Thursday, 31 July 2008

Spuds Out, Leeks In

The first batch of potatoes (Ulstre Sceptre) have now been dug up and we have eaten most of them. They tasted delicious, but I was a bit disappointed in the yield from each plant. There were only 7-8 spuds per plant and they were not as big as I had hoped, but still I harvested more than I actually put in, so I guess that's the way to look at it. Even though the yield was relatively small they were not attacked by blight and there was no evidence of any eelworm or slug damage, so on that count they were excellent.

No sooner were they dug up and the ground well forked over, some leeks (Musselburgh) were planted in their space. Leeks need to be planted in a special way. Make a deep narrow hole with a dibber (I borrowed one) about 6" deep and plop the leek to be transplanted into the hole and fill with water. Most of them are thriving, despite the exceptionally hot and dry weather we've been having, and the stems are now about as thick as a pencil. They won't be ready to harvest for some months yet, but come the winter hopefully there will be plenty.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Berry Good Fruit

The strawberries I planted in the spring have been excellent - although we haven't had very many they have been big, sweet and juicy. The children have picked them and put them straight into their mouths, so some of them haven't even made it home!

I did rescue a few and made some shortbread biscuits for dessert and put a large juicy strawberry on top of each biscuit (see picture). They were delicious.

It was Peter's birthday earlier this month and as he likes desserts I made a plain cheesecake and topped it with fruits (blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries). It was a good combination for a topping as the blackcurrants were quite sharp and went well with the sweet raspberries and strawberries.

Both receipes have been very successful and will have to be repeated when more fruit arrives next year - hopefully in greater quantities!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

That's Shallot

Thought you might like to see a photo to see how my shallots are growing. I planted them in April in ground that is fairly heavy clay and didn't really expect them to do too much as they were beginning to sprout because I was a bit late planting them. But as they were a freebie that I got with all my onions and garlic I thought I would stick them in and see what would happen.

As you can see they have not only thrived but they have positively bloomed. What I now need to do is to see when they can be harvested and then what to do with them. The only thing that comes to mind is making some pickle. Now that's not such a bad idea.....