Over The Field Not Far Away

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We’ve gone Mediterranean in Wenlock this week with temperatures hitting a surprising 30 degrees C. Here is this morning’s view of Townsend Meadow and the well ripening barley, caught as I was heading for the allotment on a pea and raspberry-picking mission.

I don’t seem to have written much about my allotment garden so far this year, even though it is my essential ‘get-away-from-it-all’ space and somewhere I go to most days. Best of all, it is only five minute walk along the field path from the house, yet it is quite a world of its own where there are now-and-then quiet exchanges with fellow gardeners, or sometimes no one else there at all.

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Anyway now is suddenly the season of concerted picking and consumption (peas, strawberries, new potatoes, cauliflowers, broad beans, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, onions, globe artichokes, Sun Gold tomatoes, courgettes); and also the moment when many crops are shifting gear towards later production mode: French, butter and runner beans, sweet corn, cabbages, parsnips, leeks, purple sprouting. All of which means there is much change in Farrell eating habits (another kind of getting away) as produce dictates meal content. Today, for instance, we had globe artichokes for lunch with garlic butter – and so we might well have been in France. Later we’ll have new potatoes with steamed broad beans, peas, and crispy bacon lardons. There may well be strawberries too.

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This year I’m growing a late variety of runner beans not tried before. Today the blossom was just opening – a lovely shade of pale apricot. It’s aptly named Sunset. IMG_0998

I also have a row of Firestorm growing beside the polytunnel. That bean blossom is also living up to its name:

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Another newcomer on the plot this year: round courgettes (zucchini)…

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And here’s the Sweet Corn being rather Incredible too – a variety not tried before:

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I also have flowers on my plots: some that bring themselves like pot marigolds, purple toadflax, the pale pink musk mallow, and others I have grown from seed e.g. Verbascum Wedding Candles (2nd photo from top)  and detail in the next shot:

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And what with all the flowers, vegetable and otherwise, the place is humming with bees and hover flies. Also this morning in the heat there were scents of strawberry jam (as the fruit began to simmer on the plants) and high octane rose and sweet pea scents as the volatile oils filled the air. I kicked off my gardening clogs and went up and down the grassy paths barefoot, variously harvesting and filling water butts and watering cans, soaking myself in the process. It was blissful. Then I went back through the barley field to he who is still trying to construct a greenhouse, even though the right glass has not yet been delivered. Instead we podded a big bag full of peas and beans. Harvest home!

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Lens-Artists: Getting Away

Bert and Rusha at Oh, the Places We See have posed this week’s challenge.

51 thoughts on “Over The Field Not Far Away

  1. Not merely do I love your descriptions and photographs, but I am so deeply impressed by your ability to actually have something to eat without it being pre-harvested by deer, squirrels, chipmunks, skunk, and birds. We do GROW food, but we never EAT any of it. I once — just once — got one of the wild strawberries. it was delicious. I treasure the memory!

    1. Well I am wholeheartedly glad not to have your range of heavy eaters. I whinge about molluscs, allium beetles, cabbage white butterflies and pigeons. Small fry by comparison, though it does mean I cover crops with mesh and netting when they are most vulnerable, and that does involve a lot of faffing about, and I have to make myself do it properly. Also allotments have a big downside when it comes to pests and diseases – as in a magnet for endemic nuisances. But I do feel for you – that one lovely alpine strawberry still remembered. Sigh!

      1. Faffing about is a phrase I’ve not heard, and one I’m prone to nick, as you might say…

  2. I always enjoy the vicarious wanders through your garden, although I can’t seem to reach anything to pick and pop in my mouth! What a blessing to have a get-away place that’s also so productive and nearby. You’re fortunate indeed.

  3. Good gracious all that fecundity! I forgot they’re called courgettes there (zucchini). Such a bounty for picking and consumption and sheer enjoyment Tish, thanks for sharing! Though sorry to hear it’s so hot.

    1. Somehow the unusual heat is just adding to the multiplier effect of unreality that has been visited upon us for the past 18 months. At least the heat is what it is.

      1. Yes I can relate to that heat + unreality, we had a visitation last month like that too. Felt alien somehow.

      2. That happened a long time ago. I think our ancestors were apes inseminated by a divine, dark intelligence (that manifest itself in the creation of smartphones).

  4. I am hugely admiring of your hard work and green fingers. Such a feast! It must be so rewarding to eat food that you have grown yourself, not to mention fresh and tasty. I’m struggling with tomatoes and aubergines this year, the tomatoes aren’t growing and the aubergine flowers, but don’t form fruit. I’m about ready to compost the lot.

    1. Aubergines can be very temperamental. Are they indoors/under cover – if so, you probably need the paint-brush approach to the flowers. Mine have been flowering only recently so can’t tell if they’re setting yet. They’re outside but sheltered in a mostly open frame. Sorry your tomatoes aren’t cooperating either.

      1. How very intransigent of them. I wonder if they need to work themselves up to the appropriate moment. Just thinking of courgettes that can mess about for ages making flowers that don’t seem to set. And then suddenly, they’re off.

  5. Wow Tish – you must have an incredibly green thumb – your produce is incredible! I could almost taste your bounty through your images. I must be terrible difficult but oh so rewarding! I loved that capture of the open pea pod especially.

    1. Thank you, Tina. The thing about gardening is you never seem to stop learning something new – either from necessity due to arrival of weird weather or new pests, or because you want try some different veg. The biggest problem is showing up on the plot consistently.

  6. Thanks so much for participating in this week’s challenge. I’m absolutely thrilled to see a barley field . . . a first for me. And although we grow in Tennessee many of the same veggies in your other pictures, your photography brings them up close in a better light, making them the art forms they really are. Your getaway looks like a good one to us!

  7. Thank you, Tish for sharing your joyfulness of growing veggies in your garden! I always enjoy your garden tour. Your beautiful photos remind me a small veggie garden years ago; it was fun to share with our neighbors and my co-workers. 🙂

  8. oooooooo
    such lovely sights from your gardens … the bounty & the beauty …. those strawberries & peas look particularly succulent.

    1. The peas have been very brilliant this year, Ju-Lyn. Very juicy. Though they’re getting rather roasted now in our very surprising heatwave. The latest pickings are being consigned to soup making. Which is no problem at all!

  9. As you would expect, I am suitably impressed my dear Miss T!
    And with such balmy weather to suit the barmy bare foot gardener how could I, sitting here in freezing cold Jo’burg, not be as green with envy as your peas and beans.
    It all sounds pure bliss.

    1. The peas have fainted though. Poor things. I think we have 2 more days of heatwave before the storm and cooler days. Greenhouse is nearly done. Slight problem with door fixing now. G’s brain is being very sorely taxed, though he does say boyhood hours with Meccano are standing him in good stead. Even so, building the Eiffel Tower was surely easier.

      1. Chortle. We actually have a Bob the Builder en famille. He did a bit of a stint before it was discovered the wrong glass had been sent. The door is now on!

  10. Great photos. A veritable smorgasbord of agricultural culinaire. I love strawberries. We have retrieved some ‘courgettes’ (ZUKES!) and grey grillers squash (I had never seen or heard of it) from the community garden plots we help water. I love sautéed ZUKES! 😂

    1. Sauteed zukes! Absolutely, John. The other day we tried them with a little added onion, chopped dill, farfalle pasta, sour cream and parmesan. Delicious!

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