Winter harvest

Sometimes being disorganised has its advantages.

Tayberry newly planted

Tayberry newly planted

On Sunday we planted soft fruit: a red currant, a tayberry (a blackberry/raspberry cross), a boysenberry (a cross between loganberry, raspberry and dewberry) and six strawberry plants. These have gone into our small front garden – the only area currently not producing food. We mulched round them with cardboard and weighted this down with some used compost. I’m not sure how many jobs this compost has done, but it includes homemade garden/kitchen waste compost, the contents of pots in which we grew peppers, some cardboard and grass clippings. Last year it was put into a dumpy bag in the ‘waste of space‘ area and had potatoes planted in it. I know that we harvested some of the potatoes out of this bag, but when we came to transfer the compost to the soft fruit, we discovered some lovely big spuds – untouched by slugs, just waiting for an unplanned January harvest. In total, there were 3kg of them!

Parsnips (planned) and potatoes (unplanned)

Parsnips (planned) and potatoes (unplanned)

In addition, we had a couple more planned additions to the table: lovely parsnips (knobbly but delicious) thanks to some seedlings given to me my Kate the day we went to Wonderwool (I drove and she provided me with vegetable seedlings and eggs to bring home… what a great exchange!) and kale (that ever-welcome addition of greenery in the dark days of winter). We’ve also got some leeks coming along nicely (seedlings also provided by Kate), plus Mr Snail found even more potatoes when he was digging up parsnips (still growing in that bed although it’s a couple of years since they were planted there). We even managed to grow a parsnip in the shape of a snail:

The parsnip of happiness?

The parsnip of happiness?

The cheese continues to be a work in progress… it is now maturing and won’t be ready to be eaten for at least a month. I managed to modify a cheese box that has ventilation in the top so that I could mature the cheese in conditions where the humidity is fairly easy to control (just add or remove the egg cup with water in it) and now, apart from regular turning, we just have to wait:

Maturing cheese

Maturing cheese

So, what are your recent harvests (expected and unexpected)?

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15 Comments

  1. No unexpected harvest here, but the snowdrops are showing, which is wonderful to see.

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  2. particularly love the parsnip of happiness in your wonderful January harvest – just masses of parsley and rocket here

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  3. sarahfoto

     /  January 21, 2015

    Fantastic parsnip! I actually did some harvesting today to. I planted a whole bag full of garlic that had sprouted and turning the soil(and snow) over found lots of spuds!

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  4. What a harvest, great when you weren’t expecting it. Our veggie garden is sadly neglected as we never seem to have the time to maintain it so unfortunately we have nothing to report.

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  5. Spuds here to and who needs more aside from that AWESOME parsnip of happiness! OH I long for a parsnip of great happiness but alas, I am going to have to make do with spuds ;). Love this post, more food futures = more happiness 🙂

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    • All parsnips bring happiness, but that one particularly! I offered to boil the parsnips at the weekend, but Mr Snail insists on them being roasted – and who am I to argue!?

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  6. Parsnips and carrots boiled together and mashed with some milk kefer is also a gustatory delight! 🙂 I am seriously thinking of getting myself one of those potato sacks for next year and having a go at my own spuds in my tiny garden. I love how your etheric snail is making it’s effect felt on the garden. I hope it is keeping the real ones at bay! Soft fruit I simply couldn’t fit in – so I shall watch with glee as you and the other gardeners with proper land grow and harvest theirs. I have never tasted a tayberry, but as i adore it’s two parents I am sure I would love it too! .

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  7. I’m crossing my fingers for a potential harvest. One of the scraggly bushes out the front of the house has suddenly leapt ahead and flourished, and now has tiny fruit all over it. The Dowager considers it may be a guava, o happy day. I adore guavas, and while it’s probably not enough fruit to make jam, I could puree them and make guava nectar for the freezer. The taste of the Caribbean, for me, since that’s where I first tasted one!

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  8. How lovely to find stuff growing you didn’t know was there. I haven’t had time to look outside yet. Maybe next week.

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