I’m joining in with Barbara and Christine with their What we’re harvesting today meme; it’s interesting because they are now approaching winter and in Italy we’re going slowly into summer.
The strawberries have slowed down considerably since last month (am I really thinking “thank goodness”?) There are some to eat most days and lots more flowers to give hopes of many more to come soon.
This year I decided not to buy grafted pepper plants and I am sure that this year the peppers will in fact be ready earlier. If I wanted green peppers there are already a couple that are large enough to use.
Not actually harvesting peppers yet as I don’t usually eat them while they’re still green, except in Gazpacho, but I don’t have the other ingredients yet.
The vegetable garden is already quite productive. The greenhouse enables me to buy in small plug plants of many things early and grow them on, so that when I plant them out they are already good sized plants. The tomatoes in the greenhouse have mostly already reached the top of their canes and those outside are well on the way to doing so too; the job of the moment is to keep them tied in and the side shoots pinched out. When I plant the tomatoes I add an alkaline tablet to each planting hole to help prevent bottom rot.
The soil was, I think, a little acid for some of my herbs and vegetables as I’d used my own compost as top dressing and perhaps it needed a little longer to decompose. Initially the basil was very yellow and it is only after watering with the heavily alkaline water from the well that it is now looking temptingly green and ready to use with tomatoes and very soon the first pesto sauce of the year.
The Basil was really yellow and sick looking but is now looking much better, I love using fresh basil with tomatoes and mozzarela de Buffalo
We have had rain all day today and when I went out to take these photographs it seemed that the sweetcorn had grown 10 cm during the day! They are under-planted with melons, which are growing slowly, and Rainbow chard planted between them that will fill the space when the corn has been harvested (this inter-planting is also a sign that I am running out of space).
I have already harvested quite a few of zucchini and the yellow variety that I grew from seed is just producing its first, rather weak-looking specimen. I’ve used them in frittata, pasta sauce and in salad to replace cucumber which isn’t ready yet. I like them cut very thinly into ribbons (like pappardelle) and served with an olive oil dressing.
Onions and garlic are growing well and I have been using any of the onions that have tried to produce flowers and young fresh garlic is perfect for Spaghetti, aglio e olio e pepperoncino (spaghetti dressed with garlic, oil and chilli with a topping of some freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano.
There is rocket around the garden that I add to salads and also Syrian thyme which adds a spicy edge.