What’s cooking (April to June)

At the end of March I took stock of what we had been eating from the garden (and allotment). I was pleased that we had in fact been eating quite a lot, especially in comparison with what we had been eating when I first started growing my own.

The last three months have produced much the same results. This time round what we have got from the garden (and allotment) has averaged out at three different crops per day. Some days that was in fact as many as six different foods but on others there was just the good old standby: cress!

Overall, the picture in terms of ‘what’ isn’t much different from the first three months of the year. Still mostly green, with a few radishes thrown in this time.  Funnily enough, though it is said that radishes are easy to grow, I have found them to be somewhat troublesome. The first batch on the allotment grew okay but then all the rest bolted.

The other main difference between this quarter and the last is that there has been a ‘role-reversal’ with some crops. For example, we are now eating fresh broad beans instead of frozen, whereas the purple sprouting broccoli was fresh before but is now frozen.


Fresh broad beans from the garden

On the other hand, the garlic is still going strong. This year’s is in but there are still several cloves to finish from last year. The bulbs are bigger this time round and I am looking forward to tasting them to see if there is any difference in that department too (they are a different variety as well though).

Unfortunately, the onions have not done so well, although had I been able to keep them on the allotment who knows what I might have produced. But all things being equal,  they would have been very expensive onions (it was costing me approximately Β£5 each time to go there). And so far, just about all the food we have grown for ourselves has in fact come from the back garden. So, taking it my soil and gardening techniques continue to improve, that bodes well for the future. And no food miles!

P.S. I forgot the rhubarb πŸ™‚

Β© Helen Butt, June 2014

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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18 Responses to What’s cooking (April to June)

  1. Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Awesome post and thank you for sharing Helen have a blessed day

  2. Marcella Rousseau says:

    With all the rain we’ve been having, my garden is doing well this year. I’ve got squash coming up and even mustard greens! I tried growing mustard greens before but nothing came up. I’ve got a green thing growing which is probably a weed and in a few days I’ll probably pull it out. It looks like it’s about to flower or do something. Sometimes I can’t tell because I stopped keeping track of what I plant. lol. I just don’t want to bother anymore. I used to be so careful, drawing a plan, identifying my plants with staked labels, etc. Now, I just throw everything in. I’ve got 4 tomatoes on one vine, each in a different size but lots of flowers. I should have more tomatoes with all those flowers. I was only going to plant one tomato vine but instead I’ve got 5 growing; they come up by themselves from the prior year! The only thing that is not doing so well is my thyme. It’s a very slow grower. The blueberry bush doesn’t seem to be doing anything. I’m OK with that as long as it doesn’t die! I dumped my blenderized vegetable/fruits scraps into holes I dug in the garden. It’s amazing how fast scraps add up! I keep them in a plastic bag in the freezer until I’m ready to blend them with hot water. Broad beans sound good!

    • Sounds like you’ve got plenty! One of the good things about broad beans is that they don’t take up much space. Mine only have pods growing on the lower half though, which might be because the ground was too fertile. Still, plenty of fodder for the compost bin.

      • Marcella Rousseau says:

        Yes, I’ve got too much growing for the little space that I have. I may have to pluck something if they don’t do too well. Either that or expand my garden. I’ve been thinking about expanding it. Only thinking about it knowing that I’m out of my mind! lol! Good to know about the broad beans!

        • Not sure what you mean about too much growing in your space as I don’t know how much space you are using…. I don’t think you need necessarily space plants according to the instructions – I certainly think I could have spaced my garlic much closer and got the same results. But then overcrowding can be an issue if the plants have too little room to grow and because of the spread of disease.

          • Marcella Rousseau says:

            My vegetable garden is 6′ x 6′ and I’ve got 5 tomato plants in it with garlic chives, thyme, sage, parsley, and 3 squash plants!

          • I see – could get cramped. But then there are ways and means, though I am not the one to advise… Need advice myself actually πŸ˜‰

          • Marcella Rousseau says:

            I plucked out the weed yesterday; it was too big and it couldn’t have been anything else. I also plucked out 2 squash seedlings. All 3 seeds that I planted came up. I never mean to plant that much but I always end up planting a lot! How does that happen?!!! lol! Right now everything looks spacious. We’ll just have to see how it goes over the summer. I think I’ll take a before and after photo! What do you need help with? Maybe I can help?

          • Gosh, probably need help with all sorts lol…

            Glad you feel better about your garden now πŸ™‚

          • Marcella Rousseau says:

            Gee, I don’t know about that. You seem to have a green thumb! : – )

          • Thank you, Marcella!

  3. It sounds like your garden is a great success, if your are already harvesting up to 5 or 6 vegetables a day. What are broad beans? I have never eaten them. How do you cook them?
    Don’t distress over the onions. My onions were not doing very good this year either. We have always had a huge bumper crop with our onions except for this year. We have watered them every day but I think we should have been watering them twice a day because of the dry weather we have been having. We have had rain since thursday. They have shot up and look much better. They are finally looking like they should be at this stage. You might try giving them a little more water. The rain has made a huge difference on my lettuce and spinach as well.

    • The issue with the onions is that they have had too much rain and have bolted unfortunately. I think it must have been beginners luck the first year I grew them but I will of course try again next year.

      Anyway, I can’t do links to other posts using my phone but there are previous posts which show you the plants and pods. These produce pods with beans inside (see above). Some people might eat the pod as well as the beans but I think it is more usual to eat just the beans, which can incidentally be eaten raw as well as cooked. I’ve not tried drying them for storage but I guess you could do that as well as eating them fresh.

      As for cooking them (fresh), they can be used like any other vegetable: steamed, added to casseroles, mashed etc. They are quite versatile.

      • Thanks for information on broad beans. I nor my husband have never seen them before. I was very curious. I can’t think of another bean that you can eat raw as well as cooked. They look delicious.

        • I didn’t use to like them but growing them changed my mind.

          Interesting that they are perhaps less common in Sweden. That said, I’m not sure how easy they are to buy in the shops here and it is unlikely they would be on most restaurant menus, so if you haven’t been introduced to them through a gardener it is possible that you wouldn’t know what they were.

          I’m sure you must be able to grow them in Sweden – they are easy to cultivate.

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