The Potato Harvest

I harvested my potatoes last weekend.

I was surprised.

The recent downpours must have swollen the yield as they are really quite decent size although the skins are a little tough – probably due to the long hot dry spell before it finally rained.

So far I’ve made Leek and potato soup, jacket potato with courgette and kidney bean chilli (I used Morrocan Ras al Hanout for the spice), and the stir fried potato slivers you can see in the photo.

The recipe for that came from one of my favourite cook books, Sichuan Cookery, by Fuschia Dunlop.

It is also in her book, Every Grain of Rice and it featured inĀ this Guardian column.

I’ve also tried the version using green peppers (home grown of course).

I would also highly recommend Potato and Rosemary Pizza!

The Italian version of a chip butty.

Thinly sliced potato tossed in olive oil finished with chopped and whole fresh rosemary leaves and black pepper.

The space vacated by the potatoes (variety Mozart) has been swiftly planted up with a late sowing of fennel in modules and a few red chicory that have survived the total neglect I have shown them!

I’ve also planted up some lettuce after ripping out two spent courgette plants which left a good gap for the seedlings that will overwinter hopefully.

I also have a last flush of beetroot seedlings multi-sown in modules that must go in before I go away.

I’m also going to try and sow some coriander, dill, more lettuce and spinach and mustard leaves today.

Remember to pick your tomatoes when they show the first signs of colour and ripen on the window sill.

Otherwise they’ll split if left too long on the plant – which is what’s been happening to mine!

And I must get a garlic order in soon – you can plant cloves over three months from October onwards.

Other jobs

  • hoeing off red oxalis weeds and clearing an area to be planted up on my return with more winter veg seedlings
  • stopping pumpkin and winter squash plants – nip the end out of the growing shoots as they won’t produce any more viable fruit
  • look out for first signs of blight on tomato leaves and remove immediately
  • water bean plants – they need it and it’s very dry at the moment even though it’s not as hot as it was
  • prune cherries and plums if you didn’t do it earlier in the summer
  • pick early apples – you can tell if they’re ready if the pips are dark brown and they come off easily if you pull and twist gently
  • pick and freeze kale and chard
  • start harvesting wonderful red cabbage
  • Save seed – I have left some lettuce to flower and go to seed, also shungiku chrysanthemum greens, beans, mangetout peas, chillies, tomatoes.
  • Saving seed from courgettes, pumpkins and other curcubits are more of a faff as they tend to cross pollinate and will not come true next year (although you can take measures to stop this)





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