GB Harvest Day – July 5th

So many things have begun to be harvested since last GBHD in June.

I am picking and so eating so many tomatoes I think I’m turning orange.  I’ve made Gazpacho and am about to make tomato soup to freeze and sauce to bottle (this is the first year I’ve decided to bottle tomato sauce so I’ll let you know how I get on and how much work is involved.

San Marzano to the right, everything else to the left

Small golden tomatoes often don’t even make it into the kitchen, they’re so easy just to eat while I’m picking

Yesterday I harvested the first sweetcorn; they were picked and cooked within half an hour and were sooooo sweet.  The crop doesn’t actually look as good as other years so I’m thinking I’ll so some more and plant a second crop.

the first small but oh so sweet corn with a zucchini that hid and so became rather large and a few beans – these I’ve been picking some daily for a few weeks

Melanzane (aubergine, eggplant) are just ready now to harvest, they are different from the ones I’ve grown before, I also grew some from seed and amazingly they have some fruit so that’s encouraging, I may grow more of the vegetables from seed next year, growing more of what we really love to eat and what grows well.

Melanzane are ready now, luckily I’ve just finished using the ones I froze last year.

Peppers were ready before the melanzane this year, not sure why; but they need such a lot of water, many have a dry patch on one side but they are turning red (I only use green peppers in Gazpacho) and I’ve increased the irrigation so hopefully the new fruits will be better.

soaking up the sun and slowly ripening peppers

All the early heat is definitely making some crops suffer; there have only been two cucumbers so far usually I’m desperately trying to think of new ways to use them.

There are still salad leaves, but probably not for much longer as its too hot.

Pak-choi did very well until the flea beetle attacked, now the stems are edible but the leaves are no good, I’ll sow some again for the autumn as they were delicious and very quick from seed to table.

Before the flea beetle, must look into using mesh to stop this pest.

Strawberries are also not enjoying the heat, those planted through black plastic have scorched leaves and the fruit is very small, the ants also disrupt the soil under the plastic but I have been picking enough to eat and lots to freeze ready for jam or gelato so I’m not complaining.  My raspberries are also not as prolific as other years, one reason is the heat, secondly I pruned some of them differently and am hopeful for a better later crop and thirdly while I was a way the birds found them and even though the bushes are now decorated with shiny ribbon the birds aren’t fooled and know the fruit is there!

There are strawberries almost every day

… and a few rapberries

…and best of all there are figs!

The tree is struggling and the ants are eating more than us!

Last week I harvested all the garlic, most had flowers and weren’t as large as other years but expect there will be enough to last the year.

This is about a third of the garlic

there are red onions, lots with thick necks

and lots of white onions again many have thick necks

I don’t know if it is the weather but lots of my onions had thick necks last year too (maybe it’s the wind?)  some always rot during the winter, but ast year’s harvest produced enough to last until this year’s harvest was ready so I’m not complaining.  This year I didn’t grow yellow onions which are supposed to keep the best but mine rotted before the others, last year I also grew shallots but I’ve hardly used them, too fiddly to peel when I’m preparing dinner so I didn’t plant them this year.

I harvested some Barlotti beans, some to use fresh and some have ripened to be suitable to store as dried beans, I may plant some more of these as I love them in soups or puréed to serve with almost anything.

I’ll link to The Gardening Blog when their harvest post is up.

What are you eating from your garden?  Whatever it is I’m sure it tastes better than anything you buy in the shops; so ENJOY!

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28 thoughts on “GB Harvest Day – July 5th

  1. So much going on in your garden! I’m so jealous of your figs. My little tree has only one (1!) fig on it. 😦 I like how you’ve staked your tomato plants! May have to try that next year – mine are a mess! Those strawberries and raspberries look delicious, too! Well, really, it all looks good!

  2. Gosh, bountiful harvests indeed. I’m still watching our greenhouse tomatoes waiting for them to turn red. Our second batch of pak choi is riddled with flea beetle holes too, and I’ve stopped trying to grow rocket or mustard in the ground through the summer for the same reason.
    We have the same deluge of raspberries and strawberries, so wonderful, though we can hardly keep up with picking them.

