Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Potager Pickings

And thems are rich pickings, very much so. This extraordinary weather we've been having since late March has been a great help in making the pickings extra rich. It's not every year that Summer starts in April, it mostly starts end of June and also not unheard of, it sometimes never starts at all and from Spring we go straight to Autumn. This year we have managed to miss Spring altogether.
Courgettes ready for picking in early May, usually not to be harvested before half June

Weird when the calender says April, your diary says the same and dito for your inner time table, you then step outside into the garden where it's June. Every time I go outside one small step for woman equals a giant 2 months leap in time. How very time warp-y.
Pretty in Purple;  fat marrow peas and Blaue Purple Congo spuds
But Summer in Spring is not the only reason the potager pickings are so rich this year. During late March & early April I got rid, at looooooong last, of that ugly big bruiser of a Leylandii hedge. And that made quite a difference to my potager, about 45 m2 of difference. So not only has my potager fastfowarded in time, it's become bigger as well without me adding any bit of land whatsoever. Sounds positively Tardis-y.
Whopping Leylandii, at its widest 2.5 meter wide and 3 m high
Removing such a big whopper of an hedge made the potager production much larger. In fact I've been stuffing my widdle face for months now with a plethora of tasty potager grown food. Never before did I have such a glut and so early too.
This space behind the Victorian greenhouse used to be all hedge
Harvesting courgettes in May is unheard of, dito for new potatoes and so many other vegs and fruits. Normally June would be the  time for picking strawberries, not May. Now that it's June my pumpkins are already setting fruit. Madness!
Courgette & lemon salad and courgette flower fritters stuffed with goat's cheese

So I've been eating a lot of food stuff for weeks now which I would normally eat much much later. It's not only the stepping outside that gives me a jolt every time, the food on my plate does the same. Unheimisch!
Already my neighbours are hiding behind their hedges when they see me coming: oh noooooooooooooo, it's the dreaded courgette lady! It's early June and I'm almost sick to death of courgettes. And broad beans, new potatoes, fat marrow peas, lettuce, cavolo nero, sorrel, assorted salad leaves, chard, radishes, elderflower, dandelions, rhubarb, woodland strawberries, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries and much, much more. What is the world coming to? Sure, I'm overdoing it a bit, the only food  stuff that is becoming a bit of a snorefest to me are the courgettes, the rest I love.
Broad beans, savory, new purple spuds and a dollop of tzatziki. Yum!
I'm leaving you with some pics of my new weather improved and much enlarged potager in full throttle. Enjoy!
On the left my 3 sisters bed, on the right spuds, cavolo nero, sorrel & poppies.

Sugar snaps growing up against the new fence.

Mix and match; lettuce, ruby chard, sorrel and tomatoes with the odd poppy here and there

Potager in early June 2011
Potager with chooks in the background
copyright 20111 Y.E.W. Heuzen


Lisa at Greenbow said...

That was one monsterous hedge. It must be exciting to all of a sudden have so much more space. We too went from spring to the end of summer temps now. All is growing like crazy. Those spuds look yummy.

Ewa said...

very productive potager :)
what about slugs? they seem to love my veggies as much as myself :)

martha said...

What an amazing garden! Everything looks so healthy and happy.
Your courgette and lemon salad sounds unusual-what's the recipe? Here in California we sometimes have too many courgettes as well (we call them zucchini)-and have learned to grate them up and hide them in chocolate cake, cookies, muffins, and bread. Have you tried using them in sweet recipes?
Thank you for posting your lovely and inspiring garden!

Jenny Schouten Short said...

I live in Oostkapelle and have never tried a potager. When do you plant it outside? I think it is too cold here but I'm from Texas where we plant in April. Your garden is beautiful!

Terra said...

Your produce from the garden looks delicious, and I can see that removing the giant hedge gave you more room. It is cool here so really still spring, which delays our garden.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

My taters are growing great, but my marrow peas never even sprouted in our wet wet wet spring. Everything looks great for you!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hi all and welcome to potager Bliss!

