By all accounts it was a successful market. Today was a lovely bright day which must've got the punters out! We sold about 30 pots of honey and ALL the aubergines and maybe a dozen butternut squash (even though they need ripening indoors still).
The two big Slow Food markets are at the end of September/beginning of October. By then we will have masses of butternut squash and also the Japanese Uchiki Kuri squash. Maybe some more aubergines but only if I take them indoors. We'll also be selling honey and sheepskins. The forecast for the next 2-3 weeks is milder (ie warmer) but with a risk of light morning frosts as far south as Central Finland. We should be OK.
We are selling honey at the Maan-Maut farmers' market in Fiskars this weekend.
It's a small food fair with local producers selling mostly fruit and veg. We are going to search the polytunnel tonight for some ripe butternut squash as we reckon there are probably some ready for sale.
And the forecast is OK. It shouldn't rain (it wasn't supposed to rain today either but it did).
I had already dug up all the red onions and the shallots and put them out to dry but now I have also pulled up all the yellow onions and the garlic. It was a muddy job, in the rain, it will take a while to dry them out. The onions were a bit disappointing: some of them had bolted at the beginning of the dry spell before we got our watering system sorted out. The garlic was not bad though and we are already using to make tzatziki which we are putting in the freezer (to deal with the glut in cucumbers).
The other Rosendal fields (oats, barley) were being harvested today (difficult in the very wet ground) the forecast for next week is torrential rain. All of a sudden it feels like November.
Not a great picture: taken from a long way off and with my phone but the combine harvester was out on Sunday and they have cleared the Rosendal oat and wheat fields.
Autumn in the air.
It's going to rain all week so suddenly we have to start thinking differently. For example, we have to get the onions and garlic in now and pick all the rest of the soft fruit. We have cleared all the blackcurrant bushes, freezing the last few kilos as we have no time to juice them.
French beans are still cropping well and I have my eye on a couple of artichokes that might just be edible soon. Meanwhile we have plenty of carrots, courgettes, beetroots, potatoes and in the tunnel we are picking aubergines, rucola, tomatoes and dozens of cucumbers.
We have been making tzatziki with the cucumbers & garlic and I've now tried freezing it (even Thomas said he doesn't think he can eat much more. We are also freezing ratatouille and slices of aubergine that will eventually go into moussaka!
The pumpkins and squash are doing well and I think it is time to start picking butternuts and putting them into the farmhouse to ripen off. They keep longer if they are ripened off indoors. We have some Tom Fox and Atlantic Giants outside the tunnel and they are growing visibly and rapidly especially the ones that we sheltered behind the wind breaker.
It's one of those days when you get to discover what's on daytime TV ie mostly cookery programmes. I did see Jamie Oliver make a 15-minute supper of tacos filled with pork and lots of salad (including cucumber). Yummy idea, might try it out.
The nice thing about the rain is, I only have to water the polytunnel (toms, aubergines, cucumbers etc) everything else is getting wet.
The bad thing is, I have to go and pick french beans in the rain. AND the other bad thing is, we will get mosquitoes. though, to be honest, I think I prefer mosquitoes to the wasps which have been plaguing us for the past few days. I have been swatting up to 10 per day in the cabin and it's impossible to eat in peace on the deck. This is nothing to do with the honey though, the guys in Espoo said the same: wasps everywhere. Apparently the hospitals have had to treat a record number of wasp sting sufferers this summer.
I picked TWELVE cucumbers this afternoon. Not too sure what I will do with them... Soup, tabbouleh salad, tzatziki, sandwiches... they won't get thrown away! I must admit I prefer the variety we grew last year as they were longer, more slender and didn't have so many pips inside.
Also pulled more carrots, more beetroot, picked lots of french beans, a few runner beans, some aubergines, tomatoes and rucola/rocket.
I finally got around to earthing up the jerusalem artichokes. I think we will leave them in the ground until it starts snowing - with experience, there is little point in digging them up and storing them. Maybe we will get some flowers on them this year - they look like sunflowers when they bloom.
I'm taking all the red onions back to Espoo, it is easier to store them there, where we need them. They have dried out nicely this year, so hopefully they will keep longer.
We have two different cultivars of french bean and I prefer "Tendersweet" which are a slightly darker green, straighter and are more like the "très fins" haricots that you get in France. The other variety (can't remember the name) very quickly plump up and you need to pick them twice a day to get the slender ones.
