Saturday, October 8, 2011

Winding Down


We have lost a lot of time to clear the plots and get ready for winter due the the weather recently.I spent a few hours there on wed when the sun shone unexpectedly.
I dug out the roots bed and brought home some unusual specimens!
It took me the best part of an hour to dig out 8 parsnips!Last year we had a 4 kg monster and that was just the part I was able to unearth. This year I specifically picked seed which was recommended for small gardens and containers?!They were long and big, most of them coming in at a kilo weight.The seeds were planted back in late Feb as parsnip seeds are supposed to be the first to go in, because of slow germination I planted more in late May and they were of a much more acceptable size even though only 4 of them grew!
I spent the whole evening scraping ,peeling, blanching and freezing parsnips.I know they can be saved in sand but I don't have the space to keep them over winter like that so freezing is the best option for me.For all of their size I ended up with 10 freezer bags of approx 400 grms of blanched and sliced parsnips.
The few carrots from this bed had been attacked with the late season carrot fly despite being surrounded by a breaker.I have one bag of parsnip/carrot frozen to add to a stew or casserole.

We finally have red tomatoes from the greenhouse albeit in Oct!4 small green peppers,4 apples from our tiny tree and the last 2 courgettes.We did not have to worry about a glut of any of them this year.

Our pumpkin is turning but will it be ready for Halloween?!The purple flowers are Borage, sown 2 years ago and it has reseeded all over the place since.

Tomatoes turning red in the greenhouse!

The calabrese which has surpassed all expectations this year, it has continued to send out side shoots for months.The last time I was at the plot I cut all shoots and expected to be clearing the plants this time only to find they had grown even more impressively, some of the side shoots are growing as big as the first centre heads.


Alas our poor cabbage, I would think slugs as I could not see any sign of caterpillars, they are almost skeletal!

The strawberries are still growing and turning red in the little sunshine we have had lately, I cut all of the flowers and any fruit off of the row we are keeping for next year

The root bed after being cleared and sown with a Winter mix green manure, hopefully we will get a few more done before the weather changes from bad to worse!
In answer to Theanne, I will do a post on the hens soon and some photos of the havoc they have wrought in my back garden!They lay 4 eggs every day and when we had the few days of bright sunny weather I had 6 eggs a few days.

9 comments:

Theanne and Baron said...

Lovely produce...at least the slugs have left you enough cabbage to do something with. I can't wait to hear about the chickens...they will eat almost anything and scratch the soil at will...but they are lovely creatures. I've always loved chickens and cows and goats...we had those when I was growing up. What a beautiful parsnip...I'm sure they're lovely in a stew...my mother fixed them plain and I wasn't too fond of them!

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Gosh your garden has been productive! That is a monster of a vegetable, huge! Poor cabbage. At least they left the rest alone! I love your strawberry set up!

Marie (once The Tile Lady) said...

Your yields are impressive when you consider all the rain you've had and cooler weather! I sure hope your pumpkin is ready by Halloween! That was a lovely shot of it with the putple borage flowers--a nice mix of orange green and purple. Thanks for your comments on our beach excursion!

W. Latane Barton said...

You are still harvesting... and planning for good food from the freezer come winter.

That parsnip is huge... and funny!!

Ann said...

Fantastic parsnip, I'm amazed at how big yours grew! Bad luck about the carrot fly though. Sorry to hear you've had such bad weather lately.

My courgettes were very poor this year too, ate the last one today but have only had about half a dozen in total. The biggest glut I had this year were the climbing green beans, ended up composting a lot of them, they were ready just as we were going away on holiday so got wasted, no room in my freezer.

PeggyR said...

We are actually warm here. I need to cut things down for winter, but I like it cooler for doing this. Hope you have had a good weekend.

Matron said...

It has been a difficult growing season. Very similar things happening here too. What lovely parsnips, I find it impossible to grow straight parsnips, they just fork all the time. I think the soil has to be COMPLETELY stone free which involves too much sieving and hard work for me!

Why I garden... said...

Lots going on, great to see. Quite a bit of work in blanching and freezing veg but it will be great to have over the Winter. I've only frozen hot peppers so far. Kelli

Barbarapc said...

What a great harvest. I adore parsnips, but am a bit short on space for such a slow crop. I'd say that pumpkin will be ready for Halloween no matter what the colour is. The local store is selling, white, orange and green (fairy tale variety). Isn't that borage a delight. Thinking I'll get some seed for next year.