Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Winter Approaches!

We are officially in the second month of autumn and our weather is still holding apart from a few thunder showers on Sun & Mon.I made pasta sauce last week (previous post) I had appealed to Nic nipitinthebud blog for recipes and she gave me one for Passata. I had said the sauce could be combined with passata for lasagne or spaghetti. I have not used the water bath method of preserving but used Nic's recipe from the River Cottage cook book and I must say it was simple, I only had 3 jars maybe with more it would have been more complicated!
I read matron's comment about roasting tomatoes so I discarded the clear liquid left in the roasting dish.The recipe calls for putting the toms through a sieve but I only have one for sifting flour. I spent a fiddly few minutes skinning the toms and then used my hand blender to make a puree before reheating.Definitely worth the effort as it smells devine.
The sweet corn in the bag are small cobs which I cleared from the plants,leaving only the larger more developed ones on for another few days in the sunshine.Some of the plants had grown side shoots (suckers?) which had these smaller cobs growing. I pulled all of them out and any of the stalks which we had taken cobs from.I am not sure if I should have but the stalks are now only bearing stalks with large cobs to ripen.I must look up any recipe for freezing these now!
These pics are not in any particular order as they were taken on different days, the strawberry plants were cleaned up some time back and lots of new growth resulted and now there are blossoms!Should we leave them grow?
Marrow, Kathryn wanted to grow an actual marrow instead of a courgette gone mad!Kathryn has been stuffing the oversized courgette and wanted to see if the marrow tastes better or worse!
Our brassica bed was not one of our star performers this year in fact it was one of the disaster areas!This is the top of one of the Brussel sprouts which have been invaded with what looks like green fly? We have been blasting them with the hose and pouring the rhubarb mixture over them but I think we are fighting a losing battle.
One of the cabbage plants, which never grew to a decent size is infested with them. Since I took this photo this bed has been cleared of everything except the sprouts.
The sprouts are quite big on one or two of the plants but the lower ones are being nibbled.Since taking these pics all of the lower leaves and any of the damaged lower sprouts have been removed to deter the snails and the top 'head' has been cut off also as this seems to be where the greenfly are nestling.I will update on progress if any.
The turnips which were transplanted are growing, this pic is about a week old and they are much bigger now.The leaves are almost touching each other so I can only hope there are turnips forming underneath!
We have 2 cucumber plants in the greenhouse and despite careful watering and feeding they have only deigned to produce one fruit each!
This one has now been picked and consumed as it was getting way too big and maybe we will get a second one from it?
The tomato plants in the greenhouse, since then I have cut all of the leaves and left only fruit bearing trusses.Most of these toms have now become sauce /passata but there are still loads to ripen.I don't think I will have to worry about making green tomato chutney

Our artichokes are going great guns after a late start, there are about 8 heads on the 2 plants. I cut one nearly every second day it is much faster food than McD's!
Remember those hundreds of Snapdragons? Well they are in bloom all over the plots and at home, all the colours of the rainbow and the bees love the new addition to their quest for nectar.

11 comments:

Becca's Dirt said...

Awesome snapdragons. Fall want officially arrive till October and I am so ready for a change in seasons. Leaves are falling and changing color so it is coming soon.

PeggyR said...

Oh my our Fall arrives on the 22 of September. Our temperatures today are definitely Fall temperatures and I am loving it!

Becca's Dirt said...

Surely the Star of Peru four o'clocks name could have changed to Marvel of Peru. This one is the strangest but very pretty plant.

Excuse me - fall does arrive on the 22 of Sept and not Oct as I said previously.

Linda said...

The snapdragons are gorgeous. I love the way the bees push into the flowers.

Very prolific plot, Peggy, but such a shame about the beasties invading your brassicas.

diane said...

That is an impressive vegetable plot. I have just started trying to grow vegies and I haven't had much success yet. I dug them all out before our holiday and now I need to clear out the weeds and try again.

W. Latane Barton said...

I always get hungry when I look at your blog. I wonder why!! Hehe. Hope things are going well for you. I'm hanging in there.

Ann said...

We've had more trouble with caterpillas this year, they even started eating my tomatoes! Glad you are still getting some decent weather, your sweet corn should ripen well if it keeps up.

Matron said...

My, you've been busy! these last few weeks of warmth are so precious. You will enjoy that Summer sunshine taste in your tomato sauce in the depths of a cold Winter day, and smile!

Lexa said...

Great job with the canning. You will really enjoy pulling those out of the pantry one cold, Winter night. It really is Summertime locked up in a jar.

nic @ nipitinthebud said...

your rhubarb spray sounds intriguing. I think Brassica beds have been dessimated across the UK this summer.
Your tomato sauce looks gorgeous. I don't sift either - I happen to really like the gritty tomato seeds and skins.
What a difference having a greenhouse makes to lengthening the growing year.

Peggy said...

Becca's Dirt, They may be old fashioned but I love snapdragons! I often wondered what 4 oclocks were when reading blogs, now I know!

PeggyR,I see your fall colours on TV and in Books it always looks great!

Linda,the beasties are hard to get rid of!

Diane, keep trying, everything does not grow for us either but keep trying!

Latane,glad you popped in and I know how you are hanging in there every day,God Bless.

Ann,I did'nt see many caterpillars but lots of everything else!

Matron, I am looking forward to opening them as it is the first time I have tried preserving tomatoes/sauce.its also the first time we have had enough of them to even think about it!

Lexa, thanks for the comment I will try the canning again, I thought it was a very complicated process but its doable!

Nic, I saw the rhubarb spray on a gardenign programme I think Terry who has an allotment in Wales and writes for magazines etc. The greenhouse made a big difference to us this year.