There is so much going on in the garden right now, and we are starting to harvest some long-maturing crops planted earlier in the year as well as eating early summer veggies. It's all a bit fabulous!
The garlic I planted way, way, way back in April finally flopped over and the leaves dried out, so out of the ground it came. It was such a good crop to grow, set and forget! Needed nothing more than the occasional weed and it did it's thing (albeit very slowly, not a good one for the impatient).
The 'Early White' softneck garlic bulbs were quite small but came out of the ground largely intact and were easy to clean up.
The 'Early Purple' garlic is a hardneck variety. The bulbs are much larger, around supermarket size, but the skins tended to split or be absent from at least half of the cloves I pulled out and were a bit of a bugger to clean all the dirt out of. The skins were also very fragile and a number of bulbs were easily damaged by pulling and cleaning. As that's not good for storing the garlic, I crushed all the damaged bulbs and mixed them with oil and have frozen the mash to use as we go along (the oil makes it easy to just scoop out teaspoons of frozen garlic).
Now these, these are completely fabulous and I can't seem to stop raving about them. They are the first of the potatoes I planted in August. The potatoes themselves arrived in the post in June - you might remember I didn't know exactly what they were! - and I think they're fulfilling all the promise of that mysterious brown paper bag. Now, these particular potatoes I grew in green plastic potato bags and they suffered a Lack of Water while we were away and the tops died off in these particular bags so I unearthed the lot. There are still half a dozen plants growing well in the ground, and a few more still in potato bags for later in the season. So far we've had about 2kg of the beauties! Many of them were a lovely size which fit in the palm of my hand.
And an awful lot of them were the size of peas. After a thorough scrubbing, we boiled them up, then cooked them briefly in a pan with loads of home-grown garlic and parsley, salt, pepper and an unhealthy amount of butter. Despite their small size, they were delicious (of course!)
At my best guess these potatoes include Bananas, Cranberry Reds, Sapphires, and Pink Eyes (or are they Pink Edwards?)
We're also still eating mushrooms out of September's mushroom kit. You might wonder how we kept it going while we were away for a month? Well, I handed it to my mum who got about two mushrooms out of it, and then she went away for a while so she lent it to her mum who got a few more, and then it went back to my mum where it did nearly nothing, and then it came back to us and it's had it's first genuinely decent crop - 200g - of mushrooms, enough for one pot of mushroom sauce!
Added to that mushroom sauce was a glorious FAT Red Legs spring onion. I much prefer spring onions over normal onions. They are easy to grow (but much slower than I realised they would be) and they don't hurt your eyes when you cut them.
And for dessert? Muffins made with the first of the rhubarb.
And finally, though not for eating - unless they have seeds and then our future-chickens will get them - are my sunflowers. The yellow variety is beginning to open:
And the reds are open all the way and are much lovelier and more varied in their colour than I imagined they would be, shot through with russets, golds, oranges, and stems of deep purple.