* Lisa:know what you mean, the fine weather here has turned my potager into a jungle already.Enjoy your early Summer weather.

*Ewa: not so many slugs this year as it's been so very dry. Those slugs I do find go straight to the chickens. They love slugs!

* Martha: thanks for your suggestions of what to do with zucchini's. Have made bread with them before but not the other stuff.

For the courgette&lemon salad you need:
- 4-6 baby courgettes sliced thinly
- 130g tender sugar snap peas
- 2 organic (unwaxed)lemons
- small bunch of mint finely chopped
- small bunch of dille finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- borage flowers to garnish

Peel 1 lemon & toss the segments together w the courgettes & sugar snaps. Grate over the zest of the second lemon, then cut it in half and squeeze over the juice. Add the chopped herbs, olive oil, salt & pepper and toss well. Let it stand for 10 min. Before serving toss it again lightly and sprinkle the borage flowers over it.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hi all & welcome!

* Jenny: tender plants you can plant out after the Ice Saints have come & gone, so after half May. The risk of night frosts is then almost zero.

* Terra: usually we would have a cool spring here but not this year. It's been very dry too so that means a lot of schlepping with watering cans in the potager every evening.

* Monica: glad your spuds are doing fine. I sow most of my seeds in pots first as normally the cold, the wet and the slugs would kill them off if I'd sow them directly. With legumes I also run the risk of doves pulling them out & eating the tiny seedlings. I plant them out when they are about 15 cm high.

Thanks all for your comments!

Anonymous said...

As you say it really has been an amazing year so far.
As well as vegetables flowers have been blooming well over a month earlier than usual as well.
Happy gardening! Flighty xxx

Glo said...

Wowzers! What an amazing amount of vegetation and harvesting! Terrific to un-hedge yourself and claim more territory. Your photos are truly blissful! Your chickens must be delighted to live in such lush surroundings :) Good to see a post from you!

Creations and Inspirations said...

Wow what a lovely garden! The hedge needed to go. Cute blog! I just found you and see we have a lot in common you should check out my blog and Follow me if you like

I always Follow back :)
Greetings from Utah

Matron said...

What a wonderful post! You just know that Matron will adore this post! What fantastic spuds, and as for the stuffed courgette flowers - they inspire me! Bon apetite!

Vegetable Garden Plans l Gardening Channel said...

This is one great post! The harvest from your garden looks very enticing and delicious! People will surely envy your success, keep up the good work!

Alex aus dem Gwundergarten said...

Hello farm girl:o) ! You could open up a business with your vegetables *smile*. I've got only some vegetables in pots on my balcony and that's enough for my husband and me. Your potager looks great!
Kind regards

Joey | Affordable SEO Packages said...

Wow, you have a one mean garden! I'm sure your neighbors envy your bountiful harvest. You must really be enjoying the fruits of your hard work.

easygardener said...

The hedge looked as big as a small continent. We missed Spring here too and jumped into Summer - I am sure that is not going to last but we can hope. I have just picked my first courgette - they are still a novelty at the moment!

Denise said...

Wonderful to read that someone is actually enjoying their weather. I was just gifted some zucchini/courgettes too. I suppose one could be called worse names than the "dreaded courgette lady"!

Chookie said...

I am SO jealous -- we are deep into winter here and I have NO vegetable garden at all until spring, when I am starting a new one, so I expect low yields. *cries*

Hillside Garden said...

Hallo Yolanda, deine Hecke war ja riesengroß! Die hat wirklich viel Platz weggenommen. Ich mußte gerade lachen, weil Mr. W. niemals gefüllte Kürbisblüten gegessen hätte, ich aber wohl! Sieht klasse aus.


Head Gardener said...

Those flower fritters look scrumptious. What a fabulous garden you have!

Anonymous said...

Amazing garden! Everything looks so healthy and happy. The garden pictures are absolutely beautiful. I have so many plans for my own garden and can’t wait to see more. Thanks!
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Roberta Palm said...

very nice garden. Your season seems to start sooner than ours in the midwest of United States...I've never grown broad bean, is that possible here in the USA?Is that a fava bean?