My favourite time of year

I love this time of year when I plan my meals around what I am picking from the garden. I never tire of the thrill I get from picking and cooking each day, and of looking for new recipes using the vegetables which are suddenly producing at an incredible speed. At the moment we are reaping onions, potatoes, aubergines, carrots, courgettes, gem squash, cucumber, lettuce, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, green beans, soya (edamame), fennel, calabrese, sweetcorn and chillies.

We’re eating superb grapes off the pergola this year too.
I hesitate to say it too loudly in case they hear (!!) but so far the badgers have not discovered my sweetcorn. It is a new variety called Fantastic, and it is aptly named. Bicolour, shorter plants (so not damaged by wind) very productive and delicious!
I’ve got my timing right this year, I hope. Second planting of sweetcorn (on the right) just starting to flower, so they should be ready when the first lot are over. In the foreground on this photo, Sarpo potatoes, which we harvest later than all the other varieties. 
The other new variety I have planted this year is a smaller aubergine called Ophelia. Shown with the coffee pod here to give an idea of their size – they are not as small as I would have liked ( especially for Chinese recipes) but with about 15 tasty fruit on each plant, I am not complaining!

Onions are ready to harvest when the tops start to fall over – this photo taken July 15th.
What a fantastic crop! Harvested July 17th
And now drying in the garage
My battle continues with altise (flea beetles) and  punaise rouge ( a variety of shield bugs) which both love brassicas.  Covering with very fine mesh is the only way to protect them and the covers we made last year have done very well.
Trying a new technique for individual plants this year – in the foreground – plant pots with the fine mesh glued on top and on “windows” to let the light in. So far so good!
Planted out leek seedling this week. Covered with mesh to protect against leek moth. Peppers on the right of this photo forming nice sized fruit already. 
Last week winter/spring brassicas into seed trays – Romaesco, cauliflower, cabbage and pak choi. This week planted spring onions, coriander, white onions, lettuce, fennel.



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