Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Grapes, strawberries and tomatoes

Now that autumn has proved to be wet and warm we are enjoying some good quality crops from the orchard and vegetable garden.

The strawberries have gone all remontante and are giving a second crop. This time round the fruit is big, glossy and juicy but maybe not quite as tasty as the spring crop.

The beans are letting the side down rather...
The tomatoes are at last producing enough for me to make big batches of pasta sauce and ratatouille. The zucchini, on the other hand, are coming in fits and starts. As soon as there are a few days without rain they stop growing.

These are destined to be roasted then passed through
the food mill to make purée.
The grapes have been the biggest surprise of all. I take back most of my dismissive remarks about them. If the weather conditions are right our grape vines do produce worthwhile grapes of good size and flavour. (I admit, I did intervene by thinning the bunches as well.) Curiously, these plumper grapes have fewer seeds too.

Jim Budd eat your heart out!
I'm slowly picking the apple crop. The Ballerina was the first to ripen this year and produced big dark red apples, after not giving anything last year. This year it was Melrose which took the year off, after a good crop last year. Now the Reine des Reinettes are in and the Granny Smith and Jonagold. Only the Golden Delicious (four trees worth - oh well...) and the Canada Gris to go - the commercial ones are already in the shops, but mine will just have to stay on the trees until I have time to pick them. I've borrowed one of T&P's strainer bag and stand sets from Lakeland, but still not had time to make apple jelly. Ca va venir !


1 comment:

Tim said...

What's wrong with French Golden D's?
They are a different beast to the UK version... cold stored, green, hard and yuck! The French ones, kept until after Christmas are golden with a rosy tinge, full of flavour but still have a crunchy, juicy bite... excellent eater! Good for apple sauce too... don't add sugar, blast in microwave until soft, stir in knob of butter and serve.

VW is "bolog"... can't spell or 'tis a load of old....

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