Green Tomato Pickle

My one tomato plant of 2012 may look unruly, but it was loaded with fruit. How unfair that it is already succumbing to blight this early in the season:

So, for the third year running, there are green tomatoes to be used right away before they shrivel into brown squishy blobs. At least it’s only a plant’s worth this time.

As I’m still eating green tomato chutney from last year and possibly have a jar from the previous year in the cupboard, I decided to have a go at pickling them. I followed this recipe, boosting the spices to include peppercorns (pink, white and black), various seeds (coriander, yellow mustard and lovage), bay leaf and dried Thai red chilli.

Currant Harvest

Believe it or not, this is the most meagre currant harvest we’ve had since I started netting the bushes properly. It is barely a quarter of the usual quantity. I guess the lack of sun throughout the spring and early summer is the culprit (and a batallion of snails!).


In a summer of seemingly endless rain, every time I ‘ve visited the plot it has either bucketed down with rain or just stopped raining, so mowing the grass hasn’t been an option. Nevetheless, I received a stern email from the allotment committee, ticking me off about my long grass! We took advantage of a rare dry day to tidy it all up. Here’s a ‘before and after’ picture:

The compensation of this excessive precipitation is a fantastically vivid green scene — on view here, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, horseradish, fruit of various types.

More greenery of a sort, too, in the gooseberry harvest:

Shetland Black Potatoes

Shetland Black first early potatoes. They taste delicious,  but are the very devil to locate when you’re digging them up! (I’m sure I’d missed about as many as the number of stones left in the bowl after I’d finished scrubbing the spuds.)


Well-ventilated Shed

Oh dear.

To completely change the subject, the gooseberries are doing well.

Jostaberry Blossom


Cherry Blossom

A branch of one of the three cherry trees.

Edit August 2012: at this point I didn’t realise I would lose the entire cherry harvest to thieves of one sort or another, probably the winged and bushy-tailed varieties… the picture below from 21 April gives an indication of how many cherries might have been ours with careful netting and tireless vigilance…)


The first greenery of the season: oregano and marjoram (I can never tell the difference), and perpetual spinach:

Plant Potatoes

A selection of potatoes ready for planting:

Space ’em out properly.