It’s an exciting time finally being able to unearth some of the produce that we have tended to for such a long time. Our first major harvest came from our new potatoes. Andy and I were like big kids scrambling in the soil for the hidden gems of fresh new potatoes! We thought that we would harvest a row each week to prevent them losing their freshness but we got carried away and actually harvested 3 rows. It worked out for the best as we harvested 3 rows of 3 different types and were ablew to compare them in turn.
The first row of Nicola were ok, but the majority were quite small so would probably have benefitted from being left in the ground a bit longer. We will leave the harvesting of these to last to give them as much chance to increase in size and yield as possible.
The red variety Red Duke of York were surprisingly good. They were a decent size and yielded quite a lot of potatoes per plant. They tasted great too, especially with a little fresh mint added.
But the best so far were the variety that Andy purchased from Thomson and Morgan. Can’t remember the variety name at the moment but I will see if he can remember and let you know at a later date. These were by far more superior in both size and yield in comparison to the variety Nicola. This will not however, prevent me from growing this variety again next year. (I grow Nicola for sentimental reasons as they remind me of someone close).
The next harvest came from the Purple Top Milan turnips. They were harvested while they were still quite small and tender. Taking alternative turnips in the rows also allowed the others that were still growing the opportunity to spread out and be pulled at a later date. I also started sowing some more seeds as turnips are harvested in as little as 6-8 weeks and they will also last well into the first frosts of the year. Another bonus is that they store or freeze really well.
I was really impressed with the garlic that I planted way back in October 2012. I grew 4 different varieties: Solent Wight, Provence Wight, Chesnok Wight and Purple Wight. My best overall variety harvest were the hard neck Chesnok Wight. These bulbs were all uniform in size and each bulb had a good supply of cloves. The Purple Wight provided the largest cloves per bulb but the quality of the bulbs were lacking. The cloves were not fully encased within the bulb which may prevent them from storing properly. We will see what happens. The other varieties were all ok, nothing special, but I am still pleased with the fact that one individual clove had produced a multiple cloves. They have all been tied up now to dry in the shed for at least a couple of weeks so that the outer skins form the familiar paper layers to help them store for a few months.
I also cut, washed, dried and froze a collection of fresh herbs for use later on. There were a couple of varieties of mint, lemon thyme, normal thyme, rosemary and chives. The more that is cut from the plants, the healthier the plant growth and the more they produce.
The hard work over the year has finally paid off. Here’s to plenty more harvests!