Posts Tagged ‘Maris Piper potatoes’

Know your onions?

August 11, 2011

I am a very impatient gardener and for weeks now, I’ve been itching to dig up the onions (grown from sets).  And finally, the big day arrived!  I did rather underestimate the volume!  Three large containers later, they were all out of the ground and in the car ready to go back home to allotment central to ‘cure’.

onions curing in the sun

What a lot we got!

Last year, our onions didn’t keep well, which is why we decided to try growing some from seed too.  However, I have since found out that ripening onions in a greenhouse is a bad idea!  It seems they cook rather than cure in the intense heat.  So I’m looking forward to storing my onions without them rotting this time round.

Champion-sized onion

What a whopper!

The onions grown from seed are progressing!  I still wonder if they are worth the effort as we’ve had some corkers from this year’s sets.  But they are still growing and have at least gone past the pickling onion size as previously reported!

Freezing vegetables without blanching

A couple of weeks ago on the blog, I mentioned the potential for freezing veggies without blanching them first.  Two different people had recommended this for runner beans.

As promised, I’ve had a go and here’s the results: the broccoli was ‘interesting’, shall we say.  The flavour was excellent, but it didn’t pass the tenderness test. It was rather like eating broccoli-flavour chewing gum.  So back to the drawing board with that one!  But … the runner beans were quite a success.  They had a good flavour, kept their colour fairly well, and were only slightly chewy, but not enough to put me off freezing them this way.  A result!  The next experiment will be French beans and courgettes … watch this space.

Maris Piper potatoes

Our first Maris Piper potatoes

Confession time

OK … I know I was meant to leave them another couple of weeks, but I’m afraid curiosity got the better of me.  Yes … I dug up a potato plant.  Now I’ve seen what’s going on under the surface, I’m satisfied.  The remaining seven plants are now waiting for a little girl who is very excited about digging up Nanna and Papa’s potatoes.  And there’s only 10 days to go before she can!

Cracking cauliflower!

July 29, 2011
Caulflower grown on an allotment

Our cracking cauli!

In case you thought I was slipping and had forgotten to update the blog this week … you’d be right!  I really must mend my ways.

I’ll start with the bad news.  Sadly, the missing pea seeds, fork and gloves have failed to turn up.  Clearly another one of life’s little mysteries!  However all three have now been replaced, so it must only be a matter of time before they’re found.

We had a busy morning on the allotment on Saturday.  David was on tying up duties.  It’s a job I hate, but he is an excellent ‘tyer-upper’.  On the other hand, he’ll find a multitude of urgent tasks to avoid weeding, while I’ll happily weed away for hours.  It makes for a good division of labour.

Marian Swede grown on an allotment

The swede are doing nicely

Apart from David restraining the raspberries and sundry other plants and my weeding mission, there’s not a lot to report on the allotment at the moment.  Weeding and picking are the order of the day. But so far, it’s all doing rather better this year than it did in 2010.

The perpetual spinach is amazing as always, and our haul of just over 3kg in one picking was an all-time record.  Our biggest success this week was our first cauliflower though, and it was pretty good – even if I do say so myself.

I continue to be impressed by our onions grown from sets.  The chicken poo pellets certainly worked, along with the weekly feed of ‘worm wine’ or ‘comfrey cordial’.  They are certainly our biggest onion success so far.

Bolthardy beetroot from the allotment

Baby beets!

The potatoes continue to torment me! Growing things underground is incredibly exciting … you just never know what’s there.  I feel like a kid at Christmas who isn’t allowed to peep at the presents under the tree.

The potatoes have just started to die back, so I know it’s too soon to dig them up.  Added to which, our 8 seed potatoes (we don’t really eat potatoes, so they’re a token crop) were planted by our 2 year old granddaughter at the end of February.  And in about three weeks time our little treasure is coming to stay for a couple of days and is on a promise … she will get to dig up ‘her’ potatoes.

So, if I don’t blog next week, don’t be surprised to find I’ve died of curiosity fighting the Maris Piper temptation.  Of course, perhaps I could just dig up one.  She’d never know … she’s not old enough to count … just one … pleeeease …


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