22 August 2014

Slim pickings

It's been a weird summer for crops. The tomatoes are limping along, producing modest amounts, but nothing like what we'd get in a regular year. It just hasn't been warm enough.

This year I've been roasting, rather than boiling the tomato crop. It seems less labour intensive. I still have to put the roasted tomatoes through the food mill to turn them into sauce, but this cuts out the food-processor stage and (more importantly) produces a richer-tasting sauce, I think.

The weather seems to have suited the beans this year, though. I think I will get a good crop of dried beans. If I were allowed to grow only one variety, I think I'd go for the Cherokee Trail of Tears black beans - they're so prolific!

My eggplants have been pathetic from the very beginning, even though they're in the greenhouse. But there are flowers coming on them now, so I might get a few before the summer is over, if I'm lucky.

The peppers have been producing well in there, however, and the Golden Marconi ones are just beginning to change colour.

Outside, only the skinny Cayenne peppers look like they'll come to anything this year. These are great for pickling or freezing - wonderful for adding a bit of kick to a dish. It would be hard to choose just one pepper to grow, but I think Cayenne would get my vote.

As for tomatoes, that's really hard to decide. I think Amish Paste would have to get my vote, from a preserving point of view. But if I'm allowed one for fresh eating too, it would have to be Gardener's Delight. Or Black Cherry. No, sorry, it's not possible. Cannot pick just one tomato!

08 August 2014

Flying visit

I took Mike's mum back to England last week and was able to squeeze in a visit to Wisley with my aunt. We had a great day and I feel like I've topped up my annual peering-at-plants requirement. Although the downside to visiting amazing gardens like this is the resulting huge sense of inadequacy I experience when I think about my own!