Harvest time at the allotments

I love growing things, most especially things that are edible. Eating food that I’ve grown and tended myself really makes me feel connected to the earth and other living things.

So what’s happening down at the allotments?

Wild strawberries

The strawberries are mostly finished, though we still have a few everbearing and wild ones that are producing a small crop.

The autumn raspberries have finished their first early crop on last year’s canes. Most garden ‘experts’ advise you to cut your autumn raspberries down to the ground in February, but I’ve discovered that if you leave them to grow the second year, just trimming the tips in spring, you will get an early crop of raspberries from the old second-year canes. These canes can then be cut down when they’ve finished fruiting in June, and the new canes will start to produce a crop from around mid-summer through until frost. Two crops for the price of one! The crop on our new canes is just starting, so won’t be in full production for a few weeks.

Fruit that is in full production right now includes gooseberries, white currants and black currants.

Black currants

One black currant bush is producing fruits that are about three times the size of our other black currants… they are the size of small grapes! Unfortunately, we won’t have enough to save for a batch of black currant wine, though hopefully I’ll be able to make black currant cordial (homemade Ribena).


The gooseberry bush is tiny, and there are only a few gooseberries on it, but they are very delicious. I’ve found that leaving the berries on the bush until they have a bit of “give” to them really makes a difference to how sweet they are. They bear little resemblance to the gooseberries you buy in the supermarket.

White currants

The white currant harvest is likewise very small, but they are also delicious.

On the vegetable front, the first mention goes of course to the fabulous spud. The harvest began a couple of weeks ago, and barring a major disaster, we shouldn’t have to buy potatoes until sometime next spring.

Bijou mangetout pea

We have picked our first pods of Bijou, a giant mangetout (sugar snap pea). This variety will definitely be grown every year. We were a bit late getting our peas into the ground, which is why they’re starting to crop so late.

We’ve had just a few pods of our shelling peas, Hurst Greenshaft. The seed is a couple of years old now, and germination wasn’t great, but we’ll be saving seed to sow next year as the peas are tasty and sweet.

Our sugarsnap peas, Delikett, have just started producing pods. They were also sown from older seed, with resultant poor germination, so that will be another that we’ll save fresh seed from (or buy, if we don’t have enough to save). This variety is superb… crisp, juicy and sweet. I love eating them raw, fresh off the vine.

Trieste white cousa courgette (zucchini)

One crop that can always be counted on to be prolific is courgette (zucchini). We’re growing three varieties this year, the standard All Green Bush, as well as Trieste White Cousa, and Early Golden. The first two have begun producing, and it won’t be long before the glut. Anyone have any courgette/zucchini recipes to share?

Salad bed

Back at home, we are growing salad leaves in a raised bed in our front garden, and hope to keep it in production for most of the year. Right now the bed is growing romaine lettuce Chartwell, red cos lettuce Marshall, and also Red Deers Tongue lettuce and Salad Leaf Rocket. Mr Thrifty found slugs and snails partying in the bed a couple of days ago, so he removed them to the secondary party zone (a pile of half-munched lettuce leaves located away from the raised bed, on the grass), then sprayed all around the outside of the raised bed with a salt solution. This seems to keep the slugs and snails away without committing slug & snail homicide (gastropodicide?)

We are continuing to slowly get the new allotment into shape. An update on the progress will be forthcoming soon!


  1. Everything looks so beautiful! What a great reward for your hard work.

    My teaching partner bakes a mean chocolate zucchini cake. I’ll try to worm the recipe out of her. There’s only so much stir-fry one can make!

  2. Oh my goodness we have been growing salad leaves here as well, and they were doing so well until I woke up one morning to find they have little holes all over them. Now they have all been almost eaten. We have slugs in the garden too! Bloody nuisance! 🙂

  3. That Mange Tout looks fab. I’ve had awesome crops of Lettuce, Rocket, Toms and Radishes this year but my Courgettes and Cucumbers have been a HUGE disappointment. I put it down to the type and not the growing conditions. The Cukes were meant to be Dutch Cucumbers but they are not. They are the short stumpy ones that don’t have much flavour and the Courgettes are almost black in colour and ROCK hard.
    My Beans look as if they’re about to die too – but I was very late in sowing them so I’m not too too surprised.
    I will get round to posting my Mock Duck photo-ology I promise. I’m just so busy busy busy.

  4. Oooh – meant to say that I made your BBQ Ribz but it didn’t work out too well with Yuba Sheets. Must look out for the sticks and give it another go because the Marinade was freaking AWESOME!


    Wow you are amazing…has anyone told you that? You are so mother earth and that is awesome to the max!

    I know nothing about growing greens but I like eating my greens. Okay I wanted to woo you with some fancy rhymes but at this hour, the brain just won’t co-operate…so lame rhymes is all you get.




  6. you have such an awesome garden!

    seeing all of your plants has got me pumped up to get my yard ready for next spring. it’s been blazing hot here, but it looks like it’s cooled down for the rest of the summer, so I can get to work.

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