30th September, 2008

A nice day on Saturday which was used to cut the Leylandii hedges. Not a job I relish at all. I'm slowly chopping it down truth be told to replace it with something nicer, not sure what though.

Anyway, vegwise the Markies potatoes have been cooked and are quite tasty, to my surprise! They are good baked, microwaved and as chips. The Sarpos are still in the ground but I'll probably dig them up next weekend.

Here are the Sarpos with the nicely trimmed hedge behind. Notice the brown bits in the hedge caused by aphids, a prelude to complete demise. Apparently the hedge is too dense for birds to get in and eat the aphids. You can brush/rake out the dead stuff which may open it out a bit. Maybe I should try that.

The beds are looking like it is the end of season now, autumn has really arrived. The sweetcorn has been disappointing. I rightly suspected that they had not put enough leaf on and as a result the cobs were small. Now they have gone quite tough and are not as nice to eat.

The pumpkin plant has put on lots of growth but the fruit is tiny. I have never been able to grow one yet. There's always next year!

Right next door to the pumpkin is the flat leafed parsley which has grown very well.

The apples were all picked off the tree and they filled a wheelbarrow.

So I had a go at pressing some apples to make cider. Ahem, not a great success. I completely underestimated how many apples are needed to make a gallon. I found out after the attempt that 11kg of apples will give one gallon of juice. The good news is that my home made press did work! But it only produced 700mL of juice which is quite a bit short of a gallon. But....the juice was absolutely delicious to drink! Wonderfully sweet and smooth.

This is the press all loaded with chopped up apples (a food processor was used to do the chopping).

The chopped apples are wrapped in tea towels to hold them in place and then a bit of plywood is placed on top and pressed down by tightening nuts screwed onto the bolts.

This is the juice dripping out, not a great flow rate.

A proper cider press would do the job in no time, but they aren't cheap, even the second hand ones on ebay are sold at a premium. I did call a local homebrew shop to find out if they rented presses, but they only sold them. I may have another go but I need a lot more cloth to hold the mashed apples in the press and a quicker way to chop them up.

The tomatoes (gardener's delight) struggle on in the greenhouse despite the lateness of the season. There has been a big yield from them and there are still plenty left although they are getting smaller but still taste beautifully sweet.

The only melon was picked and had been attacked by slugs but there were good bits that could be eaten. Melons, along with cucumbers and pumpkins are veg I haven't perfected yet.

I did get a good yield of chillis which I have strung together to dry. They are mostly green due to poor summer (?) but hot nonetheless.

I'm still harvesting:

Runner beans - but only a few, not a good yield this year.

There are some green peppers ready to pick in the greenhouse.

Finally, I planted around 50 onion (Radar) sets in the ground where the potatoes had been and I'd added lots of compost. Next week I'll plant the garlic using bulbs from this year's harvest.


Vegetable Heaven said...

Your beds are a LOT tidier than mine! I'm enthisiastic but messy, I think you'd have to say! Isn't it amazing how many apples you need for cider?

Amy said...

I have just visited you for the first time and I am stunned by how much you have going on! I seem to manage to produce a glut for about a month before moving onto a glut of something else for the next month.

I have had great success with my pumpkins this year but I don't know what was different from the year before when they were rubbish so I'm afraid I can't offer much advice. Maybe the fact your have some many leaves is what stops them fruiting? Or pollination problems?

Capsid said...

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog Amy. There are fruits developing on the pumpkin, I think I was just too late getting it going and planting it out late. I don't have enough room to dedicate a bed for it earlier in the season.