Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Sunday, 29 July 2012

A Beautiful Week in the Forest

 Nothing like a bit of sunshine to make everything all right with the world, and this week we have certainly been blessed. Long hot sunny days which have brought the garden to life. 

We have had a busy week with lots going on but have still managed a bit of garden time. Plants that were previously just green leaves, are now bearing the beginnings of edible fruits.




The garden is looking glorious. I noticed, that one of my outdoor tomato plants finally had a ripe tomato. It was late in the evening and so decided to go back the next morning and get it. Then it would be nice and fresh to have in my lunch time sandwich. Best laid plans and all that. This is what I saw when I went back for it the next day. 


I can only assume my resident pidgeon had got to it before me. I am beginning to feel like a character in the Wacky Races cartoon, always humming "Stop that Pidgeon

Elsewhere everything is looking lovely. The companion planting I did around the leeks is very pretty. I have no idea if its working, but the leeks are very healthy, so who knows.


The greenhouse tomatos are now coming thick and fast


My chilli plant now has a tiny chilli growing on it, maybe next week I will be able to make my own pasta sauce with my stored shallots, greenhouse tomatoes and fresh chilli. Watch this space for pictures. 


The Butternut Squash is starting to hang out of the raised bed, but finally it has some flowers on it. 



And flowers are appearing everywhere. Cant believe its nearly August and they are only just showing themselves. 







I mentioned previously that we were going to the New Forest Show and it turned out to be a wonderful day. Very Hot. We made sure we got up early, and as the show-ground was only a 15 minute drive away we were there before 9am. No traffic and No mud. They must be congratulated for all the hard work done to ensure that the car parks were easily accessible . There was evidence all around of some major activity with newly laid gravel and sand entry roads. 

There was plenty to see and do and lots of amazing things to try. I made a point of visiting a company I am friends with on Twitter. They are the Hampshire Chutney Co and make the most delicious chutneys and sauces. We spent a Happy 15 minutes trying all sorts of wonderful things, and came away with a couple of jars of our favourites. Have a look at their website  and treat yourself to something wonderful. I can recommend Chilliriffic and Spicy Pear


Next stop was a very nice stall which had some lovely cane Trugs. Jim bought me one so I can carry my vegetable up the garden in style rather than in an old plastic tray!




And then we had a look at the animals and watched a couple of displays in the showring.





A brilliant day out, we are already making plans to go again next year. 


Gibson has had a great week as well. He got to spend the show day with his favourite dog sitter and then has been on a couple of trips out as well. We walked around the Keyhaven Nature reserve and he met some rather large animals. It didn't bother him, in fact he was very keen to say hello. 



After all the excitement it was time for a swim, I found a rather large stick and launched it out into the sea. I thought I had thrown it out too far, but it didnt seem to bother him, off he went paddling furiously, determined to get his stick back.. 


Success 


And then time for a quick pose for the camera!! 



Have a wonderful week, hope the sun continues to shine on us all . 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Seedy Penpals

This post is a little unusual as it doesn't have anything to do with my garden

I have Joined a scheme which I think is going to be fun and may appeal to some of you. It is though, only open to people who live in the Uk and Europe.

The scheme is called Seedy Penpals and is based on a food scheme running in the USA. In a nutshell, it involves joining up and then twice a year, being matched with someone, who you send seeds to and in return they send some to you. I think it will be interesting for the garden as I know I have my favourites, but who is to say they are necessarily the best. 

The scheme is being run from this website Seedy Penpals so if you fancy it read the rules and join. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Not much to report..

I have just noticed its been a week since my last blog. Very shoddy of me, but in reality there is very little to report from the garden. 

I have continued to  get lovely tomatoes from the greenhouse, but the outdoor ones are now all suffering from the same blight that finished off my potatoes. 

The lettuce are vanishing at a rapid rate and I have sown more seed to ensure we have a regular crop. 

The only new veg making it first appearance this week are my shallots. 

I planted them in the depth of last winter and they have steadily produced some lovely stalks. The rain though, did not do them any favours, they were looking very sad so finally this week, I gave up any hope that they would grow anymore and decided to dig them up. 




Once they were up, although not huge, they didn't look bad. 



Time for them to dry out. After about 4 hours, the greenhouse had a lovely sweet onion smell 



2 days later, this was the real test, how did they taste. 




