Picked lots more tomatoes and cucumbers and gherkins and lettuce. The chillies are ready for picking too but will wait a while.
Also pulled a TON of carrots - the sheep love the feathery,green tops.
Up at Rosendal the deer have been nibbling the jerusalem artichokes but we think there is probably a good supply of tubers underground.
The runner beans are doing OK, I have already frozen a couple of bags chopped and blanched. I need to get myself one of those handy little stringers because it's hard work doing it by hand. By the way, no one in Finland eats them - they are grown purely for decoration! I have never seen them in the shops. It must be one of those Brit things.
The french beans are still producing because I planted a second lot of seeds about 3 weeks after the first lot. These have yielded a huge amount per plant. In fact the yields are so heavy the plants need support otherwise the stems can break especially if there is heavy rain.
Will grow less beetroot and more beans next year.
We planted three asparagus plants last year and this spring we added three more. They all came from the Secret Garden in Billnas which is a very small but rather cute garden shop selling mostly garden accessories and clothes (which are way too nice to get dirty) and a few plants.
I read that asparagus plants need to be left to establish themselves for a few years. But I think mine are looking good and hopefully next spring we will be able to start eating them.
Once the ferns have died back, I will cut them off just above the ground and mulch the bed over for the winter. In early spring I will add a small amount of lime.
Having plenty of tomatoes now, cherry and vine and there are still a lot to come. I'm pricking out the tops of the plants as there is no point encouraging any more flowers.
A new wave of cucumbers is now coming from the plants I grew from seed. I made fresh cucumber sandwiches for the Finn-Brit Open House last Thursday and they disappeared like hot cakes!
I'm letting the gherkins get quite big and I will slice them before I pickle them.
The butternuts are producing a lot of female flowers now, so I hope there are still a few bees around to pollinate them. So far it hasn't been a problem. It looks like we will have plenty for the Slow Food market in Fiskars. I'm hoping to have about 2 dozen "Halloween"pumpkins and 30-40 butternut squash.
The chillies are turning red. At last.
I will probably pot up this plant and take it indoors.
The pumpkins are doing really well. We will have a LOT of "halloween" pumpkins and now the butternuts are really going crazy too. It is almost impossble to walk through the polytunnel now, the plants are so dense. Am also picking courgettes, gherkins, cucumbers (took a bagful into work for cucumber sandwiches) and also tomatoes. Am also picking "leaf lettuce".
Outside we have pulled up all the onions and garlic and they are drying in the barn. I am gradually pulling up carrots and we even had a couple of parsnips this week (though they are better left until the frost has got 'em). We still have French beans coming and the runner beans are going crazy too (at last... I love runner beans) (and they make a welcome change from courgettes). Leeks, jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, beetroots are still in the ground.
I think we have the quantities all wrong. Next year I promise I will only plant 2 or 3 courgette plants and only half a bed of beetroot. We will plant more beans though and more parsnips.
We spent all Sunday morning (P, me and Tom) picking blackcurrants from the Rosendal bushes. We got about half way and we already have over 20 kgs...
This evening, back in Espoo, we used the mehu-maija (juicer) to make about a dozen bottles of slightly sweetened blackcurrant syrup (Ribena to you and me). I have also mixed up some currants and sugar with an old bottle of glögi (the boozey variety) for a Christmassy drink. And we put about 15 litres of currants in the freezer. Tomorrow P will go and pick the remainder (about another 20 kgs...)
Next year we will have to sell some, assuming we have similar quantities because we have way too many for our own consumption.
From the veggie patch:
Yes, we're picking French beans twice a day. I prefer to pick them when they are "extra fins" (very thin) - the French way, rather than let them get too big and risk them being stringy. I blanch them in boiling water for one minute, rinse them in ice cold water, let them dry and then bag them up and put them in the freezer. They are frozen within an hour or two of being picked. Huge yields from each plant. I need to check the variety (will definitely use the same one next year),
Also picked more beetroot but I will try making relish or borscht rather than pickling any more.
We used seed tape for the carrots but I find they are too close together so I have pulled some of the larger ones (and frozen them) to make room for the smaller ones.
Pulled both red and purple onions and dug up all the garlic from the veg garden (but there are more in the ground up at the farmhouse).
I tied up the Jerusalem artichokes as they were falling over and covering up my tiny lavender bush, but won't be digging any up for a month or two yet,
In the forest:
Picked blueberries in the forest and found enough chanterelles to make a nice big 6-egg omelette for P and me.
There are still tons and tons of raspberries.
The heather is starting to bloom but no sign of the bees...
In the polytunnel:
Tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, gherkins, courgettes all ready to pick.
Butternuts and pumpkins are reaching scary proportions. Cinderella eat your heart out. No sign of mice but lots of small birds visit the polytunnel during the day.
The temperature falls quite dramatically night-time so we need to fix the curtain at the north end of the tunnel.