Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Mushrooms, Seedlings and Harvest

Mushrooms, Seedlings and Harvest

Today 1st July 2015 the mushroom spawn has started to grow. Only a tiny bit though. The temp is 21 deg C inside the box and it has had a mist spray of water most days. It reached 26 deg C outside so the box is cooling things down in the sun. I still need to take a temp reading at night and compare inside and outside box temperatures.

The Swede seedlings in the new bed germinated and started showing on the 27th of June, 7 days after being sown. Yesterday, 30th June the Dwarf French beans started to show along with the carrot, which is 13 days to germinate and show and today, 1st of July, the normal French Beans started to show along with the Leek, and Spring Onions which are 14 days since sown. Unfortunately the slugs have started to thin the Swede already, which is fine if they stop now :)

A mole has decided to pop up in this bed. Not too bad, but a little disappointing. Also I have placed the potato plant leaves around the end of the bed to slow down the slugs.

Harvesting has been frantic but is so much better this year and for once we are getting organised and picking in batches, freezing or processing as soon as the produce is there.

The gooseberry bushes are full and I have picked about a 3rd of them to see if they ripen off of the bush, just in case the birds got hungry but also with the intention of turning these into jam.

We are up to about 14 kg of strawberries. A few kg frozen, many kg eaten or sold and around 3 kg turned into jam.

Both pictures of strawberries are about 1.5 kg each which is roughly the amount we are picking each day at present.

The first batch of jam is more of a preserve, we kept the strawberries in big lumps with the second batch they were much more mushed up. The first batch I think will be something that will be put on ice cream rather than bread as it is rather over the top and luxurious. This batch also didn't set quite as well as the second batch which will suit ice cream.

There were about 12 jars of strawberry jam as well as 7 red currant. Plenty more jam still to be made.

 Slowly melting the sugar.
The Red Currant jelly from the other day. We deliberately left the frothy stuff on the top...waste not want not :)

Big pieces of Strawberries - that's how I like it! Some of the jars aren't up to selling standard - note the old label :)

The second batch of Strawberry jam is more traditional.

About 1kg of Gooseberries. Some red and some green. When fully ripened these are very sweet. Not bad even now when not quite ripe though :)

Destined for jam.
Stella Cherries. About half the crop. Very nice. These were sold on Alford Country Market.

Red Currants.

Pentland Javelin Potatoes - most of these were sold. Some eaten. They represent a tiny fraction of the whole crop.

The Globe Artichokes that we were selling end up as wonderful flowers. I'd never seen one before this one.

I was quite pleased with the garlic crop this year. Not as many as I now realise that I needed but they were a decent size. These fresh Garlic were on sale today at the Alford Country Market with a bigger one which sold for 50p. I have a couple of dozen of these plus a load of smaller ones and some still to harvest.

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