We also planted two cultivars of carrot. These are the early nantaise and I pull them up when they are still quite small and slender. They are nice and sweet and they freeze well (I blanch them whole), though I try to eat them fresh rather than freeze them. We have a later variety which is not ready yet. I will let those fatten up before I pull them. last year we froze some and clamped the rest in the root cellar when we ran out of freezer space. When we cleared out the root cellar before putting the honey primers up there, we found a box of carrots almost one year old, and still OK to eat (we gave them to the sheep).
I wish I had grown more kohl rabi. We started eating kohl rabi in Hungary (2000-1): I bought some from the market and then asked Kati (a Hungarian lady who actually spoke English) what to do with them. So she showed me how to make soup. You can also eat them raw in salads, best picked when still quite small. They look like sputniks... or tennis balls that have sprouted. And you can stick them in stews. Easy to grow and not as susceptible to cabbage fly as the other brassicas.
I have downloaded the data from the weather station, so here is a graph showing outdoor temperatures since the 21st June. As you can see, at the beginning of July temperatures reached 30C and we were having daily highs of over 30C during the whole of the second half of July and also at the beginning of August. On 24th July we recorded 33C at 1:05pm.
The air pressure has been over 1000 Hpa during the whole period except for first thing this morning but, as I write, it is back to 1000.1Hpa and the forecast today is dry, warm and sunny. It rained off and on all night so I think it will be very humid and I'm off to look for chanterelles! According to the records we have had about 50mm of rain since Midsummer which is about the same as last year (also very dry) but I am not sure how accurate the rain data is. I'm pretty sure more than that has fallen in the last 12 hours!
At last. A short shower so I am really glad that I did a bit of hoeing and weeding this morning as there is less run off when the surface isn't so hard and compact.
Picked more French beans, carrots (to eat) and I pulled up all the red onions. Was glad I beat the rain: I'll plait the onions and hang them up in the garage.
Went into Fiskars to chat to the lady in the garden shop, I wanted some advice on my globe artichokes, Had a coffee in the new Backers bakery café (and read the newspaper). if you factor in the price of a newspaper, the coffee is for free!!! But then I bought a walnut loaf (really delicious), some cumin crispbread (so good with cheese) and a white loaf. And a cinnamon bun to have with my coffee. Hmm... Fiskars was pretty empty and even the ice-cream kiosk was closed. On the way back I spotted a combine harvester in one of the fields near here. Maybe I should get out more but, well, it was quite sad seeing the start of the harvest. Another summer drawing to a close.
This has officially been the longest heatwave on record: 38 days.
Tomorrow I will go mushrooming and then I'll have a risotto for dinner which will make a change from my usual veggie fry-up.
I had a quiet day today, just a bit of weeding in the vegetable garden and I picked some more beans, red onions and courgettes and in the tunnel I picked some tomatoes and aubergines, All I need for a ratatouille except the red peppers (which I bought from the supermarket).
Lots of growth in the polytunnel - there is a huge canopy of foliage and it is difficult to see what's underneath. At eye level it looks like this. There are bees everywhere pollinating the big yellow flowers and there are wagtails hopping around eating all the insects!
Not all the plants are butternut: at the front, right, there are some small pumpkins.
At the far end of the tunnel, the plants have escaped into the field. So far no problems with rabbits, mice or deer.
Under the canopy there are plenty of small butternut squash. They are all green: it will be several more weeks before they get that nice pale apricot hue. the ones in this photo (below) are about 20-30 cm long, so a good size already,
This one (a white-tailed deer) was so far away I could barely see it without the camera. There were two of them (the other one was even bigger) eating Ronnie's oats in Rosendal.
I was amazed to find a neat little artichoke on one of the plants which I grew from seed this spring. They are supposed to be bi-annuals and the lady in the Garden Shop told me I would have to lift them in the autumn and re-plant them next spring as they are not hardy enough for Finnish winters.I need to go back and ask her for more detailed instructions.
Well, I probably will lift them but, if I'm lucky, I might get a small helping of Carciofi alla Romana before I do!!! Actually I would have no clue where to start but they are just as nice au naturel with a vinaigrette dressing.
Everything all at once:
Potatoes (the last of the Timo)
Onions (red and yellow)
Courgettes (the 8-ball and the regular ones)
Gooseberries (the deer had most of them)
Not yet, but soon :