Saturday, 29 August 2015

Has beans

The Borlotti Bean foliage is starting to die off. It doesn't help that the leaves had been the victim of a horrendous black fly infestation. So many of the beans have actually been malformed.

The courgettes are still cranking out the fruits. So those and a few leaves of the spinach which appears to have survived despite the plants being pulled will form the basis of tonight's dinner.

It looks like the outdoor tomatoes are starting to decay as well. But unfortunately the fruits are still green. I suspect that the only way to do anything with them would be to turn them into something like a chutney. I've never attempted a make a chutney... other than when my parents used to make them which was some 35+ years ago. So I suspect that I will have to do a spot of research for an appropriate recipe.

Unless anybody has a handy recipe to suggest?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


There is a horrendous amount of Blackberries around at the moment. So over the weekend I made enough Jam to last me until the middle of next year.

Of course this has now presents me with a new problem. Namely the fact that I now appear to have run out of spare jam jars for the making of the pickled courgettes and beetroot which need to be done. I always keep spare jars and tuck them away of top of the kitchen cabinets until the time comes to re-use them. I rather favour the Lloyd Grossman pasta sauce jars as they are of a decent size. But I also have a lot of spare honey jars too. I find that these do not work as well for jam due to the screw lids on them. They have a tendency to lock down too tight. I asked a friend of mine on the allotment who has a hive about whether he can re-use them for honey... but apparently there are strict regulations which means that honey must be provided in brand new jars.

Oh, and I've also got myself a nifty new little label printer. Pretty useful little beastie. Dead easy to use. But certainly not the first time I've used these. In my guise as a web developer I've used it for a client to automatically print their order labels. Now I have one of my own to print labels for my concoctions.

Maybe it's about time I sorted out a logo for Plot 30?

Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Tsunami has begun

It's been a while since I updated the blog. But that doesn't mean that things have stood still on the plot. On the contrary things are going great guns.

We are now well into the Courgette Tsunami. They are popping up at the rate of one or two a day, and have been doing so for the past 3 weeks.

The onions stagnated. Not sure what was going on with them, but the leaves all fell over and they just refused to grow any more. So I pulled them all out.

They're not as big as I would have liked, but that's no major problem. I left them to "dry" out a bit, just to wheedle out the better ones, and now I'll be soaking them in brine and turning them into pickled onions.

Whilst I'm pickling those, I may as well try pickling some courgettes too. At least the beetroot is still going strong, and the couple we've had so far for our salads are absolutely delicious. But again, I'll probably be pickling those as well.

That's the problem with the glut. There is only so much you can eat (been eating Courgettes everyday now... and there are still 8 spare despite giving some away) and given that we don't have a freezer of any capacity (just the tiddly one in the top of the fridge) it's hardly worthwhile attempting to freeze things. So we either have to pickle or dry.

Now the carrots were a bit of a shock too. We were watching them grow in the bags. And two of them we could just see poking their shoulders out above the soil and they looked to be a right old size. So we decided to pick them for dinner. Uh oh.

It seems that despite adding sand to the mixture in an attempt to loosen it up, it only compacted it even more. The roots had simply split and twisted into small unusable little tendrils, Doesn't bode well for the rest of the crop.

But one thing which has done really well is the flower crop. Not that we eat them of course, but the bees are loving the wild flowers, the artichoke flowers and most of all the buddleja.

Think I'm going to attempt to dry a courgette tonight and see how it turns out. Oh, and pickle the onions (and a courgette). And maybe make a courgette cake too.

Did I mention that we'll be having courgettes for dinner tonight?