September 2011

Total September harvest = £120.75 / 27.77 kg  (2010 = £234.02 /26.46kg)

Full details of weekly harvests at bottom of page.

The big news to share with you is that Vertical Veg is moving to Newcastle on 10 November. So this growing diary has just two months to run (sniff, sniff). Vertical Veg will continue in Newcastle… watch this space!

I’m excited by the move but also sad to leave friends and plants.  I’ve loved growing on the balcony and street and gained so much from it. But one thing I’m look forwarding to is a short break away from the weighing scales!

September is another great month for growing your own with nearly all our veg (minus the onions and potatoes) coming from the balcony and window sills.

Week 18:  August 28 – September 3

Total for week = £30.26 / 7.05 kg (2010:  £72.62 / 8.14 kg) 

Normally at this time I’d be rushing around sowing and establishing winter crops like cavelo nero and winter purslane. But with the  imminent move, I’m enjoying the chance to spend more time on the balcony pottering, watering and harvesting.

We continue to eat well from the balcony and window sills: loads of tomatoes and beans as well as some aubergines, chillies, squash – and, this week’s highlight, some heritage ‘Blue and White’ beans. What these beans lack in productivity they make up for in beauty. They taste really, really good, too. Beans like these are one of those vegetables that have disappeared from our supermarket shelves for no obvious reason. The nearest, easy to find, equivalent is probably baked beans! Growing varieties like this is one of the big boons of growing your own. Thank you Heritage Seed Library!

Heritage Blue and White Beans - growing beautiful, rare tasty crops like these is one of the benefits of growing your own.

Heritage Blue and White Beans - growing rare, beautiful, and tasty crops like these is a benefit of growing your own.

 

Week 19:  September 4 – 10

Total for week = £25.29 / 5.4 kg (2010: £50.04 / 5.04 kg)  

The sweetcorn are disappointing again. Like last year they looked great but yielded poorly – just a few meagre cobs. I tried them in a container with a water reservoir this year to see if that made a difference – but sadly, no. If you’ve grown them successfully in containers, I’d love to hear how you did it.

Sweetcorn looks so stately and impressive in containers - but I haven't mastered how to get a decent cro

Sweetcorn looked stately and impressive in its container - but I haven't mastered how to get a decent crop!

Much more successful has been another heritage bean I’ve been trying, Major Cook’s. It’s the most delicious I’ve ever eaten. The unusual thing about it is that, even after the beans swell up inside, the pod remains deliciously flavourful and tender. A remarkable bean – thank you again Heritage Seed library!

 

Major Cook: a delicious heritage bean: both pod and bean inside are tender, edible and delicious.

Major Cook: a delicious heritage bean: both pod and bean inside are tender, edible and delicious.

 

Week 20:  September 11 – 17

Total for week = £19.14 / 5.5 kg (2010: £44.94 /7.01 kg) 

I noticed this week I’ve been harvesting less salad recently – mainly because I haven’t been sowing enough new seeds. If I’d sown more after our holiday, we’d be enjoying the benefit now. You can’t take your foot of the accelerator with this intensive growing business! (With apologies for the appallingly analogy).

However, the fruits of earlier labour, quite literally, are still coming with plenty of tomatoes, chillies and herbs. The cavelo nero is beginning to look nice, too:

Cavelo nero or Tuscan kale - I love how this looks in containers

Cavelo nero or Tuscan kale - I love how this looks in containers

 

Week 21:  September 18 – 24

Total for week = £23.22 / 5.62 kg (2010: £34.95 / 3.46 kg)  

Nearly half a kilo of delicious small aubergines this week. But the highlight was the first fennel harvest. The first time I’ve grown fennel, it’s been quite a winner. It hasn’t developed into the fat bulbs you see in the shops, but the taste is fresher, more intensely flavoured and crisper. It also looks great in the pot with its feathery like fronds.

Fennel: a pretty and tasty container crop

Fennel: a pretty and tasty container crop

 

 

Week 22:  September 25 – October 1

Total for week = £22.85 / 4.15 kg (2010: £31.47 /2.81 kg) 

On Sunday this week I took some surplus chillies and herbs down to a local produce sale at Camley Street Natural Park. It was fun to be selling to the public and also to meet other local producers like the fabulous Rubies in the Rubble who make delicious chutneys from waste food.

Selling surplus produce: chillies, lovage and Vietnamese coriander

Selling surplus produce at Camley Street: chillies, lovage and Vietnamese coriander

 

Those amazing fat baby achocha that I blogged about last year are producing again, hurrah!

