Beetroot cake, anyone?

Fabulous day at the plot – sunny and a little breezy.

I don’t think that the tomatoes are going to last much longer, so I’m cutting branches to pick the fruit. The plants look knackered. I picked and picked, but there are still so many left! It’s been such a good year for them, so different to last year’s disaster.

The celeriac is still very small, and I while in my heart of hearts I know this is wishful thinking, I hope that there is time for both them and the swedes to fill out.

Some of the broccoli has fallen over, and little shoots are coming up from the base of the plant. Not seen that before, but I guess that it’s ok. They don’t look to be otherwise suffering, not like the drowning plants from last year. There were many, many weeds under the net, plus a few caterpillars. Seeing the bed all tidy after a long weeding session made me very happy.

The tough task for today was starting the digging prep. I’ve removed a lot of carpet (grrrrrr)  and stripped off most of the turf ready for the new bed to go in. About a quarter of it will run over where I know there is the old hardcore road, so that will be fun.

Half of my garlic is in. I’ve replanted 6 of the Marco marbles from this year, and put in about 15 cloves of Carcassone Wight in the pink bed. The other head will have to wait till more space has been cleared somewhere.

While I was up there the dalek’s had some more attention. All the plot trimmings have been carefully shredded and added, plus some more nettles and another barrow of steaming manure. I did my best to turn it, but it’s a hard job with a fork! I am a bit worried about going over and falling on my soft end…It’s pleasantly warm in there though, and damp but not smelly. I have great hopes of compost for next year…

One thing I didn’t realise until I started weeding is that the soil on my plot is now really, really dry. Bits of it are even pretty dusty. We haven’t had much rain at all recently, just a few concentrated downpours. Those were great for filling the water butt (I have 2 now, thanks to Mike!) but not so great for keeping the plants going. Need to keep more of an eye on this – I have been going up there just for quick dashes and not really to have a proper look.

I had my very first own-grown apple today – I chose the littlest just in case they weren’t ready. Ate it watching the birds flying over the site. Bliss!

Today’s harvest: an armful of chicoria, 3 litres of tomatoes, 3 courgettes, more strawberries, 4 beets to go with the ones picked earlier this week, 2 kohlrabi, some chillies, golden purslane seeds, poppy seed heads and nigella pods. Next time I’d like to remember to get some of the horseradish…

Some of the beetroot has been turned into cake. I love Nigel Slater’s recipes, but I do wish that that they didn’t involve nearly every baking accessory I own! The cake is huge, and glints purple in the light. Can’t wait to see whether my friends like it tomorrow.

Edit to add: Cape gooseberry seeds are drying in the kitchen after a few days stewing in a jar, and nigella seeds are drying out in an egg-cup.

And beetroot cake is foul! Chocolate cake shouldn’t have that kind of aftertaste. Blech.

Categories: Diary 2013

Tagged as: ,