|Bee gathering nectar on West Ham sunflower|
We made a good decision to spend the weekend gathering in what we could while the sun shone. I say "we", but I just watched while the spuds were dug up and gathered my thoughts about this year's successes and failures - the courgettes made it after all, but not a single pumpkin; kohlrabi the size of footballs, but cauliflower plantlets demolished by slugs; beans overtaking the world, but tomatoes wiped out by blight; market bought peppers pulling in to a strong finish, but only one tiny aubergine.
|Vittelotte and mizuna|
The spuds haven't done badly at all and are now up, and bagged, with some colossal sized specimens of Markies and Remarka, and a respectable collection of the low yielding, floury but staggeringly purple Vittelotte and pink Highland Burgundy.
|Giant Markies and Boots|
At home the kitchen is now full of dusty sacks of potatoes, sorted and labelled, waiting to go down to the cellar. The remaining beans have been stripped and podded for seed though I may just cook with Borlotto Firetongue. I'm hoping that the meagre palmful of the beautiful mottled green and purple dwarf bean Fagiolo Nani Bobis d'Albegna will be enough for some plants next year. It tasted good too. I should have made chutney from the runner beans, but I'm done with smelling of vinegar for a few days at least, and freezing seems completely beyond me. The sweetcorn went in late but just about managed to ripen, the ones that the parakeets and pigeons haven't eaten that is, and tasted delicious with some baby leeks, courgettes and chard. Just wish I could remember what they were.
|Look at those Highland Burgundy!|
I'm not even going to bother making any resolutions for next year because surely as eggs is eggs it'll be vegetable mayhem -yet again - while I sit in a deck chair, get to work with the camera or just do my Marie Antoinette act with my straw hat and a pretty trug.
If you want to take a look at the photos from another gathering - the Edible Garden Feast that took place last weekend - you can find them here on Flickr. Dozens of people sitting down to eat in the growing space among the vegetables. It was truly amazing and moving.