 

Week 18:  August 28 – September 3

Sunday: 278g runner beans, 909g cherry tomatoes, 327g French beans, 20g chives, 17g strawberries.
Monday: 28g chocolate peppers.
Tuesday: 388g aubergines, 287g vine tomatoes, 145g salad leaves, 22g nasturtium flowers, 86g peppers, 18g Thai basil, 74g chillies.
Wednesday: 437g tromboncino squash, 294g vine tomatoes, 158g French beans, 12g blackcurrant sage, 21g squash flowers, 16g lovage, 7g mint.
Thursday: 413g cherry tomatoes, 78g stir fry greens, 342g runner beans, 15 basil.
Friday: 521g runner beans, 474g cherry tomatoes, 353g vine tomatoes, 380g aubergine, 36g chilli, 16g basil, 10g Vietnamese coriander.

Total for week = £30.26 / 7.05 kg 

Week 19: September 4 – 10

Sunday: 773g runner beans, 81g sorrel, 91g kohlrabi, 368g blue and white beans, 15g savory, 12g jalapeno peppers, 687g vine tomatoes, 10g parsley.
Monday: 249g vine tomatoes, 263g peppers, 13g basil, 4g mint
Tuesday: 8g mint, 12g chives
Wednesday: 45g strawberries, 225g Major Cooks beans, 188g cherry tomatoes, 128g salad leaves, 244g vine tomatoes
Thursday: 94g cherry tomatoes, 15g mixed herbs, 97g French beans, 83g runner beans.
Friday: 315g vine tomatoes, 223g cherry tomatoes, 17g chillies, 66g salad.
Saturday: 138g salad, 179g tromboncino squash, 52g French beans, 357g runner beans, 113g cherry tomatoes, 8g Vietnamese coriander, 40g stir fry greens, 103g bean shoots, 14g Thai basil, 16g parsley, 7g chives, 6g mint.

Total for week = £25.29 / 5.4 kg 

Week 20: September 11 – 17

Sunday: 41g Iranian chillies, 17g Ring of fire chillies, 837g vine tomatoes, 248g sweetcorn, 914g squash, 15g Scotts lovage, 77g lovage, 6g sage, 117g cherry tomatoes, 44g salad leaves, 12g parsley, 38g bean shoots.
Monday: 140g salsola
Tuesday: 241g vine tomatoes, 8g chilli, 431g cucumber.
Wednesday: 582g vine tomatoes, 73g green peppers, 149g tromboncino squash, 29g chillies, 6g mint, 5g rosemary
Thursday: 92g bean shoots, 47g salad leaves, 493g vine tomatoes, 27g chillies.
Friday: 520g cherry tomatoes, 69g vine tomatoes, 73g sorrel, 10g chives, 38g pea shoots, 78g peppers, 14g chillies.

Total for week = £19.14 / 5.5 kg

Week 21: September 18 – 24

Sunday: 543g tromboncino squash, 492g vine tomatoes, 35g jalapeno peppers, 29g bean shoots, 38g pea shoots, 37g stir fry greens, 262g fennel, 57g salad leaves, 5g chives, 5g Vietnamese coriander.
Monday: 138g chard, 48g pea and bean shoots, 9g mint, 8g Vietnamese coriander, 178g Major Cooks beans, 66g Iranian chillies, 549g vine tomatoes, 34g ring of fire chillies.
Tuesday: 101g vine tomatoes, 73 stir fry greens, 5g chilli.
Wednesday: 221g fennel, 5g chilli, 36g pea and bean shoots.
Thursday: 270g vine tomatoes, 11g basil, 65g cherry tomatoes, 154g Major Cook’s beans
Friday: 138g Blue and white beans, 101g sorrel, 7g chives, 481g vine tomatoes,  174g cherry tomatoes
Saturday: 452g aubergines, 156g Major Cook’s beans, 246g tromboncino squash, 18g mint, 11g basil, 46g jalapeno peppers, 17g chillies, 315g vine tomatoes, 170g cherry tomatoes, 79g bean shoots.

Total for week = £23.22 / 5.62 kg 

Week 22: September 25 – October 1

Sunday: 207g Scotts lovage, 44g ring of fire chillies, 91g Iranian chillies, 33g Vietnamese coriander, 8g chives, 50g mint, 965g vine tomatoes, 5g rosemary.
Monday: 123g chocolate peppers, 9g dill, 99g bean shoots, 6g chives, 73g chard.
Tuesday: 19g Jalepeno peppers, 8g Vietnamese coriander, 158g vine tomatoes, 128g cherry tomatoes.
Wednesday: 306g Red kuri squash, 49g tromboncino, 59g chocolate pepper, 57g Major Cook’s beans, 16g achocha, 39g Jalapeno peppers, 148g cherry cascade tomatoes, 25g pea shoots, 85g bean shoots, 19g Thai basil, 213g chard.
Thursday: 93g salad leaves, 8g chives, 7g mint, 126g vine tomatoes.
Friday: 21g chillies, 18g Jalapeno peppers, 6g Vietnamese coriander.
Saturday: 134g cherry tomatoes, 127g chard, 18g Scotts lovage, 93g fennel, 41g vine tomatoes, 6g chillies, 6g rosemary, 4g Vietnamese coriander, 62g achocha.

Total for week = £22.85 / 4.15 kg