Spuds, toms and plums

potato harvest

The harvesting of fruit and veg seems pretty steady and constant throughout the summer, and then September hits us, and suddenly there are huge gluts of certain produce. It’s like the plants decide to really go for it and push out everything they’ve got before the end of the summer. A bit like us, feeling like we’ve really got to make the most of every bit of sunshine we get over the next month (or two if we’re lucky) before we’re plunged back into darkness by 4pm and back into our winter woollies.

I don’t want to think about that too much right now, summer seems to be holding on quite well thanks, and it’s doing wonders for ripening my tomatoes. No blight this year, phew!

John and I have spent the last week or so visiting family, taking bags and boxes of produce with us. Dropping off supplies of potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and of course courgettes to anyone who’ll have them. But now we’re back to work and along with the backlog of emails and work deadlines, there’s a backlog of ripe vegetables to deal with, and they won’t hang about.

toms harvest

Before we left, there were just a few tomatoes ripe enough to eat, we ate some and took some with us, and those that are growing in pots at home were offered to my neighbours in return for a good watering (gratefully received along with some spuds).

But now they’re in full swing (see above and below) and so the pasta sauce making will begin. By the way, thanks to my fellow allotment holder Vala for recommending this variety last year – Tamina – they have grown really well and are absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely be growing these again.

toms spare

I also need to use up a courgette glut, so I think this first batch will be made into a roasted tomato, onion and courgette variety, with some garlic and basil thrown in too.  I plan to make a spicy one with my homegrown chillies later on, and maybe (if I have enough) some more homemade ketchup which went down very well with my family the last time I made it.

The potatoes aren’t really a glut as such, but we do need to use up the smaller Anya spuds as they don’t keep so well. They are really delicious in a potato salad with some red onion and mayonnaise. The other variety you can see in the top picture (yellow trug) are called Romano. I’m really happy with these, no slug or eelworm damage at all. They’re a new strain of Desiree and are very similar, but with better pest and disease resistance.

The sweetcorn is very nearly ready, the raspberries and blackberries are coming thick and fast, and I’m down to my last few beetroot now. I’m still looking for ideas for what to do with all of my outdoor cucumbers (I’ll get back to you on that) but finally, my most welcome glut of all:

plums

Victoria plums. Bring on the crumble! The first perfectly ripe one went straight from the tree to my mouth, and it made my toes curl with delight at the sweet, juicy taste. I stood there at the bottom of my plot, in glorious afternoon sunshine, going ‘mmmm, yum’. I probably looked mad, but I was in heaven. Sometimes the hard work pays off!

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