The Fruits of Our Labours

Despite the caterpillar infestation on our brassicas, we have been busy harvesting the fruits of our labours elsewhere in the kitchen garden.

We cut our Crown Prince squashes from the vines and brought them into the greenhouse to harden off. I love their cool grey-green skins, and am looking forward to cutting into our first one and seeing the vivid orange flesh that they promise. I can’t help but smile when I walk into the greenhouse at the path of pumpkins and squashes in their contrasting colours.

We also cut the Harrier F1 butternut squash fruits from their vines and placed them on the potting bench in the greenhouse to cure. These are much smaller than the other squashes, and indeed than their supermarket counterparts. King of the Hill overheard this week that they are a variety not best suited to the British climate, and our experience this year would seem to reinforce this so I suspect we will grow a more rewarding cultivar next year in their place. Still, despite their diminutive size, they look healthy and should make us a few fine meals.

We brought in three ripe melons from our Antalya F1 plants in the greenhouse, with one more fruit still on the vine to ripen. We shared the first fruit, and it tasted sweet and juicy. King of the Hill was a little disappointed though that they were not discernibly superior to any bought melon, and I suspect we won’t give as much space to melon plants in the greenhouse again next year. Still, there is a little magic in eating a melon that we grew and nurtured ourselves!

We are still harvesting masses of tomatoes from the greenhouse, and the runner beans and courgettes outside have slowed production a little but are still coming in faster than we can eat them all. Cue more mass blanching and preserving sessions, and various tomato sauces for the freezer.

A vase of cut asters from the two ‘Big Boy’ plants that I grew from seed brighten up the kitchen, along with a handful of sweet peas. While the sweet peas need replacing every couple of days, the asters last in the vase for well over a week. I shall definitely grow these again next year, and more than two plants!

Besides our various besieged brassicas, we still have courgettes, runner beans, ruby chard, carrots, onions, swede, parsnips, lettuce, beetroot, rocket, radishes and the last sweetcorn to harvest, and tomatoes and cucumbers still cropping in the greenhouse. A rich bounty indeed!

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8 thoughts on “The Fruits of Our Labours

  1. Look at those pumpkins and squash! Fabulous. Ours were a little disappointing this year (half my blog post is written, still waiting to be posted, as always), I had the same result with my Butternut H F1 last year so glad I didn’t make the effort to try them again. They were tasty though.

    Love the Asters.

    Bethx

    • Hi Beth, I love the squash and pumpkins! Though I’m sure the pumpkins should be bigger than the squash 🙂 and my husband is a bit disappointed as he wanted giant pumpkins. Will have to try harder next year! Sorry that yours were a bit disappointing – perhaps not a good year for the pumpkin family overall … I look forward to reading your post on them though.

      Glad that it’s not just us with the Butternuts, we shall enjoy them and then try something more suitable next year. x

  2. Sara – Even though I’m strictly ornamental (!) I’ve always enjoyed following the growth and harvest of your edibles but this one sums it all up – a wholly magnificent harvest festival. The squashes look like prizewinners to me.

    Laurax

    p.s your bouquet is very, very pretty.

    • Thanks Laura. I’m really really pleased with the squash and pumpkins – we roasted one of the smallest butternut squashes tonight and it was lovely. I’m really looking forward to trying one of those deliciously cool crown princes!
      I thought the asters would be too blowsy for me, but I love them. Many more of these next year too!
      Sara x

  3. Hello from a fellow welshie! I couldn’t agree more, here in Swansea the weather is just as undecided as with yourselves, though it;s great to see that it hasn’t affected your harvest too much!

    I’m a little dissappointed to hear that so many are having trouble with the Harrier Squash, as it was the variety I was hoping to grow on my veg patch next year. Well I have the seed now anyway, so I’ll give them a go at least, and I have plenty of forewarning!

    • Just “down the road” from us – hello 🙂

      It is a shame about the butternut squash, but we still managed to harvest six fruits – albeit from three plants – and the one we’ve tried so far was tasty despite being small! It’s always worth a try – you might buck the trend next year! And if you plant a different type of squash or pumpkin too then you shouldn’t be disappointed whatever happens.

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