Making best use of this extra leap year day, and catching up after so many days (weeks?) of rain, there was a flurry of activity at the huerto. Greenhouse glass cleaned inside and out; such a difference to the light. Quince tree heavily pruned in the hope of eradicating the rust and poor cropping of the past 2 years. Seeds sown. Pansies planted out into the hanging basket adjacent to the bee hotel. And even a reasonable harvest, including some rose de Roscoff onions I had forgotten about, stored in the shed but still edible. Also flower sprouts, kale shoots, leeks and parsley. AND it didn’t rain. At all. Sunshine even!
Just look what I found in the greenhouse!
And then this…
A hungry ratty I suspect, judging by the size of the hole and the teeth marks! I took the precaution of moving the other squash (Crown Prince) to a high up shelf but left this one for our gourmand visitor.
Amid the wintry desolation I was happily surprised yesterday to find this array of vegetables, L to R: cabbage, chioggia & golden beetroot, parsnip, kholrabi and celeriac.
And thanks to my great big Global cleaver, together with the cavalier approach to peeling that it enables, was able quite quickly to transform the muddy roots into a tasty gratin.
The ancient wheelbarrow had become nearly impossible to use as the tyre had somehow accumulated heavy debris inside which was making it very difficult to manoeuvre, impossible to reverse and characterised by a disconcertinly loud clunking noise! By adroit use of an angle grinder and ingenuity, I now have a posh new wheel which bounces it along beautifully! It almost makes a pleasure of humping large volumes of compost around.
One side of the plot is now ready for its winter compost mulch … garlic is planted and brassicas netted against pigeons.
Feeling rather pleased with my first focaccia with Sungold tomatoes, even though it was a right old fiddle to make! It was delicious alongside tomato soup, all ingredients freshly picked today – a good way to use up rather a lot of produce quickly.
We won the best plot 2019 🙂
Munchkin pumpkins and Crown Prince squash.
Note my very first aubergine! I’m rather pleased to have grown it successfully 🙂
Onion harvest has started; Rose de Roscoff and shallots are now drying while in the background Mammoth onions are living up to their name and continue to grow. I’m rather proud of the Rossa di Tropea, grown from seed and now getting quite big – a long way from Calabria, but they don’t know that!
Thai basil and lemon verbena combine to make a heavenly & welcoming scent by the entrance arch where yellow beans and little climbing pumpkins ‘Munchkin’ are now taking over from the declining sweet peas.
And the squshes are going bonkers!
So glad the bees are arriving… they have not been much in evidence until now.
And a pretty new visitor enjoying the scent where the nepeta had just been cut back.
Daily harvest, with an early tomato, Noire de Crimée; not a beauty, but wonderfully tasty.
Here’s what happened to those blackcurrants! Very short pastry. Delicious, if not elegant.
Today’s first picking of potatoes (second earlies), garlic dried in the greenhouse now ready for use – and delightful baby broad beans, so tender they are even delicious raw.
The recent warmth has prompted massive growth – all around, the plot thickens 🙂
Various squash here (kuri, munchkin, crookneck, crown prince and zappho).
And here are golden chard, beetroot scarletta, dwarf french beans cupidon and purple queen, then outdoor tomatoes attended by very vigorous tagetes and then roses beyond…
This is a cool corner, with rose James Galway against the shed and teardrop peas from the Basque country, “Guisante Lágrima“, which are finally taking off – just about managing to keep the massive nettles behind the deer fence at bay.