  3. Beautiful Christina! Your mouth-watering post makes me nostalgic for the bountiful gardens of my childhood. I don’t grow vegetables or fruits but love to eat them (fortunately we have lots of farmers markets).

  4. Oh my word! You have lots to harvest!! A real variety and all looking yummy!!! Very impressed with all I see. The pac-choi is something I also have just started with and I will persevere with growing onions – I have not been successful with this yet.

  5. Wow! Your garden is prolific! I’m not much of a veggie gardener but would love to have cupboards filled with homemade tomato sauce to use throughout the winter months. Maybe some day I will have a little vegetable garden…your post is inspiring!

  6. My goodness that is a harvest…I am still awaiting tomatoes, eggplant and peppers…garlic is harvested and beans are just starting….I hope to see so many tomatoes especially the San Marzanos which do not like our climate although they seem to have revived…keeping my fingers crossed.

    • They are probably the most difficult tomato to grow, they need heat, sun and water in a cnstant quantity or they get end-rot. But they are worth it for sauce. Christina

  7. My vegetable garden is so small I call it my Nano Farm. :o) I have tomatoes, ground cherries, purple carrots, and two pots of sweet potatoes. All the vegetables are grown in pots. I think your harvest looks wonderful. I also grow blackberries but the birds always eat them first.

  8. Hi Christina! You really have a lot! I am at my first real experience this year with vegetables but today I tasted my first cherry tomatoes of the year and then I have many zucchini, aubergines and cucumbers, yet I find the plants are staying rather short and somehow wretched, but they are producing rather well.
    You are always trying to find new ways to use cucumbers… Did you try and eat them? 😀

  9. from ken. Beautiful photos of your home grown produce. How lovely to have the warmth and sun to grow peppers. It has been a miserable wet cold summer in England. How sensible to live in Italy.

  10. Christina, I’m drooling here. All that beautiful produce warmed by the sun. Those tomatoes, I can almost smell them here in Wales. You are a great advert for moving to Italy and if this weather continues I might be seeing if Wellyman can get a transfer!!

  11. Your garden produce is looks fabulous. I tried to grow corn a couple of years but had no luck. I envy yours, as there is nothing better than fresh sweet corn cooked within hours of its picking. Except home grown tomatoes! Those store bought things don’t belong in the same classification.

    • In a while you’ll begin to wonder what to do with them all! I’d like a shade tunnel to prolong the production of salad crops, the heat and sun makes them bolt even before they grow. Christina

  12. I so love your vegetable garden!!!!!!!! I really need to finish redesigning my back yard so I can start prepping my fall garden space! I REALLY REALLY am missing veggies this spring/summer. Interested to hear more about that sauce Christina! Please do let us know how it goes!

  13. Christina a lovely bountiful harvest you have, I have onions that over wintered and I was wondering when to harvest them, some of them have thick necks too does this cause a problem, I noticed the ones with thick necks had a smaller onion bulb below the neck, Frances

    • Hi Frances. the thick neck on the onion will mean that they don’t store as well. Just use them first, and store the ‘perfect’ ones. Normally even in the UK you could harvest by now, but this year has been so cold they might be ready a bit later. Christina

      • thanks Christina, this far north it doesn’t get hot anyway but we have not had the cold rain the rest of the UK has had, I read to leave them till the foliage starts dying back so I will leave a bit longer and keep an eye on what they are doing, thank you also for pointing out reasons for not saving potatoes for seed, I had not thought of it but will now be eating all the potatoes, Frances

  14. What a harvest! Your garden is so much ahead of mine, I still have no red tomatoes. I made tomato sauce for the second time last year, I made it very concentrated then froze it in yoghurt pots which I then emptied into a large plastic bag for storing. It makes a huge difference to the taste of soups and tomato sauce based dishes. I grow my large tomatoes mainly for preserving for sauce. Like you the little ones are too good to wait for, I like Sungold.
    I have not been getting emails of your last couple of posts despite having ticked all the correct boxes. WordPress is not without its glitches.

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