This week saw our final tomato harvest, gathering the fruit that we had left to ripen on leafless cordons in the greenhouse, after our recent visit from blight.

Last tomato harvest of the yearThe disease had finally begun to blacken some of the remaining stems and  spread into the fruits, so we picked the last of the healthy crops. We are lucky that they have almost all ripened well, so we can savour them in a few last salads, and make sauces for the freezer, rather than resorting to vats of green tomato chutney.

Homegrown peach

We’re also lucky, given the rather damp and cool summer, to be picking outdoor peaches, from the old tree which stands somewhat awkwardly alone in the midst of our vegetable patch, taking the full brunt of the winds and weather that sweep across our hilltop. Some of the fruit are rather small, and a large number have ripened too fast for me, turning from a promising pink blush to wizened brown husks almost overnight, or dropping to the ground to be reduced to a pulp. But the fruits I have captured have been deliciously sweet and juicy, always a surprising bounty to me, growing unprotected on an open hilltop in South Wales.

Homegrown onion harvest

As the weekend drew to a close, I also dug up all our onion crops and spread them out on the potting bench in the greenhouse to dry for a few days. We grew these from unnamed heat-treated sets this year, and while their sizes vary, each and every one looks healthy, with no sign of the white rot that usually starts to devour our crops. Another unexpected bonus after the year’s high rainfall, these should hopefully store well and keep us going long into the winter.

Calendula in the kitchen garden

These are all crops that could easily have failed, and spectacularly too, after such a poor summer; so while we may not have a single pear from our two cordons, and the crab apples we have foraged were far fewer and smaller than usual, there are still many things to be grateful for.

18 thoughts on “Peachy

  1. You have certainly had some bountiful harvests – I don’t know why I bother with onions as I have had no success with them for years! I am intrigued to see the different headers you use in your blog – do you change them as the mood takes you, or is it something you can set to do automatically?

    • We’ve had little success with onions from seed here, but sets have always grown well for us, if getting a little white rot usually at the end of the season. Amazed to avoid that this year.
      I manually change my header, usually every few months when the seasons change, but having switched to an old autumn header a week or two ago, I then decided the whole blog needed a bit of a change, so put together a new theme and new header entirely. I’ll likely change my header when winter sets in, to reflect the different season… but otherwise it should stay still for a bit now!

  2. Glad to hear that the majority of your tomatoes obliged and did the business Sara. We are not long back from holiday and it seems that most of ours decided to ripen in our absence. Have been picking like fury but not complaining 🙂 That peach looks positively delicious.

  3. Your tomato crop looks very heathly for this time of year. Usually my plants are still producing at this time but most have finished, I’m not complaining we’ve had pounds and pounds; the small cherry types including daterini are still producing. I’m amazed your onions didn’t get rot this year with all the rain you’ve had. Makes you wonder why it does happen. Do enjoy your peaches, a real treaure! Christina

    • These were the tomatoes left to ripen after the plants in the greenhouse were hit by blight, and we stripped all the foliage off. They are a good crop, considering we lost lots of green fruit to the disease.
      The onions are a surprise: although I don’t think we had as much rain here as other parts of the country, while the summer was cool and windy and far from ideal, I’m not sure rainfall was that high for us.

    • Thanks Karen!
      I hope your peach tree flourishes. This one must be decades old, it was pressed up against a rotten summerhouse when we moved in, which we had to pull down. I suspect the structure gave it the protection it needed to establish itself while it was young, but I’m amazed that it now stands alone and still fruits.

  4. Welsh peaches, now that is impressive. It makes me slightly tempted to give them a go at the allotment but it would have no protection at all up there so it might be too much for one.

    And all those tomatoes as well, without any blight. 🙂

    • Isn’t it? If I’d planted a peach tree where this one is, I’m sure it would have quickly withered away, but somehow this old thing has survived years and years, and still keeps pumping out fruit each summer. Lovely tree.

      We’ve done okay for tomatoes. Yay! Especially considering blight rampaged through the greenhouse for the first time (THE GREENHOUSE!) and we lost all our lovely San Marzano crops. Shirley and Sakura managed to hold on a bit longer, the fruits at least, which is the important bit. Not a plant escaped unscathed.

  5. Peaches! Peaches! Hmmmm – and you had onions too. Not fair. (But you also had blight in your greenhouse, so I guess it is fair – everything evens out in the end.)

    Nice new header!

    • The very idea of Welsh peaches seems such a fantasy! Wonderful fruit.
      Indeed we’ve won some and lost some this year. Blight. And we don’t talk about the sweetcorn…

  6. Like you I have finally stripped all the tomato plants of the last fruits.
    For some reason I didn’t get blight on my outdoor Sungold toms and after a slow start they suddenly went crazy and I have a couple of buckets full of green toms to deal with. I have been thinking about buying another fruit tree for the garden and after seeing this post may well invest in a peach or nectarine. Enjoy your delicious harvest.

    • There is something utterly beguiling about a home grown peach, I must say. Traditionally they appear to grow best when trained on a sunny wall, I am perpetually surprised that ours continues to flourish standing alone in such an exposed spot! I hope you have success with a peach or nectarine…

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