Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Soft Fruit Season and July Harvest


summer cabbage

I always say that I won’t bother planting summer cabbage as there are plenty of other things to eat, but in between the broc being harvested and waiting for the beans, I have a row of summer cabbage that have matured just at the right time.  We had the first of these on Sunday for lunch – just the right size for the two of us – slathered in butter and very succulent – I’m glad that I decided to plant some.


courgette flower

The courgettes are just starting to produce – this has to be the biggest flower on the container courgette that I have ever seen.  I am picking the courgettes whilst they are finger-sized – if I let them all grow to full size they overwhelm me and I have to start finding ways to use them all, whereas when they are picked fairly small I can use them up no problem.


July is the month for great harvests – early each morning I spend an hour watering and harvesting whatever veg is ready – potatoes, peas, courgettes


and on checking the row of beetroot found quite a few at tennis ball size, so I pulled half a dozen


But it is the soft fruits that are the stars of the month



Strawberries – which are almost at an end and Redcurrants



I have been picking a punnetful of raspberries every morning, the plants are looking a bit tired and dried out but they are still fruiting their socks off.


And finally the gooseberries, masses of them, some I will leave to get larger and riper, I love to eat these raw as they are so so sweet and juicy, I’m not too keen on the tartness of the smaller ones, but they make good gooseberry crumble.


The blackcurrants are almost ready too – it looks like I am going to have a busy time over the next few days.  The freezer needs sorting out now so I can squeeze everything in – it is too hot at the moment to stand over a boiling pan making jam – so what doesn’t get eaten straight away, will be frozen until the weather cools off a bit.


How are you coping with everything coming all at once

do you freeze, bottle or make jam

or just try and eat everything fresh as and when you harvest


This is the first post I have published using the Windows Live Writer as I have been having so many problems with Blogger – it takes a while getting used to a new system so I hope it has turned out all right.


  1. I love this time of year when the harvest are coming thick and fast. It looks like you're a little ahead of me with everything though.

  2. Everything looks delicious! I love fresh garden cabbage - they take up so much space, but I may have just have to make room for them next year. Having my first big raspberry harvest this year and am experimenting with jam recipes.

  3. For the last few years I've tried to grow successionally, but found it's really difficult to get the balance right. Last year we had too few mange tout, this year I've planted more and we've been throwing them away. I don't have a freezer big enough to store a lot of produce.
    The heat and lack of rain has reduced my raspberry and blueberry crop. And the blackbirds have stuffed themselves on the redcurrants. I've picked what's left and reckon I have enough for a jar or two of redcurrant jelly.

  4. Much as we may not particularly like this month for one reason or another it certainly has it's compensations when it comes to harvesting as you've shown here.
    I wonder just how big a courgette would have grown from that flower! Like you I've been picking raspberries galore, along with a few potatoes and broad beans, every time I go to the plot. I mostly harvest and eat I go at present.
    You'll be happy to know that this post looks and reads okay. Flighty xx

  5. We've had lots of soft fruit too (except raspberries - sniff sniff) we make a compote and freeze ours as we don't use jam.

    We do eat lots of fresh strawberries too though. As for the cabbage I like to have some at this time of year so I can make a coleslaw type of salad.

  6. Great harvest and crops there, Elaine :) Doesn't an old fashioned summer make all the difference. Long may it last!

  7. Very hot and dry here now, so I've dusted down the sprinkler.

    Everything doing well here too, only I do wish my tomatoes would hurry up.

    Your photos are superb!

  8. Windows Live Writer seems to have worked fine, Elaine. Maybe I'll be tempted to try it - though Blogger now seems to have reverted to "normal" (if it can ever be described as normal!)

    Your harvest looks great, and I think your decision to freeze the fruit rather than make jam is the correct one in present conditions.

  9. I gotta say - those potatoes look AMAZING!! I can just imagnie how tasty they'll be!

  10. I love seeing all your delicious fruit and vegetables Elaine, makes me very envious that we don't grow our own - not enough space.

  11. Its fabulous isn't it Elaine, lots of crops, you are getting a great harvest. I've had lots of strawberries too and have eaten loads fresh but also made a batch of strawberry and gooseberry jam. Its just finding the time to deal with everything isn't it. I've already started giving away some of my courgettes, but like you I like to pick them when they are small and I'm really enjoying them.

  12. That's a lovely variety of fruit and veg you're harvesting there Elaine. The summer cabbage looks really good - mine always end up pecked by pigeons and munched by caterpillars.

  13. Love that you pick every morning and eat lots of food fresh. I am aiming for my garden to have smaller quantities of more stuff so that we eat fresh more in the summer. I don't know anything about canning so if I have any extra it usually gets frozen.

  14. All your produce looks in excellent condition Elaine. I've managed to stagger most of my veg this time so that the majority doesn't mature all at once. That doesn't mean I've got the successional sowing down to a fine art. More effort will be put into that next season. Most of the fruit I've picked has been frozen along with garden peas. The Strawberries have been eaten with most of the salad items also being eaten. Jam making is yet to be done, either from fresh or frozen.

  15. Dear Elaine,

    Everything looks wonderful. I especially enjoy looking at those fruits. I remember having gooseberries when I lived in back in England. They are truly delicious.


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