Monday, 16 November 2015

Harvest Monday - 15th November 2015

This week saw me pulling up the first of this year's Leeks.

I must say I am disappointed with my Leeks this year. The ones I grew last year were huge and very strongly flavoured. This year's ones (of 3 different varieties) are all small and very unimpressive.

Jane wanted a Leek to go into a soup she was making, so I pulled up this one, which was the biggest of the bunch. Apart from being small, it's a nice Leek. It is reasonably straight, and has a good proportion of white stem. This is the benefit of the deep planting method I used.

I have about three dozen Leeks, but the total yield from them is going to be puny, because they are all smaller than the one pictured above, despite having been in the ground for months and months. Maybe they will get a little bigger, but it doesn't look likely at present.

Just recently we have taken to using Leaf Celery to flavour chicken stock, which we make whenever there is a carcass available. If we have no immediate plans to use the stock it goes into the freezer for a later date. This is my little patch of Leaf Celery:

Only one or two stems are required each time, because it has a very powerful flavour.

Quite apart from the flavour it provides, Leaf Celery imparts a certain savouriness to a dish - the Umami effect. If you haven't tried it, I strongly recommend that you do. The plant grows easily enough from seed, and doesn't appear to be fussy about where it lives, though in common with its bigger cousin the true Celery, it likes plenty of water. It is a biennial, so grow it as you would Parsley. It is quite hardy too - mine survived last Winter outdoors unprotected. I think I will probably cover my current little patch of it with a cloche though, when the weather turns really cold.

This week I made another batch of chilli and tomato sauce, using as assortment of the chillis I have been ripening indoors, including four of the huge Rocotos. They actually look like tomatoes.

I had to buy tomatoes this time of course. I just got some cheap ones from the supermarket. They were really only required to give the sauce some bulk. It's the chillis that provide the taste.

Wow, the sauce is HOT!

I'm still harvesting Carrots. The amount of Carrots that have come out of that one raised bed is unbelievable!

These ones are the last of "Kelly", which has been the best of my 3 varieties.

Of course we are still eating Lettuce and Endive several times a week, but this is such a common occurrence that the produce seldom gets photographed. Here's a representative bowl of salad...

This is my entry for Harvest Monday, hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres. Why not drop by and see what others have harvested this week?


  1. I wonder why the leeks have performed so differently this year. They may be smaller but that's still a good looking specimen. I've taken all my remaining carrots from the raised bed and frozen them, it just makes sure that the slugs don't get to them before we do, as well as it being convenient to take them out of the freezer ready prepared.

  2. I find my leeks continue to grow in warm bright spells early the next season and I thin them out as they grow.
    Unfortunately each year many of my leeks go to waste. Yesterday Brenda informed me she actually does not like leeks!.
    I am sulking and have vowed never to grow them again!

  3. It's too bad about the leeks. It's always frustrating when you devote time and garden space to something that doesn't produce. Those carrots looks amazing though! I definitely have carrot envy, since mine have been puny this year.

  4. Everything looks great as usual. I grew the leaf celery one year and it did really well for me. I don't grow it now but I still keep the leaves off any regular celery that I buy and dry it to add to soups and stews.

  5. Our leeks are small this year too and we too hope they will grow a little bit more. Unlike you we know the reason for this in our allotment as we were very late planting them as the weather was so dry when we should have planted them.

  6. Your leeks may be small but they sure look healthy. I would be happy if the leeks in my garden looked half as healthy as yours. And those carrots are beautiful. I think what you call leaf celery we call cutting celery, it sound like the cutting celery I used to grow before I started growing regular celery. It is a bit too strong for my taste, even in small amounts. I'm envious of those salad greens, there's none in my garden now and we really miss them.

  7. I agree with Michelle - I think your leeks look lovely, even if they aren't as big as they should be. I tried to do a "deep planting" on my leeks but obviously didn't do a very good job as my white bit was only a couple of inches long. I'll have to look at your method more closely when I plant them up next year.

  8. I think that leeks looks very good. A little slender but a nice specimen. I put in 50 leeks this year. they are very thick but not nearly the length of blanched what as yours. I think it is a function of a shallow bed though I've read some new techniques that I will try next year.

    The carrots look great!


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