Harvesting your home grown fruit and veg is a pleasure, there is no two ways about it. It makes you feel proud and wholesome. But it is also a challenge. Just as a farmer needs to keep one eye on his ripening crops and the other on the weather forecast, so too does the allotment holder and vegetable gardener. This autumn’s overshoots have included:
- The katy apples we pressed to make apple juice, even though they were picked straight from the tree, would have been tastier and juicier two weeks early. They looked lovely and bright red on the outside, but they had started to become puffy, which made the juice dull brown instead of lively pink.
- I was too greedy with my caulies, leaving them to grow just that little bit larger. I then forgot about them for a couple of days and bang the lovely white crispness and had been replaced by leggy yellow.
- And don't get me started on the borlotti beans. I wait all year for these as they are still not sold locally. We had a couple of very good borlotti meals, but I was hoping for a couple more. Usually blackened pods is not a problem, but this year they had gone too far even to be dried.
Thankfully I seem to have got my timing better on the tomatoes and courgettes, both of which are still producing well. Ratatouille again tonight then.