We’ve had heat, humidity, sunshine and a few rain clouds, and suddenly a few new crops have ripened. Earlier this month, we also finished off the last of the white and purple sprouting broccoli, and the last of the Spring greens, all of which had obliged us by resprouting after being cut as carefully as possible.
There have been some new root vegetables to eat too. I pulled up all of the Nantes Frubund carrots, and we had one or two raw for snacks. The rest were diced and sweated gently in olive oil before going into a vegetarian version of cottage pie. The flavour was great, but the size of the carrots was very disappointing – they’re supposed to be long carrots that you either grow as finger carrots or leave to grow on to full size. Despite months in the ground, good soil and a sunny location, they were all small and stubby, and I probably won’t bother growing them again.
We had more luck with the first sowing of turnips, and I managed to get lots of golfball-sized thinnings out of this batch last weekend. The baby turnips were meltingly tender and tasty, and we had them as a simple side dish with our Sunday dinner. I’m hoping the last ones will be the size of small tennis balls in the next couple of days, and they’re earmarked for a gratin and a soup.
The variable weather of the last couple of months has really taken its toll, and we’ve had to pull up and compost the last sowings of Little Gem lettuces, lots of radishes and the rocket as they’ve all bolted like crazy. We still have plenty of salad that’s still growing ok, so it’s not too much of a problem, but I will re-sow all of them this month.
One of the tomato plants, a new breed of cherry tomato, has been growing bigger and stronger than its counterparts, and it’s also matured well ahead of them. We’ve just had our first tiny handful of ripe tomatoes from it today. All the other plants are in different stages of growth, so if we’re lucky from about the middle of next month there will be a continuous supply of different types throughout the summer and maybe into the autumn too.
We’re also going to pick a bit more rhubarb this month, after it got off to such a slow start this year. I think a rhubarb and ginger fool might be nice. It’s best to stop picking it by the end of June though, so it can start to store some energy in its crown to get it though the winter.
Have you managed to pick any crops this month?