The July Homegrown Harvest: Summer days in the garden and kitchen

We were so happy when our little bare root stock gave us delicious raspberries in its first growing year …

… and then the slow-growing cabbages, that had braved late winter weather, flooding and fended off greedy slugs, were finally ready to harvest.  I planted successions of spring onions, so we are still picking those almost daily now.  The French Beans followed soon after.

You can see here how the courgettes (back left) have completely taken over the raised beds and are spilling over the lawn.  We went away on a camping trip and returned to over twenty marrows, and the same amount of baby courgettes.

I love this close up photograph of the Buddleia that my husband took, showing the clusters of miniature flowers on a stem.

Towards the end of July, the tomatoes were looking almost ready.  We have a dozen more plants, that are a few weeks behind this one, for a steady crop through August.

Here you can see the tiny tendrils of one of our pumpkin plants.  These have grown really well this year, with all the sunshine and showers we have been getting.  We are going to have to quickly get our fourth large raised bed in, and transplant our peppers, before they are engulfed!  Underneath the pumpkin leaves, you can just make out the savoy cabbages.

This sunflower was a complete surprise as the packet of seeds promised one giant sunflower … and instead it has five heads.  Here’s the first one, with the others just starting to bloom.

Pulling the leaves back on our Brussels sprouts plants, you can definitely spot the tiny Brussels growing up along the main stem now.

This was “marrow week” – where we quickly had to learn many different ways of cooking a marrow (all suggestions welcome, we have many more to get through!)  These ones were baked and then stuffed with a spicy Mexican bean filling.

Finally, this was the day when many radishes all became ready on the same day.  Avocado salad toasties for all :o)

 

15 Comments

  1. D > Marrow and Ginger jam. Doesn’t use a lot of marrow – but a real delicacy! Store some in nets hung in cool dry place (potting shed, traditionally) for use in winter casseroles : the extremely subtle flavour/character of the flesh (not rind – too hard to use) is concentrated and matured. Also the seeds can be toasted and used for snacks, or added to casseroles: again, you can dry them and save in an air-tight jar for winter, for use like pumpkin seeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am definitely going to look up a good marrow jam recipe … I had never heard of it, but all the comments here are making it irresistible to try! I love the advice about storage. We have a large dry garage with a timber frame pitched roof – so I will see if I can find some nets too … and likewise I had not even considered drying the seeds, and I love seeds – so will give it a go 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much 🙂 I think we’ve had a very lucky year to be developing a new garden – as the weather has been so kind (sunshine and showers). I’m now learning how to swap and haggle what we’re growing with other local gardeners in the village, to try and widen the variety we’re eating. It’s also a lovely social thing 🙂

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  2. We are in the process of making this years batch of tomato ketchup from marrows: https://winkos.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/tomato-ketchup-from-courgettes-yeah-right/
    Or, a new one for me this year is Bhajis: Grate equal amounts of courgettes to onions (cut in rings) add a beaten egg or two depending on quantity mixed. Add spices; I use turmeric, cumin, coriander and fresh chillies (just started picking ours 🙂 ) chopped fine, salt, pepper. Add plain flower (or gram flour if you have it) to stiffen the mixture. Form small (very loose) balls and cook in hot oil (160c) for about 5 mins, turning occasionally to get golden brown all over. Serve with a natural yogurt dip, with mint, cucumber, what ever you have growing. Enjoy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love making different ketchups and sauces, so will jot down your recipe and give it a go. All of the comments are making me think of marrow less as a standalone, and more of a sponge that takes on other flavours, or adds bulk – which is really widening out my options! Bhajis, again, sounds a fantastic idea, I’ll be trying this out too! 🙂 Thanks so much Eddy

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Laurie 🙂 We’re getting there … and it’s a bigger harvest than we dared hope for, for our first year developing the plot at this house. We’re learning what loves growing here in the sunny/rainy conditions (courgettes) and what struggles (peppers) and adjusting accordingly. I’ve moved the chillies indoors for a bit of heat, I don’t think the poor mites are liking the English climate too much!

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