A summer harvest

Summer harvest

Harvesting is definitely the best part of growing your own. It suddenly makes all the hard work seem worthwhile. This little selection is what we bought back from the allotment at the weekend. Okay, so 3 strawberries might not constitute as a harvest, but I love being able to just pick and mix a few things that are ready here and there, but know there’s plenty more to come through the summer.

We’ve harvested 1 row of garlic, as it was covered in rust and looking a bit sorry for itself, but have left a second more healthy row for later, and we also pulled up a biggish red onion for tea. Also pulled up all of the shallots which I’m planning on pickling. The garlic has been hung up to dry and then I’ll plait the stems together.

The early Swift potatoes are a bit of a disappointment, they’ve gone from looking quite healthy one minute, to a bit yellow and straggly the next, and no sign of flowers. So we pulled one plant up to check, and as you can see the potatoes look fine, but most of them are quite tiny so we’re going to give them a bit longer, and hope they’re okay.

The lettuces are starting to bolt so it’s a race against time to pull and eat them fast. The sweet peas are still going strong, I’ve harvested the first batch of peas, the first few beetroots and my first delicious sweet strawberries.

However, I’m not the only one appreciating my strawberries. We found a young fledgling blackbird trapped in the netting in an attempt to get to the strawberries. I don’t know how long he’d been there, but had wound himself up tighter in his struggle to escape and we had to very carefully cut the netting open to get him free. He eventually hopped over to the sage bush to hide under, but I think he’d damaged his wing quite badly, so I don’t hold out much hope for him with the amount of cats who patrol the allotment. Poor thing, it was quite sad. I’m going to use chicken wire over the strawberry bed instead now, at least they can’t get tangled in that.

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