Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer time! (...and it's hot, hot, hot!)

'D' strimming the plot

So ... lots has happened since my last posting on here about the plot. Sadly we suffered more vandelism, I once again stomped my feet and said 'stuff the allotment' and was ready to jack it in for all of 5 minutes! I suppose it is part of having an open garden but it still hurts to find things trashed.

Anyway, we've bounced back and despite the heatwave that is making us wilt lots is growing well at the plot. Watering has been increased to try and help the plants cope with the incredible heat, most days it has reached 32 degrees this week!!
We're just about at the end of the broad bean season which has been great. I never used to like them but we tend to double pod them mostly now, it makes such a difference and removes any bitter taste. The new potatoes have been great, a really nice flavour from both the Belle de Fontenay and Carlingford varieties.
'Globe Artichokes'


A veg I have never eaten despite having a HUGE plant on the plot is Globe Artichoke, we planted it more for the look of the structural leaves than to eat! However it has produced loads of 'Globes' this year so it felt criminal not to have a go at cooking some. I never knew how to cook Globe artichokes but like most things a quick internet search gave instructions. Basically you just cut the stem off the base to make a flat base, snip the points of the scales with scissors, slice the top off (like a boiled egg) and then sit it in boiling water to half way up the globe and simmer for 20-40 mins depending on size of globe. When ready one of the scales should come away easily when pulled.
To eat it, pull each scale off one at a time and dip in butter or sauce and scrape the end with your teeth to eat the flesh, once all the scales are eaten then you eat the artichoke heart, firstly you remove the furry inner bit to expose the heart flesh at the base of the inner part of the globe this is a saucer shaped bit at the bottom, eat in the same way dipped in butter or sauce. Very simple to do and delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Most of the rest of the plot is doing well, most things are bigger than previous years and crops are generally producing well, we put lots of effort into digging in manure and preparing all the beds this year so it looks like our hard work is paying off, here's to a good summer!!

13 comments:

Jo said...

I've never tried globe artichokes. They always sound so fiddly to me.
Sorry to hear about your vandalism. It must be so disheartening after all the work you put in.
I want to get lots of good stuff in the soil this autumn. I got my allotment in March this year, so it's really been a case of bunging things in and hoping for the best. Everything seems to be doing ok so far though. Next year I want to give them a better chance.

Rachael said...

It's looking very good - bad news about the vandalism, I have suffered quite a bit of this recently too - so annoying. My plants are all looking inferior compared to my neighbours' so maybe I should follow your example and dig in some manure, I'm just a bit put off by the aminopyralid scare.

glosterwomble said...

Artichokes are really easy Jo, I agree I thought they were hard work by the sound of it but have a go!!!

glosterwomble said...

Thanks Rachel, I always look at our neighbours plot and worry that ours are smaller! You can test manure to see if it is risk free, put potting compost in 3 pots (control pots) and compost with manure that you want to test in others. Sow broad beans in each pot to see how they develop, the ones in manure will have damaged leaves/fern like wrinkled leaves if manure is bad!

Simon said...

Good to see you back again, I was wondering where you'd disappeared to! What do you mean by double podding broad beans?

glosterwomble said...

Hi Simon, thanks for the welcome back!! Sometimes life takes over doesn't it and you can't do everything so the blog had to be on the back burner for a while! Glad to be back though!
Double podding means to remove the 'skin' on the beans when cooked, the skin tends to be the slightly bitter bit so if you are using them in a salad or something then you can cook them, let them cool a bit then slip them out of their skins to use just the sweeter tasting inside bean. A bit fussy but worth it, look here http://www.waitrose.com/food/cookingandrecipes/cookinglibraries/stepbystep/broadbeans.aspx

Poppy said...

Never tried Globe Artichokes either but might, I get sent some seeds for them in a swap but it was to late to start them off so maybe next year.
Glad to see you are back blogging, I found it a few months ago and bookmarked it as we are both Gloucestershire and had began to think you had given up! But know how life can take over.

glosterwomble said...

Hi Poppy, thanks for the comment, you must grow Artichokes if you can they are so delicious.
Nice to have another Gloucestershire person following the blog!

Nic said...

Hi, I'm in Gloucester too! (I found you via Poppy's blog). I'm amazed at how brilliant your garden looks...as well as having a great allotment. Which site are you on? I'm new to all this blogging lark but if you'd like to take a look you'll probably be able to work out where in the city we are.
We've had problems with vandalism too but it helps get people on the plot talking to each other at least.
cheerio and enjoy the sunshine, Nic

Nic said...

oh, and here's a recipe you might like to try (uses, Chard, another staple of the allotment)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/13/vegetarian-recipe-globe-artichoke-chard

Couture de Papier said...

Love your garden....which I could have a garden like that....

Charlotte said...

Ooh - what a lovely blog and with such great pictures - have only just found you, but am really glad I did!

glosterwomble said...

Hi 'Couture de Papier' and Charlotte, glad you both like my blog! Nice to have some new follows :)