Tuesday, 28 May 2013

First harvest and a whole lot of zing!

Well it's the end of May and despite the cold, the rain and battling against the kittens who like to dig up my veggies..... we have food coming in from ground to the table - HOORAY!

I have been harvesting radish for a couple of weeks now, and today I brought in the first crop of rhubarb and some coriander.  Rocket and lettuce are also being harvested regularly.  Starting small of course, but things are starting to happen!
Lettuce and radish
There is absolutely nothing tastier than home-made salsa, especially if the coriander is home-grown and the chillies are last year's crop :-)

Jo's Zingy Salsa
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (sadly not yet home-grown, though they are on the way!), diced.
  • 5 inch chunk of cucumber, diced
  • half-whole red onion finely diced
  • 1-2 chillies, seeds removed and diced (also works well with jalapenos from a jar)
  • good shake of ground coriander
  • good bunch of fresh coriander
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • salt/pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together and leave in the fridge for the flavours to seep together.
Zingy salsa
 I also made Rhubarb, Ginger and Almond crumble today with two little helpers!  I based this on Delia's recipe, although I double the quantity of crumble, I use less sugar in the rhubarb base and I used flaked almonds instead of whole ones.  I am also rather heavy handed with the cinnamon and ginger.  This is absolutely the most amazing taste sensation and is the recipe which converted me to being a rhubarb-liker!  The combination of cinnamon, fresh ginger, almonds and zingy rhubarb (everything is zingy today!) is just amazing and like no other crumble you have tasted!

I have been away for a week but came back to find the garden had sprung to life in many ways (and was also subjected to being used as a kitten toilet unfortunately...) so I set to work over the bank holiday weekend, tidying things up, tying up the peas (which now have flowers and some pods on), attaching canes to the bigger tomato plants, pinching out the side growth, and checking the chillies for aphid invasions (none yet!)

I have planted out some cucumber plants and I am contemplating whether or not to do the same with the melon plants.  The melons are no doubt more vulnerable, plus they are very small and will be at the mercy of the kittens, so I am keeping them in the greenhouse for another week or so which I think about it. 

My Autumn raspberries are doing very well, and have a lot of lovely greenery on them now and the strawberry patch is thriving.  I have removed the tunnels from the strawberries (which were there to stop the cats digging them up), but I will need to rig up some sort of netting soon to stop the birds stealing the fruits!  I need to work fast on that one as the first strawberry flowers are appearing....

I have a load of leeks ready to go in, but I have the same cat-related dilemma as the melons as they are pretty small and I already lost a load of tiny leeks thanks to the cats digging.  I am wondering if I can fit the tunnel somewhere else to protect them until they are bigger.

I lost a batch of kale seedlings (yes, cats again!) though it is probably not too late for me to restart these, so this may be one of my jobs this week.

Will leave you with a few more pictures taken recently. 





My neighbours tulips