Bank Holiday Sunshine

Minus a few showers, what a beautiful sunny long weekend we had. In fact, the sun was out in true Summer style the whole week, like it should be. Which meant plenty of trips to the water trough and water can weight lifting to stop everything withering away.

The week started by harvesting some more delicious ‘Gardener Delight’ tomatoes and ‘St George’ runner beans. The beans are never ending, certainly won’t complain though!
Don’t think I can go back to normal tomatoes now; I had some in a salad in a restaurant and the taste didn’t compare at all. Mine our so much sweeter and flavoursome, not forgetting much more satisfying too.
Oh dear…I’m turning in to a ‘Grow your Own’ snob! haha…

After a busy week at work including an incredible day sailing from Gosport to Cowes, it was back to the allotment to see great progress with my ‘Firetongue’ borlotto beans and ‘Sweet Dumpling’ Squash.
The colours are becoming richer and brighter which means that I am getting slowly closer to harvesting time. I can’t wait to try both!
The beans I will be leaving on the plant as long as possible in the hope they dry before the cold weather sets in. I can then peel and store the beans which I will use over the winter for stews when I have used up my glut of runner beans and other veg.

The weekend continued with baking a delicious Rhubarb Crumble Cake, which I must say was and still is delicious. A moist sponge base, a sweet chunky layer of rhubarb topped with a heavenly crumble topping. Who doesn’t love cake and crumble?! Put together and in my opinion a match made in heaven.
Recipe was courtesy of Katie from Lavender & Leeks, and can be viewed here.

I also made a scrummy Rhubarb compote with the remaining sticks, baked in the oven on gas mark 1 with honey, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and a touch of water for about an hour. Perfect for serving with yogurt, porridge or even a slice of the cake like I did this evening for double rhubarb delight.

Before the long weekend came to a close and it was time to go back to work, I made the most of the sunshine and harvested the first of two rows of ‘Sarpo Mira’ potatoes. They are huge!! A little bit of scab but nothing a quick scrub or peel won’t fix.
Can’t wait to try these mashed or roasted and compare against the Charlotte variety which were fantastic just on their own with a little butter.

Back to never-ending beans and it was time to harvest some more whilst I was packing up, alongside cutting a small aromatic bunch of ‘Sensation Mix’ sweet pea flowers to take home.

That’s it from me today… lots more planned for this week including harvesting the other row of spuds and maybe a pumpkin and crown prince squash for the first time.
I always get so nervous about harvesting new produce and making sure I do it properly. Got lots of friendly advice on Twitter though and in my collection of books which is building by the week thanks to amazing charity shop finds like these below from Sunday alone.

I feel like I am bit behind where I wanted to be with some areas of the plot, but I have been relaxing more which has made a massive difference in me according to friends and family. Working on getting the balance as right as possible taking into account my determined personality. If it was light I would be up there now!

Hope you are having lots of successes both on and off the plot. Have a great week! x


12 thoughts on “Bank Holiday Sunshine

  1. Mark Willis says:

    The spell of fine weather has brought the veg on a lot, hasn’t it? I’ve been away for a week, but got home yesterday and went straight out into my garden to harvest LOADS of tomatoes – very satisfying! I agree with what you say about taste: a home-grown tomato is so much better than anything you can buy in the shops.

  2. Flighty says:

    Good post and lovely pictures. As you’re finding out this time of year is so rewarding harvesting all sorts of vegetables, fruit and flowers. You’ve done brilliantly this year.
    Thanks, and you to. xx

  3. Sarah - Mud Cakes and Wine says:

    It all looks amazing and really makes me want to start growing fruit and veg. Love the photos x

  4. Vickie says:

    Wow your charity shop bargains are fab! I do love Monty Don.

    I know what you mean about finding balance with time spent at your plot. I’m forever thinking I should be over on Plot 15 whenever there’s a hint of sunshine but I need to spend time at home too. If you figure out the right balance let me know. 🙂

    • livingwithbelle says:

      Thanks, I can’t resist a Monty Don charity book hunt when I go to Henley, trying to get as much reading in before I meet him later in the year too.
      Haha, I don’t think I will ever figure it out, just got to do what we can even if it’s 15 – 30mins every couple of days x

  5. Matt @ Garden59 says:

    I know what you mean about learning to relax a bit. One reason I quite enjoy the nights drawing in now is that it takes away the feeling that I should be doing garden jobs until late! I’m allowing myself some evenings off!

  6. Hannah says:

    Rhubarb crumble cake sounds amazing, we have grown our rhubarb from seed and haven’t had an harvest this year, I am really looking forward to next year. Brilliant find on the books, I always look but rarely find anything good where I live!

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