This year hasn’t all been doom and gloom. It may not have been the most successful of growing seasons, but there have been successes nonetheless.
Potatoes were rather prolific this year. I think this was more down to the varieties used and the lessons learned from previous experiences rather than anything more. The raised beds were filled with a combination of well rotted farmyard manure and leaf mold, with the seeds then sunk into this organic material. Pink Fir apple had to be the most abundant of the crops, with the strangest of shapes being formed. It was very difficult not to harvest them, with chuckling. Over the harvest period, we harvested buckets and buckets of potatoes. Lady Balfour and International Kidney were the next most productive. These three are definitely on the list for next year because of how successful they were.
The fact that my tomato crop was really very poor this year, rather bugs me. Last year I remember having so many green tomatoes, I was struggling to keep up with the chutney processes and ripening them. So imagine by disdain that this year, we didn’t have many at tall. The vines were slow cropping, with not many fruit. Whilst the weather was a bit of a downer, the variety of the tomatoes is probably also significant as well. There were heritage varieties, and I knew that some of these would be somewhat slower in their development; but I did expect something of a decent crop.
The chillies were interesting. Again, a range of hot chillies and super hot chillies. All sown a few days after Christmas, to have a productive summer crop. A little hit and miss, but we did get some chillies. The plums that you see were kindly donated by a plot neighbour and have made the basis of a few jams and jellies.
The blueberries are still sat in the freezer, waiting to be used. Their fate was to be gin, but I haven’t got that far. Did make blueberry gin last year, and very nice it was too. One of the better crops this year was garlic. There is nothing nicer than home grown garlic; it has a distinctly different taste and flavour compared to the the sort that you would buy from the supermarket.Last year, redcurrants and gooseberries were planted on the plot. This year, we had a crop-a small crop-from both of these. The currants ended up being jammed, as did the gooseberries. Both with home grown chillies, too.