Thursday, 17 November 2016

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Problem: The brassica patch has been coming along nicely this year. One of the earliest to maturity was the red cabbage yielding a steady supply of solid canon ball sized heads.  But with other fare on offer supply has exceeded demand and the last red cabbage brought home has been loitering for too long in the vegetable basket.

Solution:  It's time to try sauerkraut, dummkopf!

So I've turned this:



Into this:


The process is simply to shred cabbage, add salt, and pack into a sterile jar.

Now it's a four day wait to let the fermentation process get under way and see what we have got.


In the meantime, just to keep my feet on the ground, I baked a sourdough loaf today. It won't last four days.




Tuesday, 15 November 2016

All Potted Up


Following on from my last post here are the potted and labelled results.

All that is left to be harvested now is: Parsnip, Swede, Cabbage, Brussels, Kale, Mooli, Jerusalem Artechoke, Leek,  and the tail end of the Beetroot, Seakale Beet, and carrots still to be lifted. Back at home the stored supplies of onions and potatoes are running down.  Will they last until Christmas???

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Green Tomato Chutney Time

It's time to admit defeat on the tomato front and get chutneying.


That's not to say we don't like green tomato chutney, which is a winter staple in our house - and the shops don't sell green tomatoes!





For the record here was the state of play  in the greenhouse before the cull. Some of the tiger/stripey tomatoes (left) ripened, none of the San Marzano plum tomatoes ripened (middle) and the Sungold cherry tomatoes continued to produce a steady stream of sweet ripe fruit.  These last are too small to chutney and will be brought into the warmth of the kitchen to continue ripening over the coming weeks.


Note to self:  "Start tomatoes from seed earlier next year!"

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Grown in Scotland

Outdoors too!



Today surveying the plot I decided to pick the sweetcorn. It wasn't going to grow anymore at these temperatures.  Peeling back the husks it was a wonderful surprise to find they had ripened from end to end. We started eating them today!


The whole crop

5 of the best
They benefited from a good slathering of butter and tasted wonderful!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Canadian Wonder


The bean pods have been hanging around in the kitchen for a few weeks in their string bags.  It is the ideal place because they keep getting bumped  (either on purpose or accidentally) as people pass underneath. This ensures the air circulates between the pods. As the pods dry out they straighten out and start falling through the gaps in the string bag. Any fallen pods get returned to the top of the pile.  Once they start to open up of their own accord it's time to take them down and pod the lot.  



If you pod them before the pods have dried the beans are prone to mould.  I think there must be some inhibitor in the pod lining that stops that.

The podded beans are popped in a jar for storage until required for Chilli con Beany or Bean Dip at a later date.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Secrets of the Cosmos

Ssshhhh don't let anyone know, but a made a bit of a boob this year. I don't grow any ornamentals at the allotment but I've been experimenting at home.  This year I tried Cosmos for the first time. The seedlings were small and herb like (dill?) by the time I planted them out in pride of place at the front of the borders around the garden.  The lime green clump in the middle of the picture below is how they look today:

Cosmos To The Fore

This is after hacking back half of the clump by half it's height in order to give its neighbours (Calendula, Nigella, Nasturtiums) a fighting chance. To no avail. Checking the seed packet it does say height 120cm.These are a bit more than that even.

Another Cosmos Bed

As always I was a bit slow in getting started with the seed sowing in spring, so sadly one clump in a shadier patch have not even flowered yet!


Once they flower they do have their charm


But next year I will "adjust my planting plan accordingly".

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hanging Around

Today


A Week Ago
Some progress to report on the greenhouse ripening of outdoor tomatoes.  Sungold: Over a dozen ripened.  Stripey: two have started blushing Sam Marzano: all green.

There is another crop currently hanging around.




These are Canadian Wonder Bean pods.  With the weather turning cold and wet there is the distinct danger of them going mouldy outside so I've picked any mature pods and brought them indoors to hang off the kitchen airer  in these string bags which are ideal for the purpose. They should be ready for podding in a couple of weeks but I will leave them for a month to ensure the beans have dried out properly before podding them.

Together with the Onions and Garlic crops there's a lot of hanging around at this time of year!