Friday, 12 June 2009

Red is the Colour

The strawberries are doing well. They seem to like their new spot and have thrived in the recent hot and sunny weather that we've had. I netted both rows about a month ago to protect the swelling fruits from inquisitive and hungry birds.

We have had 3 pickings from the plants so far with loads more strawberries waiting to fully ripen to a glorious red colour. My daughter loves to pick them and eat them straightaway - lovely and warm from the sunshine. Once you've tasted a freshly picked strawberry you don't want to go back to the tasteless supermarket variety. They are so easy to grow and the effort is well worth the result at the end. Here's a photo to get your mouth watering!

I picked approx 1lb of strawberries and added 1lb of raspberries (not my own I'm afraid) and made my favourite jam. The receipe is really easy:-
Cover the strawberries with ½lb sugar and leave for an hour or so until the juices have started to flow. Add the raspberries and boil until you have a nice thick mixture (about½ hour), test for setting and bottle in the usual way.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Onion Family

The garlic I planted in the autumn last year was harvested this week, and although I have never grown garlic at the allotment before I am very pleased with the crop. Most of the cloves have swollen into fat bulbs which now need to be dried off for a few weeks.

The shallots have been harvested too and also need now to be dried off for a few weeks, and during that time I shall decide what to make with them. Last year I used them by making some pickle with Bramley apples that a friend gave me, but this year I want to make something different. Hopefully in the next few weeks I shall have a chance to look at some receipes.

With the garlic and shallots now gone from the plot, it was time to plant the first batch of leeks above the bed that had been vacated. I planted about 30 of them by making a very deep narrow hole with a bean stick and planting the leek plant very deeply and then watering in thoroughly. I used this method last year and we had some excellent leeks, so hopefully that will be repeated this year and we can have them right up until Christmas and maybe even beyond.

I have another batch of leeks to go in in a week or so's time so that I can have a more continuous supply of them and not an enormous glut (well that's that plan anyway).