Monday 29 July 2013

Harvest Monday - 29 July 2013

This past week I have again harvested some very nice veggies - and several of them have been "first of the year" ones, like these "Boltardy" beetroot:

This is my "old faithful" beetroot variety. It is a very traditional one which has been around for ages and endures despite the advent of fancy new varieties simply because (as its name suggests) it resists bolting better than any other variety. Nor does if fail on taste or texture. I cooked the three roots seen in the photo above, within minutes of harvesting, and ate them about 90 minutes later. Very tasty, and so tender that they were almost gelatinous!

I also picked the first of my "Amsterdam III Sprint" baby carrots, grown in one of the boxes in my wooden planter. Unlike the "Mignon" ones from the other box, which are quite short and plump, these ones are elegantly long and slim:-

When I sowed the carrot seeds I also put in a few Spring Onion seeds, hoping they would assist with deterring the Carrot Root Fly. Only a few of them germinated, but amongst those that did were these two beauties:

I don't know what did it, but something has kept the Fly away. Those carrots are clean as a whistle, with no damage whatsoever.

The new potatoes are still going strong. I have given up trying to keep the various varieties separate since I have found that all mine seem to have very similar properties and hence require similar cooking times. This is a medley of varieties including "Swift", "Rocket" and I think "Lady Christl"...

The "Cobra" climbing French Beans are coming on stream now, so I have had a decent picking of those:

This week I also want to recognise the efforts of my Basil plants. I have four of them, two of which have been with me since last Spring (2012, I mean). I have cropped them on several occasions, usually to make a batch of pesto. This is so easy to do, yet so rewarding. A big bunch of Basil goes into the food-processor with some pine-nuts, some parmesan cheese and some olive oil and a quick zuzz or two later you have a bright green, oozy, wonderfully fragranced pesto. I usually freeze it in ice-cube trays like this:-

When the pesto is frozen you tip the cubes out into a plastic bag and put them back in the freezer, where they will be instantly available for adding to soups, pasta dishes etc.

Harvesting (and eating) home-grown food is so rewarding!


  1. What a beautiful Monday harvest, Mark. Your pesto looks wonderful...a clever way to have it ready at the fingertips.

  2. This year our Swift potatoes produced very little foliage and a small crop compared to other varieties - don't really know why! AS for spring onions - we used to be able to grow them - no problem - now we can rarely get them to germinate. We've tried in the ground, grown in trenches of compost. grow in tubs and pots - nothing seems to work! What's more we are not the only ones as other people have said the same! It's almost as if the seeds have been changed in some way although we have ried several varieties.

  3. Ohhhh look at your pesto, I've never thought to freeze it before, what a great idea.

  4. Those are perfect looking beans, reminds me of Provider beans. I am growing beets for the first time this year but the rabbits like them too, enough to chance a foray across the open space of the yard for a snack. Sounds like pesto is no harder than making hummus. I'll have to give it a try.

  5. Nice harvest, Mark. The beetroot looks beautiful. Good tip on freezing pesto. I usually freeze the whole batch in a plastic tub, then have to chisel some out for cooking. The ice cube tray makes so much more sense. Duh!

  6. I need to get down to my garden and cut my basil. I meant to do that this weekend but my weekends are just so darn short lately.

  7. Your harvest looks a lot better than mine!! My beet root should be ready in the next week or so - I can't wait.

  8. A great looking harvest. The pesto making is a great idea. I have to say my beetroot 'solist' hasn't been very tasty but I'm just happy I've been able to grow it as I hadn't had much success in the past.

  9. Beautiful harvest. Those beans looks just perfect.


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