Here’s some of this week’s haul. Definitely a glut for our little household. Unfortunately the picture had to be taken indoors as it’s getting dark by the time I get home from work (honestly, the tomatoes are a lovely deep red, and the beans aren’t that insipid really). Getting home late doesn’t just mean dodgy pictures – it also means very little time to actually cook and eat any of it!

The strawberries are just a day’s worth: we’re getting enough for breakfast each day and they disappear quickly. We’ve also already eaten about 500g of tomatoes, and another 500g of aubergines. More large aubergines, the first finger aubergines, runner beans and a second crop of French beans are begging to be picked, and there’s a couple of sacks of lettuce and land cress to foist onto my work colleagues tomorrow, if I can get up early enough to pick it. Feeling a little overwhelmed…

(but thrilled too)

My gardening (and blogging) time has been limited by two jobs demanding my attention (ostensibly taking the same amount of time as one job, but that ignores the doubling of overflow and emotional energy). So I have lots of stored-up posts: of miniature fashioned-at-playgroup greenhouses somehow still bursting with exciting plants; of early-morning squash sex (a story of first-time fumbles and disappointment, developing into a mutually satisfying relationship); of triumph against the odds with the mollusc masses; of how even a few containers can yield a glut; of Oh!-bergine satisfaction, (and of much more painful wordplay likely in future posts). But for now no time to inject new posts into the ether.

tomato heaven

Except circumstances conspire. Remote email access is down, so work for tonight is on hold. And the most tangy, acid-sweet bursting of home-grown joy brings me to the keyboard. The wholewheat pasta, feta and purple basil pictured (it is purple basil, not burnt bits) were merely there to stop the pleasure of these cherry tomatoes becoming too overwhelming. The simplest thing – they were just put in a low oven, with a sprinkle of olive oil, sea salt, pepper and a touch of crushed garlic. But they slow cooked down into such intense and perfect mouthfuls that I’d probably be happy if these were the only things I’d grown and cooked all year.

I refer you to my previous comment.


Walking onions, ready to start their trek

Walking onions, ready to start their trek

It’s always exciting to receive a parcel, and the brown envelope containing these ‘walking onions’ made my day – very kindly sent by Robert of This and that (whom this post is named in honour of.) Recently,  I read someone saying “of course, they don’t actually walk”. Well, actually, I beg to differ. They actually do walk – just a bit more slowly than we might be accustomed to. Each of these bulbils will eventually send up a long stemmed leg, on which another foot of bulbils will grow. The weight of its foot will bend the stem over a pace’s worth, and the foot will root, and grow another leg  to make the next step. I’m looking forward to their journey. (And of course it’s tasty all the way.)

“Of the tomato or love apple, I know very little. It is chiefly employed as a sauce or condiment. No one, it is believed, regards it as very nutritious; and it belongs, like the mushroom and the potatoe, to a family of plants, some of the individuals of which are extremely poisonous. Some persons are even injured, more or less, by the acid of the tomato.”

I hope these tomatoes will make me a very good dinner one day. For now, they appear to be happy as they are: they have remained the same size and colour for a fortnight. At least they look nice – especially when the evening sun is filtered through the hairy stems.

The proud chickpea

The proud chickpea

The chickpea is one of the most wonderful things to have come into being. I’ll be lucky to get a meal’s worth from my plants, but I’m growing them for joy, not self-sufficiency.