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Thread: todays gardening / allotment

  1. #1

    todays gardening / allotment

    Fantastic tomato harvest last year, way beyond expectations, >100 jars. Sunny summer.

    This year much rain and ALL my tomatoes got blight, can't eat any. Potatoes same fate I'm afraid.
    Also one of my big cherry trees was taken down by the wind. And a pear tree died just after I planted it.

    Got peas, strawberry (thanks mole for taking care of the slugs!), rhubarb, raspberry, but all in all not much.

    Maybe I can still harvest apples and pear later on, but also missed tons of cherries (40 jam jars last year!) because coincided with family holiday in the Dolomiti. Of course I love nature in my garden, but hey Dolomiti is the most fab place on our planet...

    How you all doing?

  2. #2
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambatte View Post
    Fantastic tomato harvest last year, way beyond expectations, >100 jars. Sunny summer.

    This year much rain and ALL my tomatoes got blight, can't eat any. Potatoes same fate I'm afraid.
    Also one of my big cherry trees was taken down by the wind. And a pear tree died just after I planted it.

    Got peas, strawberry (thanks mole for taking care of the slugs!), rhubarb, raspberry, but all in all not much.

    Maybe I can still harvest apples and pear later on, but also missed tons of cherries (40 jam jars last year!) because coincided with family holiday in the Dolomiti. Of course I love nature in my garden, but hey Dolomiti is the most fab place on our planet...

    How you all doing?
    This year I had a surfeit of gooseberries. I took 3 kgs off two plants (bought as single strands from Woolworths in Barnard Castle 20 years ago!) and that was less than half. I gifted the remainder to the blackbirds who had taken the lot by the time I returned from a few days wild camping in the Lakes. These bushes have benefited from my benign neglect over two decades!
    Eat more cake because life is shorter than you thi...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambatte View Post
    Fantastic tomato harvest last year, way beyond expectations, >100 jars. Sunny summer.

    This year much rain and ALL my tomatoes got blight, can't eat any.
    The tomatoes are just about the only things in my garden that are doing well this year.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
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    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Courgettes and French beans have done well as did strawberries. Squashes, kale and parsnips looking promising for later in the year.

  5. #5
    With the raspberry plants I have now, I get daily just a little handful to add to yogurt etc. Absolutely perfect.
    But I'm greedy, and I still have plenty of free space in the garden. So let's say my daily harvest next year doubles, this will be too big to consume daily fresh, and still too little to make jams.
    Can I freeze raspberries for a few days/weeks, so once I accumulated plenty I thaw them and make a large amount of jam?
    Should I wash them before freezing? Or after? Or no need at all since with jam making they will cook at high temperature for a long time?
    Or any other suggestion?
    Thanks,

  6. #6
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    You can freeze any berries - we freeze strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, black currants and also raw figs. Anything that is not perfect can be made into a compote/ purée and then frozen. This works well with excess apples too.
    I would wash any fruit lightly first just to remove any bugs etc.
    Last edited by PeteS; 23-09-2021 at 09:22 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Moderator noel's Avatar
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    I've used this approach with a range of different fruits for making jam, and it works well. Most recipes will say wash the fruit first, but it only really matters if you've got leaves or bits of grass in there that will come through the jamming process. If you do decide the wash them, I'd definitely recommend doing it before freezing, as the freeze-thaw will make them all squidgy and if you wash them in that state, you'll wash a lot of the juice away.

    Our raspberry plants haven't cropped well enough to make jam for the last few years, but Mrs Noel has bought some new ones, so we should be up and running again soon. Raspberry is definitely one of the best jams.

  8. #8
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    I'm fortunate to have high yielding Autumn Bliss raspberry's on my allotment and in fact picked 4lb last night. Haven't got time to do anything with them at the moment so bagged most of them and put the in the freezer. I found that I still have 8lb in the freezer from last year in addition to jars of jam in the cupboard.

    I have decided to sell some jam this year and might even bring a mobile shop to races!

    To answer your question Gambette, raspberry's are best frozen as picked and will keep for ages. If you want to keep them in a perfect shape, for fancy cake decoration etc, then freeze them on a tray and bag once frozen otherwise just freeze them together in a plastic bag. The only thing to watch if making jam after they have been frozen is that freezing can reduce the pectin content of the fruit so you might need to add pectin to get a decent set.
    A mistake people make, and I've made it myself, is to keep boiling and boiling to get a set but the by the time you get there the jam has reduced too much and ends up too heavy and sticky.

    Good jammin!
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  9. #9
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Seems the dryness of late and the cold August we had here has put pay to my fig harvest this year. I have had about 3 or 4 fully ripe ones compared to so many last year that we ate/froze what we could and still had plenty to give away to friends etc.
    So is there anything you can do with a green, unripe fruit or is that it for 2021?
    Going downhill fast

  10. #10
    @PeteS, I'm surprised you got figs, I thought at your latitude the climate was not suitable. Lucky you!

    I'm inclined not to wash soft fruit at all, especially in case of freezing. They never touch the ground, tough ok they are visited by insects etc. But they are so soft that any handling can easily damage them, tough in case of jam making it should not really matter...

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