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.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Plum pudding

Despite a relatively poor crop of plums this year there are still more than enough, what with all the other fruit and veg that need harvesting, eating or preserving.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Apple pie

Windfall cooking apples a plenty, but damaged so they don't last and need using up.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Raspberry pie

My friend tells me that he's been working on his raspberry pie. Apparently he doesn't need this lot (which is just as well 'cos there aren't many).

Friday, August 10, 2012


Harvesting several kilos of broad beans every week at the moment, which are known in Polish as 'Bob': I never tired of chuckling to myself every time I bought them from the fruit and veg man who parked his van next to Cinema Zacisze. "Half a kilo of Bob please."

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Green perpetuals

A few old broccoli and kale plants left in the ground from the spring have begun a second life. Most of the lettuce plants have bolted and are running to seed, the leaves are now bitter. New sowings either haven't germinated or have been hoovered up by slime beasts.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Elephant's eye v Badger's arse

The corn is as high as a badger's arse.

"There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,
There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,
The corn is as high as an elephant's eye,
An' it looks like its climbin' clear up to the sky.

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I've got a wonderful feeling,
Everything's going my way."

Oscar Hammerstein II

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Good gourd

A couple of gourd vines have established themselves and are producing fruit very similar to the first stages of a pumpkin or courgette.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Doubtful maturity

Whether this year's tomato crop ripens before blight arrives or summer departs remains doubtful.

Friday, August 03, 2012


This stuff multiplies and looks like wildfire. It's sold in garden centres for about a tenner a small clump, which is a rip off, but if you invest you'd double your money in a year, if you could find anyone to buy it off you. It always heralds late summer and despite the wonky timing of most other growing things this year, the crocosmia's kept in step with the seasons.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Onion low

A paltry crop of onions this year, grown from sets that didn't get enough and then got too much water. At least no sign of white rot, which I've had in previous years when there have been bumper crops but instead of being self sufficient until mid winter, this lot won't last a couple of months.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Fruits of the gloom

Quite a few of the courgette plants succumbed to rot or slug damage, but a couple survived and have been producing fruit, not all of which have been eaten by molluscs or unexpectedly shrivelled.