Sunday, 7 September 2008

Glut and gluttony

It's been a weird growing year; all that water and not enough heat has suited some stuff and not others. So the orchard is heavy with apples but nary a plum, gage or damson in sight. Sloes are conspicuous by their individuality; literally one or two on a tree rather than the usual laden branches. I've been blackberrying three times now and perhaps it's a little early to expect otherwise, but although there's been enough for a fool and a crumble, I have yet to find the trug-full required to make the pots and pots of jam necessary to keep the household happy year round.
The polytunnel has been the star of the show: my aubergines are the best ever; the chillis will have to be dried or they will rot on the plant (you can't chomp on them for breakfast, lunch and dinner); the big boy tomatoes are gracing salads with their accompanying basil; the yellow courgettes are this month's staple; the cucumber surplus has gone to the pigs; the peas are still going (that's a long pea season in my book); and the pak choi was brilliant. Outside, the hispi cabbages have been forfeited to pigs and hens; the slug damage has made them beyond the human pale/pail. The onions did ok and today is the day for stringing them up. The swiss chard, artichokes, parsnips and red cabbage are all thriving, but it's the raspberries that have once again cheered the days; huge, sweet, beautiful and creating a jungle of unruly canes.


Jay said...

Shame about the Hispi - I think that and 'Sweetheart' are my favourite cabbages.

Odd about all the plums failing. Is it anything to do with the bee population? I've noticed that Victorias are plentiful up here this year - and they seem quite variable.

mountainear said...

It doesn't seem to be a plum year with us either. Sloes too are few and far between.

We are at 800 feet and I think that is making a difference this year - things which have coped previously are struggling this season.

Flowerpot said...

the blackberries are very poor here too - very small and pippy through not enough sun and too much rain. Shame cos I love blackberries...

paula said...

Oh those raspberries - to die for!

KAZ said...

Raspberries - delicious.
Definitely 'British is Best'.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Tomatoes and basil - a match made in heaven! There are very few blackberries around here too (in North Devon) which is a shame because my better half just loves apple and blackberry pie.

Mopsa said...

Jay, I'm having to console myself that the red cabbages will be ok - and that is my fave of all.

M'ear - it seems that the weather agrees with me - I hate sloe gin.

F'pot - don't give up hope - if you hunt about you'll find enough to do something with; I have managed so far.

Paula - yup, they are, but you have to pick them every day before they turn mushy and the flies get to them.

Kaz - I never knew they would be so lovely, and in my own garden.

AMKT - yessiree, especially with mozzarella and a glug of olive oil (neither of which I "grow"!