Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grow Your Own - summer 2010

My excuse for the lack of blogging in recent times is due to our work on the vegetable-growing front.  I've been keeping an eye on the hive but blogging about it has been very much an afterthought.

This evening sitting at our home-made brick-built barbeque, we enjoyed some of the fruits of labours.  It's still early in the season but I tasted my first ever home-grown cucumber and it was quite a surreal moment. Peas, mangetout, spinach and strawberries have all featured on our menus so far and we have potatoes, cabbage, courgette (zucchini), runner beans, cherry tomatoes & sweet corn to look forward too.  Gooseberries and autumn-fruiting raspberries are starting to look like they may yield something this year.  Just praying that this fair weather stays over Ireland.  The polytunnel which we erected late summer '09 has been a God-send.  It's quite extraordinary how quickly things grow.  So far we have been lucky with pests keeping away.  In fact the usual slugs and snails are absent throughout but that is probably due to the harsh winter - a great side effect.

The layout of the tunnel is very much a mixture of vegetable/fruit groups with lots of flowering plans to attract the bees and predators.  I had to remove a sunflower from inside the tunnel as it was about to go through the roof - literally!

On the top fruit front, the apple crop on the oldest tree, 4 years old or so, looks like it may break records for this garden.  I am putting that down to having 50000 honeybees in the near vicinity!


Kenzie said...

Lovely to hear you're doing well with grow your own, Cliff!

Anna Bee said...

Yum! We are still on the greens - lettuce and Spinach, but nearly ready for broadbeans and peas.


Kat said...

Good to hear from you. You have a lot of stuff growing. I don't understand about the polytunnel. What is that?

Cliff W said...

Nice to hear from you all.

Kat: a polytunnel for you guys across the pond is a cheaper version of greenhouse. It's made of a series of steel semi-circle hoops sunk into the ground at 3 or 4m centres. The whole thing is covered in polythene. Have a look at photo of my post 4th March which was taken inside the tunnel.