The last few weeks have been busy. All our hard work is beginning to pay off and we have moved into happy harvest mode! We have been waiting for what feels like months for the pale green bell peppers to turn red. We did eat a couple at the green stage but then stuck firm and waited for them to ripen. I’m glad we did, the red peppers are amazing. They are a variety called “Gypsy” and are supposed to be prolific fruiters. They haven’t dissappointed us yet!
Also in the “glut” department has been the Russian kale, which we both love, luckily. I have been making sag paneer with it and it works amazingly well in place of spinach. I even made a kale and mushroom lasagne, it was amazing. Russian kale isn’t as bitter as the stuff you buy in the supermarket so it’s not as disgusting in lasagne as it sounds! It doesn’t really work for kale chips though, you just end up with flat, dried kale leaves, tasty but unfulfilling.
The cucumbers have decided to kill us with kindness. We can’t turn around for another 40 on the vine, ready to be picked. We only have two plants varieties called “White Spine” and “Spacesaver” and honestly, I can’t really tell the difference. They are all the size of footballs. Luckily the chickens love pecking at the inside of an oversized cucumber!
The strawberries did well, but as is the way of strawberries there are never enough. I will have to buy some to make jam with because we ate all ours!
This week the basil has seriously started to go mad, so next week there will definitely be a pesto making session.
I haven’t even mentioned the tomatoes, I am in awe of the incredible yellow pear tomato. Despite getting a really late frost, and me being daft and putting them outside far too early, and an infestation of the almighty tomato hornworm, which the chickens were delighted with, and despite us almost completely failing to tie them in properly, the harvest has been legendary. A few of the red variety “Rutgers” survived the frost and the flooding and have been keeping us busy but the “Yellow Pears” have gone crazy. I am constantly wondering what to do with another large bowl of them. So far we have had them raw (obv), roasted in oil, made yellow tomato relish, chutney, green tomato chutney (windstorm that toppled a couple of plants), pasta sauce, salsa, enchilada sauce and this week I even sun dried a few. I am considering having a go at ketchup.
The zucchini (courgette) has also been producing. I planted two plants really because if nothing else will grow in a garden, at least the zucchini will. Two plants were about one and a half plants too many as Al absolutely refuses to eat them. I mean, I like them but who could possibly eat two plants worth of zucchini? I might have a go at stuffing the flowers before the fruits get a chance to develop.