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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Last of the summer harvest

Today was a lovely warm sunny day and I made the most of it by harvesting the last of the broad beans and peas, as well as digging up some "tatties", and picking a few courgettes.

The veg garden has produced mixed results this year. Potatoes are doing well, two varieties this year, Pink Fir Apple and a Pentland variety (I forget which one!).  Onions were "early" onions, planted last autumn, and after just sitting there for months on end, and  being nearly dug up as I'd given up on them, they then produced a wonderful crop.  Broad beans have done well again, peas were slow, runner beans non-existant.  Strawberries gave a bumper crop, as have courgettes (grown outdoors), and salad leaves did well, though some lettuce bolted. Carrots were slow, but tasty. Everything was really "late" this year as Spring was cold, in fact Summer wasn't much warmer!  But I'm pleased with my 2nd year harvest and already have plans for next year. Lots of fresh veggies throughout the season, and a good supply of peas and beans in the freezer for winter soups and stews!

Given the walled garden is only about 50 feet from the shore, and Orkney is on a similar latitude to Anchorage in Alaska I think the garden has done well this year!  Though it has to be said, regarding Anchorage - we do have the benefit of the Gulf Stream so our winters are mild in comparison!  However the gales and salt do a fair bit of damage, and generally, apart from netting things to protect from hens, I just leave everything to get on with it.  A mulch of seaweed in the autumn, and a light dig in the Spring before planting is the extent of my "gardening", and of course the ever present battle against the weeds!


  1. That's amazing. What a wonderfully productive garden! And the border looks lovely too. We have also found that everything is late this year. Still picking the odd raspberry, and the brambles are thick with juicy blackberries at the moment. I might even have a go at making bramble jelly, if younger son doesn't eat them all first...! Still waiting hopefully for some apples and pears.

  2. When we went to Alaska, we found that flowers and veggies grew like crazy. The growing season is short, but the days are extremely long. So the plants tend to grow like crazy. Also they have plenty of moisture without the extreme heat of lower latitudes. Guess that's what's happening with you, too - plus, of course, the Gulf Stream. Enjoy your goodies.

  3. with your excpetionally long summer daylight hours everything has time to grow, and you seem to have done a fantastic job here. I always get a sence of excitement digging up potatoes, I've no idea why but it's like digging gold from the earth. Enjoy the fruits of your labours.