This one should probably have been left for a few more weeks, until the first frosts arrive, but we needed something colourful for the market stalls so I picked it. We have plenty more.
The Maan Maut harvest market is in Fiskars this weekend. We don't have a stall but we will give our farmer-neighbour some things to sell. We have a few aubergines and some cucumbers and lots of honey. We also sent some garlic and a Golden Hubbard squash.
When I opened the polytunnel this morning it was a whopping 50 centigrade inside and raining! Yes, raining inside the tunnel. I had soaked the squashes the previous evening and then pulled the curtains across the front of the tunnel. As the temperatures rose this morning, so did the evaporation. When I opened the curtains and the temperature suddenly dropped, I guess we got some condensation...
I am now leaving the curtain open for a few days. Although the nighttime temperature drops, the minimum inside the tunnel is about the same (though probably not for as long).
I picked some cucumbers and some rocket.
I've sown some Cucamelons which I saw growing at Mary Kuusisto's garden in Tenala. She was growing hers in hanging baskets and they were covered in fruit. Mine germinated in about 3-4 days and I'm now potting them on. They look like miniature watermelons and they taste like cucumbers.
I'll keep them indoors all winter and try to get a crop next summer. It's a tropical plant from Central America so it will be a challenge!
Hardly any rain for the past two weeks. Watering the vegetable garden almost daily. Temperatures over 20C during the day, up to 23-24C. Some nights down to 6-8C
Potatoes - Annabelle
Carrots - Nantaise
Aubergines - Moneymaker
French beans - Tendersweet
Herbs (Basil, chives, sage, thyme, borage, French tarragon)
Onions, red and yellow
Wild raspberries, chantarelles, still a few blueberries.
Coming very soon:
Tomatoes - Shirley, then Moneymaker
Peppers - Red delight
Blackcurrants - Brodtorp, Marksi, Mikael
Gooseberries - Lepaan Punainen
I picked the whole lot, anticipating an arrival of roe deer 'en masse' to devour them prickles and all. I don't particularly enjoy picking them due to the thorns but the bucket fills up quicker than with the blackcurrants. We only have three bushes and only one of them is really established. Not sure what to do next. I will probably dump the whole lot in the freezer while I look for recipes. Meanwhile, Fred is dipping in - he loves them, raw.
These are really so easy to grow and it is no problem getting in a crop before the frosts creep into the polytunnel.
These are broad beans. I prefer to pick them when they are quite small and then (in my opinion) they don't need to be skinned. But fine dining dictates the skins should always be removed. It seems a bit of a waste but maybe the fleshy skin is an acquired taste. The smaller beans are shiny and the colour of avocado flesh. The bigger beans are a paler green and lose their shine. Skinned beans look much the same as smaller, unskinned beans.
As for recipes, I tend to eat broad beans steamed then crushed with a little butter and lemon juice, probably with some roast lamb or grilled lamb chops. They also work well in a quiche with smokey bacon bits and feta cheese. And why not in a risotto primavera with - or instead of - peas.
Here's one of our summer workers weeding around the saskatoon bushes!
We actually had a handful of saskatoon berries to taste this summer and now that we have enclosed the area with deer-proof fence and removed the sapling tubes, the bushes are doing really, really well. I think we will have a proper crop next summer. The weather this year has been perfect for them: cool, wet summer and now some late summer sunshine.
Another eight litres today from Ovantrask and we still haven't picked the fruit from the new bushes. I have about 24 litres to freeze tonight (ie 16 kgs or about 35lbs). I pretty much freeze them as they are, they are not dusty or sticky and have been plenty rained on in recent days!
We picked about 14 litres of blackcurrants from the Rosendal bushes at the beginning of the week and today I picked 16 litres from the old bushes on the Ovantrask field. We have covered the remaining bushes in Rosendal with nets to keep out the birds and the deer but the two new rows of blackcurrants (which do have plenty of currants this year) are not covered. I think we will do some more picking tomorrow morning and at the weekend.
The 30 litres we have picked so far equate to about 20kg in weight which is 44lbs in English and we are about half way through: so this year's yield will be around 45kg. Guessing, but probably not far off. Most will be frozen and used to make cordial, liqueur and jam or jelly. And some we eat fresh in a mixed berry compote with blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries and redcurrants. The redcurrants are ready (but we only have two small bushes) and the gooseberries need another week at least. The wild raspberries are just beginning to ripen - we don't have any cultivated raspberries this year.
Today I weeded around all the blackcurrants bushes (we have maybe 30, maybe 40) because the currants are almost ready and I hate getting stung by nettles while I'm picking (usually without gloves). It is back-breaking work but useful because today was a sunny day and the sunshine reaches the lower berries once the weeds have been removed.
We've decided to start the honey harvest so the berry picking will have to fit in around all the other work. It's going to be a very, very busy week.
The first batch of blackcurrants will go straight to Espoo on Monday morning where it will be frozen as we just don't have time to make crème de cassis or blackcurrant cordial at the moment. Some of the rest will go to REKO in Ekenas on Wednesday.
The last kilo of strawberries.
Some more broad beans.
Carrots. Garlic. Onions. Timo (end of).
The blackcurrants are almost ready, as are the first aubergines. The tomatoes ('Shirley') are huge but not ripening yet, same story with the red peppers. The red gooseberries are another week or two away.
We've eaten a few leaves of kale which I stirred into some fried potatoes with chantarelles and garlic. They are really tasty but I just wish they would speed up a bit.