Friday, July 24, 2009

Come rain or shine!

I was told by friends earlier in the year that we were supposed to be having a proper summer this year, I'm not qute sure what's happened. I know it's not been cold but my God the rain!! It seems to have been beautiful sunshine one minute and then we get a torrential downpour the next,. I'm getting very worried about the risk of blight as this warm and wet weather is perfect breeding conditions for fungal disease. I'm not so worried about the potatoes as we had fab earlies and I can rescue some main crops now if blight comes. What does drive me mad is trying to get my tomatoes to ripen in time. I grow all my toms outside so the chance of blight is higher, I am determined to have a greenhouse before next spring though.
The browny/rusty coloured plant in the picture above is a parsnip from last year which I have left on purpose to get the seeds, I'm amazed at how tall they grow!! It must be at least 5 foot tall. I'm not sure if the seed will be much good but they always say that parsnip seed must be as fresh as possible so I thought I'd have a go at saving my own.

We've started to harvest some of our onions, I think because of the weather being hot one moment then raining the next that they are confused and some have started going to seed. The ones that have started to do that must be used up first as they wont keep but the rest have been set out to dry and then will be tied into strings.
We've also harvested our garlic which is the first time we've been succesful with garlic, I bought the garlic to plant from an ethnic supermarket down the road from us and it's worked really well.

I've also just harvested my first ever cauliflower!! Just the one!! But boy he was a whopper, almost the size of a football. I decided to use some for tea the first night we harvested it and then I blanched and froze the rest, I'm never sure about freezing things as they always seem to loose something in the taste and texture.We've also planted loads of pumpkins and squash this year, if you've never had roasted squash then you haven't lived! I love butternut squash as you get a really nice sweet and nutty taste when roasting it. This pumkin looks like it's going to be a big 'un, it's early days but it's going for it, I've just lifted it up and put some wood under it to stop it from just sitting on the damp ground and rotting.

And finally our 'cutting garden' side of the plot is starting to blossom like mad, the sunflowers were such a success last year that we decided to try some more, I think this lot are 'little leo'. 3 in a vase on their own look great, such a smiley flower!!