Wednesday, 10 August 2011

August harvest: week one

I already posted a picture of the week's harvest in this entry, so here's a pretty shot of the French bean blossom - they are so ornamental, any crop is a bonus!

It wasn't a heavy week's harvest, but there was more out there than before. A few tomatoes, French beans, blackberries. Enough to brighten my plate here and there, but not enough to subsist on.

Totals for week 1st-7th August:
5th: 6g French beans, 80g 'Jaune Flammée' tomatoes (5 fruits), 42g 'Costoluto Fiorentino' tomatoes (1 fruit; tomato total: 122g), 32g blackberries, 3g nasturtium flowers, 3g Calendula flowers (edible flower total: 6g), 11g mesclun (day total: 177g)
Week total: 177g
Year to date total: 19.119kg

Meanwhile, the next door garden (belonging to my grandfather) was the star. He has a double plum tree (i.e. two varieties grafted onto one rootstock, though they have grown into effectively two separate trees), and the large, yellow-green variety (the other is a mirabelle, I believe - cherry-sized, red fruits, but it has never given a large crop) has cropped heavily again this year. I can't include them in my totals above, but the first picking (he'd already picked a lot, and some had fallen to the ground, yet there were as many again still on the tree) yielded just over 12kg. That was more than enough to occupy my kitchen for now. I made a batch of wine, reluctantly, as the last one (I made it two years ago) wasn't very nice, but there were so many, I needed to find some way of processing a lot in one go. The most delicious product so far has been plum sauce - the fragrant yellow fruits being converted into a rich, complex, satisfyingly balanced brown purée, with onion (or homegrown shallots in this case), garlic, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, five spice (home-blended and -ground), soy sauce, and sherry. Really delicious, which is excellent as it transforms the plums into something much nicer, and I've been converted to the stuff, having never much enjoyed commercial plum sauce in the past.

I also bought a few bits from the allotments on Sunday, including a 4.5kg marrow. I haven't yet done anything with it, but again it will require some ingenuity!

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