Friday, August 31, 2012
Although there are no Cox's apples this year, because despite plentiful blossom in the spring the hideous weather prevented insects from pollinating it, there's more than enough fruit around, but it takes a few hours to harvest and preserve: Windfall apples don't last long before the slugs, woodlice or badgers get to them and like the plums and greengages, once they've become bruised or pecked, rot sets in. The raspberries seem larger this year, perhaps swollen by the constant rain earlier, but many are slightly blemished with a touch of mould and like everything else, need stewing with a little sugar before preserving in the freezer for puddings and pies in the winter. Rhubarb's at its best when there isn't an 'R' in the month (in the northern hemisphere) so the last harvest was pulled today, bound for the freezer.
Besides the fruit there are runner beans, french beans and a courgette or two. Some of the sweetcorn is approaching maturity but it could do with another week of sunshine, as could the tomatoes, which are all still green, but at least not brown or black, yet. The beetroot haven't wanted to grow this year but a couple of gourd vines have established well and are producing interesting looking fruit, which may or may not be edible.
In the cut flower department, it's all been a bit of a downer: There are no dahlias or cosmos and only a couple of giant sunflowers have made it through. Bees will be hungry.