11 August 2019 - Crops Blog
The fruits of our labours, and others
We are newbies remember, so our delight in our courgettes, far exceeds the seasoned allotmenteers’ and I expect is out of all proportion to its actual worth. Nevertheless, that was us when we picked our first ripe courgette a few weeks ago, until we realised how prolific they actually are but we’re still enjoying cropping them and using them in our cooking. We have stir-fried them with other vegetables, fried them in butter with garlic until nutty brown, ratatouille with pasta, roasted with onions, used in carrot cake recipe instead of carrots (works well), raw in salad and sandwiches, spiralized with pesto and olive oil and of course, shared with friends and neighbours. We’ve yet to stuff, batter and deep fry the flowers. Thank you to our plot neighbours who gifted us our four prolific plants.
Cabbage and cauliflower leaves
I absolutely adore eating greens of all varieties and never throw the outer leaves of cauliflower away, but simply add them to a pot of spring greens or cabbage. So imagine my delight to have so many plants given to us by plot neighbours, so that we now have a plentiful supply to use and to share. Our joy increased when we could tell what was what, as one plant developed a beautiful cauliflower and another a cute cabbage heart! There are more now and we are looking forward to eating our first plot cauliflower but in the meantime are enjoying the outer leaves. While we are waiting, our neighbour Barry gave us a cauliflower from his immaculate plot and it’s been super-delicious, sweet and crisp fresh. We eat raw in salads and boiled, roasted and stir-fry but we haven’t made cauli-rice as yet.
John picked our first cucumber and we gifted it to our ‘granddaughter’ as an amusing part of her 9th birthday present! She eats cucumber to extinction and she was delighted to have our first one, especially as she has been to the allotment with us and seen it growing. It’s an education too!
On top of the plants given to us by neighbours (see previous blogs), to our delight they have also been generous in giving us ‘fruit’ of their labours. So far we’ve been given rhubarb, chicory, marrow, beetroot, cucumber, cauliflower, turnips and spinach. Not only generous but they are such lovely people too.
Confessions of scrumping!
We have availed ourselves of windfalls from our neighbours’ apple trees, that were just sitting on the ground and being eaten by creepy crawlies, and we hope neighbours don’t mind, fingers crossed. I have made a few Bramley crumbles now and shared them with friends and the eating apples are just delicious too. If windfall scrumping is frowned upon, please do let us know but we’ve yet to see people to ask them and it seems such a shame to see them rotting on the ground. We did see the cherry tree owner and offered that we could just help ourselves, unfortunately it was when the fruits were turning and were only fit for wasps to eat but we know for next year. Thank you unknowing neighbours, I hope you haven’t missed any.
We are looking forward to our runner beans developing, onions fattening up, potatoes being ready and eating the cauliflower that gets bigger every time we visit. We will also need to decide on what to plant in the beds that John is preparing and crop rotations. Any surplus plants are gratefully received from neighbours and we would love to have rhubarb on our plot, so if you are digging up this autumn, please remember us. Similarly if you have to divide any flower plants, it would be great to beautify our plot and John has prepared two beds specifically for flowers next to our pond.
Some photos of produce - not all from our plot