It is probably a couple of years since I wrote about the vegetable garden. This is partly because I know my seasons are very different to most of my readers and so not very helpful for comparisons or advice. Plus although the seasons vary I grow mostly the same crops every year. However after I received so many comments about the plate of tomatoes I showed at the end of last Monday’s vase post, I thought a post about one method I use to conserve my tomatoes might be of interest. Continue reading
The weather is very mixed at the moment, but the very cold temperatures are gone for a while although we are still threatened with some snow this month – I’ve no idea if it will actually snow here. On sunny, clear sky days there is already real warmth in the sun and the greenhouse heats up quickly if I don’t open the door early. On dull days, like today it doesn’t feel very warm but most days this week the temperatures have reached double figures during the day , dropping by 5 or 6°C at night. Continue reading
My tomato plants were very tall and leggy; I decided the only solution was to plant them in the ground despite a couple of nights of low temperatures and high winds had been forecast. Continue reading
OK I know it isn’t the first of June today but for record keeping it is important that I know the date I harvested the first tomatoes that were enough for a small salad and not just the odd one plucked from the vine as I’m passing. First two courgettes too, small, but I like to always pick them small, were cooked in a little olive oil and tasted nutty and good. The spinach on the plate is the harvest from a pot. I find it easier to grow spinach this way, so far in the greenhouse but from now on I’ll let it germinate in the greenhouse and then put the pot in a light shady position. Continue reading
Yesterday was a lovely day for working out in the garden. It was overcast with only a very slight breeze. It is strange that one of the things I really disliked about England was that often the cloud cover seemed to be low enough to touch my head but here cloudy, dull days are so rare that I now actively enjoy them; but here the cloud is much higher so it never feels as oppressive.
I spent some time tying in the small sized tomatoes. I have to report that the hail on Easter Saturday did more damage than I had first thought; all of the leaves that had shown spot damage just after the hail are now yellow with huge black marks. I will definitely not plant out the tomatoes so early next year, even though the plants have put on lots of healthy new growth, I think they would be further advanced had I planted out larger plants later. Hail can happen at any time here so planting late won’t necessarily save the crop being damaged. Continue reading
I think I may have mentioned on more than one occasion that Italy has extremes of weather! When it rains it is in torrents; when it is windy it is gale force (it throws our heavy caste iron chairs to the ground); when it’s hot, it burns. But Friday was a surprise to everyone.
I grow a lot of vegetables; we are almost self-sufficient for most of the year which I have to admit actually gives me almost more pleasure than the rest of the garden. The first time I made Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables using ALL my own produce (including the olive oil) I had such a deep sensation of contentment it is hard to describe. Now it is something I make on almost a weekly basis from the end of July onwards; I still have enough of everything to make it one last time this year, but the courgettes are like marrows so I may use butternut squash instead this time.
I love cooking as much as I do working in the garden so I was thrilled with my birthday present from my husband (last mention of the birthday I promise); dinner and a night at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.