Monday, 17 August 2009

Summer harvest

This has been a good year in the allotment and garden which is reassuring after some of my failures last year. Last year I hardly got any courgettes as the young plants suffered so much slug damage many gave up altogether. This year courgettes have done really well, the photograph above was taken when I returned from holiday and I had loads of marrows to pick.

My runner beans also thrived while I was away. I squeezed a small wigwam of canes into the garden and the plants have outgrown that and are now scrambling all over the adjacent shrub producing loads of flower and beans.

My dwarf apple tree is also doing well, its only 5 feet tall and this year has about 30 apples. The variety is Discovery which has always been a favourite of mine, its one of the earliest apples and I like the way the flesh is tinged with pink under the red skin.

The harvest is getting underway outside the garden as well. We'll have to wait just a bit longer for the elderberries which are only just starting to turn

but there are blackberries everywhere. It looks like being a very good year for them as well.

Lots of lovely sized berries. I have been picking blackberries in the lanes around here for years now and I've got to know where to go for the earliest ones and which bushes don't ripen until into September.

I've always picked blackberries. When I was growing up everybody did and we would be disappointed if we got to a favourite spot and found that someone had been there before us and there were very few left.

When I was picking when the children were small, I rarely saw any evidence that anyone else was picking at all. There were always loads of berries and no tell tale trampled grass that showed someone had been there first.

Things are changing back again now though and over the last few years more people are picking again. It seems to be fashionable to "forage for wild foods" now. I wonder if this will be short lived or whether we are returning to the way we have always lived?

At least there is plenty of fruit this years so lots of us will be able to enjoy traditional blackberry and apple.

1 comment:

Heather L. said...

Your apples look so good I want to taste them!!! Thirty seems like a nice crop for a small tree (but I don't know about apples). Your squash look so nice! Mine need to be pulled out as they don't seem to be producing anymore. I tried heirloom varieties and I think I would have done better with plain jane zucchinis. I should get some of your blackberry pictures for my blog header :). We don't have any blackberries to forage for here, which is disappointing. Oh well. I picked my fill when we were in Scotland. Maybe someday I'll find more. Just got a bushel of peaches (seconds) so will be processing those in the coming days -- jam, maybe, and freezing the rest.