from cuttings to replace them.

The asparagus has decided to put out new spears, I'm not sure why except that they have had a lot of rain lately so maybe that's pushed them on. I earthed them up some more ready for next year.

We had a really good weeding session to deal with the burgeoning weeds. The strawberries had nets over them to keep the birds off, so the weeds had flourished, especially nettles.

The runner beans have flowers, the fennel is fattening up and the first beetroot beets are showing.

Sunday, 6 July 2008


The spinach was ready to plant out, so Jean planted two rows out in the newly prepared area at the back. We have some leeks still in pots but I don't want to plant them in the rest of this space.

Last year we planted some stuff here and there and it caused us some problems this year. Leeks stay in the ground a long time, so anywhere we plant them must be somewhere they can stay without causing a problem next year. We already have loads of leeks, so we might eat these from the pots as small leeks. The spinach will be grown and eaten before the autumn.

Friday, 4 July 2008


There were some thundery down-pours yesterday, so everything got a good soak. The result is a good crop of red raspberries and strawberries. We have a family party tomorrow, so a kilo of ripe strawberries will help feed the assemblage.

I also pulled our first broad beans. There are loads of pods, but most of the big ones are still soft to the touch; a few are firmer with the beans inside feeling plump. So I pulled these for a snack.

The latest spinach seedlings are almost ready to go out, beetroot seedlings are sprouting, but the latest fennel seeds are not showing yet.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Fruits galore

The vegetables are growing well, but now is the time for fruit. The strawberries are still going strong and now the raspberries are ripening nicely. I thought the bushes were a not doing well, but I was wrong. We took half a kilo of raspberries which are clean and look great. There was also a lot of ripe black currants on our main bush, with a few white currants too.

We finally made a trip to the tip with all of the rubbish we dug out of the back of the site. It is about a year since we took over the plot and it has taken this long to dig up and remove the broken glass, rotten wood, plastic bags, buckets, broken tools, wire, wire fence and plastic mesh.