Supermarket saving

Fruit and veg bought from the supermarket this week: 1 avacado and 1 small punnet of cherries (only because they were half price). Fruit and veg harvested from the allotment this week: 1 punnet of strawberries, 1 bunch of broad beans, 1 large and 3 small courgettes, several red and yellow onions, 1 box of salad potatoes and a few bunches of herbs (tarragon, mint and chives). Also, 1 bouquet of sweet williams flowers. Not sure how much that lot would have cost me. All organic, and as fresh as you can get.

One of the most satisfying things of growing your own (especially on an allotment scale, all being well) is knowing that you can pretty much breeze through the fruit and veg section of the supermarket, unless something takes your fancy. Of course there are more exotic things that I could never grow, and a few that I’ve never had much success with (mushrooms and peppers) but on the whole I try and concoct meals from my allotment produce.

And how colourful does that selection above look? Brighter than the Cameroon football strip.

The first two rows of potatoes that we planted had gone over (i.e. the top growth died down) and so I decided to venture in with the fork to see what I could find. One row was of Maris Bard earlies and the other row were Anya salad potatoes. These are mainly Anya (the pinky coloured knobbly ones) with the smallest of the earlies thrown in. The rest of the earlies were the size of fairly large main crop potatoes which shows they should really have been dug up a few weeks ago. Only the plants didn’t flower this year. Nor have the Anyas. My maincrop potatoes (Cara) are flowering fine, but not the others, not sure why?

I do know it’s not crucial for potatoes to flower in order to produce tubers, so if you’ve also got non-flowering potatoes, don’t let it put you off digging them up. Sometimes you get potatoes with lots of top growth and lots of flowers but few tubers, so it doesn’t always relate. Some books even tell you to take the flowers off to allow the potaotes to carry on growing. There’s lots of different advice out there, but I think it helps to keep a record of which varieties do well with the soil and conditions you have.

For now, it’s nice to know I won’t have to buy any potatoes, onions, garlic or beans for the rest of the year at least.

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