We are really beginning to harvest fruit and vegetables now. Every week there is something different to take to Ox in Belfast. We don’t yet grow vast quantities, but that will hopefully come next year.
To protect some of the crops we’ve put up the organic horticulturalist’s favourite Glitterbangs! They’ve done a good job on the cherries, but the currants have taken a hammering.
The pheasants are the culprits. They have devoured all the white currants and redcurrants, some of the blackcurrants and quite a few of the gooseberries. They even eat the broad beans off the plants. We’ve got a few of the cherries at the moment, but nothing like we had hoped for. At least it is not the pheasants that are taking them.
This year the Black Hamburg grapes are not doing so well. They got powdery mildew early on, so JR had to cut a lot of the fruit off. If you compare the photo below to my post about the Black Hamburg last year you can see there are nothing like as much fruit on them this year.
Fortunately, as you can see on the left, we have planted some grapes we bought in Alsace Lorraine about 10 years ago, maybe more, and they will take over this year. It is funny how you adapt when you have a shortage or a glut of anything in particular. Last year we had so many Black Hamburg grapes I had to go to my cookery books to find a solution. It lay in an American delicacy which is grape jelly. We found a European version with added rosemary. This is delicious with roast pheasant and lamb in particular. As you can see the cherries have not been hammered and finally we get some fruit this year so we can start making some plans for cherry confiture (add a French accent here) and other delicacies!
This year our runner beans have not done well. I am not really sad about that. The first time I came to visit family in British Isles was in 1969 and we had runner beans 3 time a day and I hated them with a passion. They were a life saver during WWII, but their biggest problem is if you cook the for 10 seconds too long, the colour is gone and the texture is horrible. So to some extent I feel extra blessed this year as BD loves runner beans with a passion!