What an allotment year so far!

I posted recently about the wonderful amount of fruit that we’d harvested this year.  Not only is it a bumper year for gooseberries, but all the fruit is prolific and early.

Today’s harvest includes the last couple of kilos of green gooseberries, plus half a kilo of red ones which are just starting.  We’ve also picked the last of the raspberries.  We’ve actually frozen some this year – unheard of in previous years because they are too nice not to eat fresh.

As you can see from the picture, the broad beans are in full production.  We’ve been enjoying them for a few weeks now, but we’re now harvesting more than we can eat fresh.  They’re not that popular with friends and colleagues, so although it seems a shame, some of those are destined for the freezer, too.

We planted our peas rather late, so they’re just starting to ripen.  They’re Jean’s special treat, and are mostly eaten raw with an aperitif.  We’re also pulling the first few primeur carrots, again to be enjoyed raw.

But mark the onset of the courgettes.  We’ve picked the first four.  Soon it will be a dozen at a picking, and  people will hide when they see us, for fear of being pressed to take yet more.   But right now they’re a treat to be savoured.

Today’s picking ends with a lovely handful of mixed leaves.  The lettuces are loving the warm damp weather.  So are the spinach plants, which are also in full production.

Still to come are beans and tomatoes.  The French dwarf beans are looking good, although the climbers and runners aren’t as strong as we’d like.  And you can never tell with tomatoes.  Right now we’ve got 70 tomato plants in various stages of maturity, but we know that the dreaded blight could wipe out the lot in a week, so we’re not counting on anything yet.

Our first baby beetroots are ready too, but Jean was given a very touching end-of-term present by one of her class:

Three lovely beetroot, proudly grown by the lad himself.  They’re cooking as I write.

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