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Bramham Blogs

Rain at Last


Ah at last a bit of respite from watering. It is amazing how everything has taken on a new lease of life with the rain. The pumpkins particularly have just grown enormous over the last week. They are great plants sending out wonderful curly tendrils across the soil like a triffid. These ones are a little less rampant than the variety we had last year and haven’t taken over the whole plot this time. I took our first crop of kale this week, following a tip I read somewhere to harvest the bottom leaves off the stalk first so it continues to grow from the top. Logical really but I have always taken the younger sweeter leaves from the crown before. This variety is a red curly variety and has the most vivid luminous purple veins running through the green leaves. It looks amazing. While picking the crop I also took the time to tie in all the brassicas to their stakes. It is a job that is not much fun as you struggle to get in there but these crops will still be here when winter kicks in and particularly with brussel sprouts if you don’t keep their roots solid in the ground the Brussels tend to blow and that ruins them. I also took the opportunity to look for caterpillars. It amazes me how the odd cabbage white still manages to get through our fine mesh somehow and lay it’s eggs. I only found a couple but unlike last year there is no abandoned allotment nearby for me to deposit my spare caterpillars on and so I just had to dispose of them which I hate. Next year I might plant a few extra sacrificial brassicas so the butterflies can have them as a breeding ground. We have been eating lots of scrumptious tender broad beans as well. I love podding these and we try to pick them all before they become too big and tough. That way we don’t have to worry about the skins. Any surplus will go straight in the freezer. It certainly is a time of plenty and everyday brings a new treat to the table.