Monday, 19 September 2011

Summer Harvest

We've not really had all that much of a summer in terms of good weather but, surprisingly, we have had a good harvest in the veggie garden.  Peas-a-plenty; lots of carrots and beetroot; tonnes of courgettes; and more runner beans that you could shake a stick at!  And I managed to keep the kids occupied on many afternoons with a spot of pea shelling...

I have to admit that I grew the runner beans purely because I like the red flowers but, now that I have a glut of them, I'm going to be making some bean chutney - recipe to follow - as well as anything and everything you could possibly make from a courgette.   

Anyway, I wanted to share my summer harvest pics with you as I was delighted that we managed to grow such a fantastic amount in Scotland; in a rubbish summer and in a tiny garden.  This year I grew:
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries (a few - more of that later)
  • Peas
  • Runner Beans
  • Broad Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Parsnips
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Courgettes
  • Potatoes - 1st Early (Charlottes)

And we still have potatoes (late King Edwards); Conference pears and lots more courgettes to harvest - as well as the parsnips which will be overwintered (which basically means my intention is to use some of them for Christmas dinner and the rest for roast Sunday lunches after that).  It just goes to show that you don't need much space to grow a lot. 

Now, the essence of my blog is all about saving money and, while I'm not going to pretend for a minute that I have grown enough - or even have enough space - to feed a family of four all year round, I did manage the following achievements:

  1. I didn't buy peas for the whole of June and July
  2. I still haven't had to buy any beetroot
  3. We had strawberries for the whole of June from the garden
  4. I haven't had to buy broad beans, runner beans or courgettes at all (although some of that may be due to the fact that my kids will only eat them in very small amounts.
  5. We've had salad leaves from the garden from June until they went to flower (bolted) this week.
  6. I have 2 rows of parsnips and 2 grow bags full of potatoes that I'm hoping will feed us at Christmas time!

And all of this from 3 raised beds, 4 potato grow bags and 4 custom-made (by Mr Thrifty) narrow beds that go around the fence - for the beans and peas.  I also grow pear trees and rhubarb in the borders  - and they're about to be joined by the blueberry bush which produced a rather pathetic 6 blueberries this year in it's little pot.  So I think it needs space to flourish.  And my garden is only 13m by 9m with a little bit down the side return - anything is possible.

So, watch this space for my bean chutney and courgette recipes - and please feel free to suggest a few too.  The more the merrier!  But in the meantime, please give it up for my wonderful Summer Harvest!

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