Actually, the gloom level isn’t too bad, and this is more of a harvest report than an EOMV. It’s thoroughly vile outside again – hence the ‘gloom and despondency’ – so any more conventional EOMV shots for review would be unedifying, but I’m broadly cheerful. That’s because I’ve got the Great Autumn Chutney Making out of the way.
Not so Great this year, so I don’t know if I’ll be selling any. This is my apple crop for 2012:
Yup, that’s the lot. Except for the ones the birds have had a real go at, the ones which are more peck than apple. Considering the normal conditions of excessive, impressive, extraordinary glut, the circumstances that mean all my friends run for cover if they see me approaching with bulging carrier bags, this is quite something. I know I whined about the hassle last year, but I didn’t mean anyone to take me literally!
Reviewing the veg and fruit this year has been interesting. There have been some disasters: the onion, ahem, ‘crop’, for instance. Or the shallots which rotted in the ground. The same applied to the spuds, but at least I salvaged enough not to have to buy any between June and September, and that’s much better than last year, when I got blight. Er – the potatoes did, not me.
And so, in a spirit of
stupidity blind optimism, I have ordered seed potatoes for next year, because Ratte – my all-time favourite – are back in stock at Thompson and Morgan. And I do remember that I said I wouldn’t order from them after last year, but they’re the only people I’ve found so far offering Ratte in anything other than industrial quanties. Slapped in a garlic order too, and one for shallots. But no onions. I suppose I’ve learned something!
I didn’t expect much from the beans this year after they got off to such a slow and dispiriting start – if it wasn’t freezing or windy or wet, there were giant slugs for them to contend with. In the end I’ve had a reasonable crop, and one drawer of the downstairs freezer is full.
But I am afraid that this is the last, except for the few I’ve left on to grow up for next year’s seed beans. And what of the greenhouse, since the toms seem to have snuck into shot here?
It’s been great, though that’s it now.
The last of the tomatoes have been picked. All the green ones were incorporated in the Great Chutneying, and the red and semi-red ones are waiting for the oven to be free. I make Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s roast tomato passata and freeze huge quantities, and there’s a good green tom recipe on that link, too. That passata is just wonderful in the dark days of January (or late September, come to that).
But I’ll miss popping into the greenhouse and emerging, slightly sticky, having snacked on some small Prince Borghese. As it were. I might try some new varieties next year…
I’m not quite sure what this one is, for instance. I think my seed may have got mixed up as this doesn’t match anything I thought I’d planted. Again. (And yes, these were not photographed today, I admit it. Today I’d have needed vast, Hollywood-style lighting rigs to get anything.)
The peppers, which I grew as a public service – some friends had too many seedlings and didn’t want to throw them out – have been OK. I’m not going much further than that, because I think they were the vector for white spider mite. But I treated that with encarsia wasps – quite impressed. Anyway, I got some fruits,
which is more than I’ve done in the past, and they are attractive… but they do take up a lot of room for not that much return. Hmm.
Well, I suppose it is an EOMV post of a kind, so there ought to be at least one shot of the outside world. Here it is:
I’ve lost my throne, which changes the whole feel of the middle garden. I thought I’d decided what I was going to do, and now I find I haven’t. Obviously the wall needs rebuilding, and I do need to address the question of the ‘path’ with its extra tree-root decoration, but I’m a bit stumped (agh – sorry, I swear that was unintentional). Running to the left bottom corner and out of shot is a narrow border, presently full of daffodils which now need moving (too exposed) and sweet williams which don’t flower (though they now may, as there’s more light). At the moment I’m thinking of rooting up the lot and replacing them with a low and informal cotton lavender hedge – but everything will probably change…