Sunday, 2 September 2018

Reaping the rewards

After all the hard work I have put in to the Courtmoor plot (particularly the initial digging and then the prolonged watering!), it is nice to be able to relax somewhat and concentrate primarily on harvesting!

My last couple of visits to the plot have involved a fair bit of weeding (that blessed "Gallant Soldiers" - Galinsoga parviflora is VERY prolific!), a bit of tidying-up of spent plants (e.g. beans), but also a good amount of harvesting.

The dwarf French beans continue to provide a steady supply, and even the "Cobra" climbing French beans are still delivering the occasional pod. Their second flush was very worthwhile, so I'm glad I didn't rush to pull them up. The Runner beans on the other hand have been a total washout, producing a very small crop of very tough pods. This was not unexpected of course, since they were grown from some very poor seed-stock, and the long drought didn't help. I have done what I set out to do with them though - I have saved enough good seeds for another (hopefully more successful) attempt next year, and kept this "heritage" variety in existence. By the way, I have decided to re-name this unidentified variety from "Jean's Beans" to "Rupert's Runners". The name "Jean's Beans" will henceforward apply to the Dwarf French beans only! This is only fair, because in the past Rupert did all the gardening, and I don't think Jean had much to do with erecting beanpoles and such like.

Star of the harvest this week though was not beans, but Butternut Squash. I picked the two biggest ones:

Butternut Squash "Sweetmax"

The bigger of the two weighs 1.92kgs and the smaller one weighs 1.58kgs. I think they are pretty fine squashes! I am particularly proud to have grown these, since previous attempts in my own (rather shaded) garden have not met with any success. The best thing is that I have four more to harvest - though two of them are admittedly small.

As well as the squashes, I picked 7 beetroot (4 for Jean & Rupert, 3 for Jane and me), a bag of the New Zealand Spinach, a handful of spears of Kaibroc and a pound or so of tomatoes. I picked any of the tomatoes that had any colour on them, because I am worried that the slugs might get them before me. Most of them were from the single "Mountain Magic" plant. They will ripen OK at home.

Just as I was packing up to come home I made a last-minute decision to cut two cabbages. This was because they seemed "just right" and I didn't want to see them spoiled by slug damage or perhaps splitting now that we are getting some rain at last. They were the two in the middle of this next photo. The variety is "Predzvest", which has quite crinkly leaves, though it is not really a Savoy type.

One of the cabbages went to Jean and Rupert; the other came home with me.

Looking at that photo I'm reminded that I also found another clutch of tiny shallots - one of those that I had just bunged in at the end of a row of something and then forgot about. They are minuscule, but they won't be wasted. When you are a GYO person, nothing edible is wasted!


  1. I couldn't agree more about not wasting food you have grown - no matter how small. One of my celariac started to bolt, probably due to the weather, and so we had the smallest amount of roast celariac as part of our dinner the other night. In any ohter situation it would have seemed a little silly but I had grown it so we ate it!

  2. A very satisfying first season. Just imagine what you will harvest in 'normal' year.


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