We were allotmenteers on a mission on Saturday. The broad beans were ready to harvest and as for the peas …
With dark skies overhead and dodging the odd shower, most of our allotment visit was spent a-picking and a-harvesting. During a lull, I did do something I’ve been intending to do for a while now. I made a video! So if you fancy a walk round our Chipping Norton allotment, you can see the results on YouTube here. This is my first attempt, so apologies for my lack of camera skills and the blowing a gale sound effects!
First up were the broad beans. David set to work with a bucket or two which were quickly filled up. The plants are still in the ground and there’s a small picking left. We planted the broad beans in waves in 2009, but didn’t gain from it. Because they freeze so beautifully, we now plant them all as early as possible and harvest them in one go. That way, we can free up the bed and get a late crop of something else. This year, flushed with success, it will be more peas.
Picking was essential on Saturday as we had a day trip to Portsmouth planned for Sunday. Needless to say the family expect us to arrive accompanied by a week’s supply of fresh vegetables!
Our little granddaughter is veggie mad, which is a great attribute for a 2 years and 3 month old tot. They have a small amount of veg in their garden and she is very excited about growing her own. Much to her delight, their courgette plants produced two courgettes ready to pick … secretly grown here and transported to Portsmouth, and laid on the ground when her attention was diverted! We are looking forward to their visit next month when she can dig up the potatoes she helped plant in February. But I digress.
The biggest mission was of course … the peas. I know I keep on about them, but we have never had peas like it before. We always pick the peas last and prepare them as soon as we get home, either cooking them to reheat later or blanching them for the freezer. After an hour or so, peas start to turn their sugar into starch, so they are best within a short time of picking. This was a bit optimistic … it took us more than half an hour (and two aching backs) just to pick them all!
Both the French and runner beans are in flower, the courgettes are getting going, and the Greyhound cabbage are fantastic. We’ve had no more critter attacks on the broccoli and I’m delighted to say, we have given up buying veg now for the duration.
We won’t mention the two hours of podding and blanching on Saturday, but all in all, it was very satisfying allotment day. And that’s what it is all about!