The answer was, very nice. I am pleased with them and shall grow the same one next year. I think I have enough left to last a few weeks so we shall be enjoying them some more. 


Else where in the greenhouse, my chilli plants have finally flowered. 



I have 10 plants and they nearly all have flowers now, so Chilllis before long, I hope. And finally the purple sprouting broccoli is nearly ready to go outside. I have to make a space and will probably do that this week. 


Gibson has been sleeping in a crate since the day we bought him home, but as he is now 6 month old we have decided to see how he gets on without it. He seems to be enjoying his new freedom, and so are we. He is no longer crying at about 6am everyday because he is bored. Now he just gets up himself and plays with his toys until we get up. 



Have a great week. Its the New Forest Show this week, so we will be there all day Tuesday. I was going to enter some veg but have decided that unless they have the smallest veg section, I don't stand much chance. 



Sunday, 15 July 2012

Spectacular Carrots and Peas!

I wish!!!!!

Its the time of year when my hard work should be bearing fruit. If you look above ground its all rather spectacular. Lots of greenery and healthy looking leaves. The rain and lack of sunshine has done its damage out of sight

I have previously bemoaned the fact that the peas didn't grow at all well. The pods that did finally appear were looking very ripe and ready earlier this week, so time to pick them. 



Not many! there are a couple more, but basically that is my entire years pea production!

I also picked a bit more spinach to make a decent serving for dinner


So what did the peas look like, actually rather nice, a beautiful colour and very shiny. 




I could have eaten all of these raw, they were sweet and delicious. So despite getting so very few they were worth the effort. I have now planted some more which are ready in September.

Now the carrots. I planted them in the early spring and have spent a lot of time trying to ensure they were not attacked by carrot fly. Yesterday it was time to dig them. We were having guests for lunch today, and I thought they would go beautifully with my slow roasted shoulder of lamb. 

First job, unwrap them from the Environ mesh tunnel they have been living in. 



The foliage looked wonderful, this is going to be a treat, I thought to myself as I pulled gently on the first carrot in the row. 



Maybe its just that one thats small , I mused hopefully and pulled the next one. 



The second and third were even tinier. The residents of Lilliput would even find these small!  I kept going until I had pulled up about a dozen, some were larger, but on the whole they were pretty minuscule. 


It seems all the effort went into growing the leaves. On the plus side, none of them had any signs of carrot fly infestation, so my efforts on the protection front were obviously very successful


A quick wash in the water butt and the vegetation cut off and they were ready to go inside. 



We also needed some potatoes for lunch, There were not too many charlottes left, so time to start on the Roosters. 


These have been reasonably successful. A decent size and about 10 potatoes on the plant I dug up. I am very pleased with them. I also dug the last of the charlottes. 


After a quick wash I ended up with a very colourful display. 


Into the kitchen for a proper wash and they were ready to be cooked for lunch today. 



They were all delicious. The carrots were described by my Dad as very carroty! 

Elsewhere in the plot the greenery is looking very pretty and the odd flower is finally appearing. 



The occasionally afternoons of sunshine we had this week, have made the cosmos come out and they are lovely. 

I was beginning to feel a bit like Peter Pan, It has been so long since I had seen my own shadow, I was wondering if someone had stolen it! Luckily walking down the garden yesterday, I noticed it had come back from wherever it had been, so took a quick snap, to make sure I knew what it looked like, in case I lost it again. 


Gibson is on top form, we went for a walk in the week and met his friend from puppy class, A golden retriever called Summer. She is very sweet and loves Gibson. Not too sure what he thinks of her. Make up your own mind. 


Well thats about it for this week. As I said in the last blog, My Dad had arrived from Spain for a visit. He loves the garden and has been having a little potter around in the vegetables and done some digging for me. 

Finally, The Olympic Games gets ever closer and this week the Olympic Torch Relay has been in our county. Yesterday we got up far to early and headed off to Brockenhurst to watch it. It turned out to be a nice morning, No rain and we got a great spot on the route.

It was really fun, lots of noise and everyone was really enjoying themselves. The convoy was impressive and finally we got to see the main event. 



We waited hours and it was all over very quickly but we agreed it was worth the effort. 

Now I am waiting to see whats next to be ready outside. I think the Shallots are next. The greenery has all died off now, and I think I should dig them up, in case they rot, so watch this space.   Have a great week and keep smiling, after all this is the summer!