Friday, 25 September 2015


The grey weather of the summer has, at least, suited some things in the garden, particularly the brassicas. These cabbages were planted to be ready late in the year but are hearting already. They've had the advantage that the weather hasn't suited the butterflies, particularly the whites, whose caterpillars usually help us eat them. That said, this is a remarkably pest-free garden, so while we don't pretend to be organic, we have to use few chemicals, the one major exception being the gooseberries where we murder the larvae of the sawfly when they attack the leaves.

Each year we give up on some crops and experiment with others. We gave up on spinach this year, replacing it with kale which, like the cabbage, has matured far too early. As with salad leaves, this variety can be picked steadily rather than pulled up plant by plant. It's looking, and tasting, good.

The prompt for this post came because today was that special day of the year when we harvested our first potatoes. Each year we put in a few and wait to see what happens. In previous years we've planted a variety called anya, kindly given to us by a local crofter, but this year we bought our seed potatoes from Poundstretcher - yes - half of them maris piper, the other half estima, grown once again in the terracotta chimney liners left over from when the house was built.

Today we harvested the first three estima pots, getting just under 4kg of perfect potatoes.

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