2016 harvest so far

Normally on a Wednesday I would get a veg box delivery.  I haven’t ordered one for this week, for the simple reason, we have lots of our own to use!  It may be short lived, time will tell, but for now, we’re supplied for the next week with enough produce to keep us going.  I’m really pleased with this.  It led me on to think that later in the year, or next year, I will probably look back and wonder what we’ve managed to make from our home grown products so I thought I’d make a list showing what this Spring and Summer has offered us in the way of fresh veg, preserves, cordials and so on.  Here we go:
2 large kilner jars of strawberry jam.  I think this simple jam is actually my favourite.
Elderflower, rhubarb and gooseberry jam, 4 jars.
Raspberry Jam, 3 jars
Rhubarb and ginger, 5 jars
Elderflower cordial 2 litres
Blackcurrant cordial apx 350ml
Gooseberries, Rhubarb, Blackcurrants, Red currants, White currants by the bucketful along with more strawberries and raspberries.  There’s still more ripening now!
This week, we had our first tomatoes with our tea too!  So tomatoes are on the list now.
Fresh veg
Asparagus, Purple and green broccoli, Cauliflower, Broad beans, Peas (red pods and greed pods), Onions, Leeks, Lettuce, Radish.  The list is still increasing.
Really, looking at this little lot, we’ve done well so far.  My mind goes in to over time with excitable thoughts!  I’m learning each week and next year will continue to learn.  For example labelling everything – I intended to do it then either forgot to move the labels in my excitement of pricking out and potting on, especially once things went outside.  I need to figure out the best way to organise the greenhouse as it’s all a bit messy which I don’t like.  I like tidy but I’m not a natural by any means!  Also thinking about an easier method for getting the rain water to the greenhouse and veg plot as it’s a long trek when you need 50+ watering cans full!  Rain water hose pipe or sprinkler springs to mind.  Could we harvest the water from the stream that runs along one edge of the orchard.  I’m thinking about how and when to heat the greenhouse and if it’s worth it.  A polytunnel would be great but isn’t an option in this year’s budget at present.
I’m starting to give thought to 2017 veg plans but before that I’m going to be making lists of what else I can sow now to see us into (and maybe even through) Winter.  I’m going to bottle the next lot of raspberries in some vodka, along with blackberries & elderberries when they arrive too, just a few small bottles to try at Christmas. If they’re nice then we will use them for gifts to select people.
So as you can see, lots going on in my head and my 2 week break can’t come round quick enough as  I have 101 things I want to get done!

Today’s harvest

Oh wow this is what it’s all about. Today we harvested all sorts from the veg plot. I haven’t ordered a veg box for this week as we don’t need one!!! How fabulous is that.  Hopefully we can get to do this for most of the year eventually.
Today we picked broccoli, cauliflower, mountains of broad beans, peas, redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, strawberries and gooseberries, onions, leeks, cabbage.  There’s loads more out there to harvest too so I will blanch and freeze what we don’t use immediately. We do need more milk though as the delivery scheme sent the wrong amount this week! Thankfully we had long life milk in the pantry which I make sure we always have in so meals continued ticking over as expected.
We made cordial from a few of the blackcurrants. If it’s nice we will keep the recipe for next year and make more and bottle it for long term use.
Any tried and tested recipes for currants, cabbage and cauliflower would be appreciated. Happy Sunday everyone.