We managed to get away on holiday for a week, which I have to admit was a bit daunting, considering all the hard work I'd put into my beloved patch over the last few months. Honestly, it's worse than having a dog! At least you can put your furry friend into kennels while you're away, but you can hardly just expect someone else to put as much care and attention into your veggie plot as you do. Well, luckily for us we are blessed with incredible neighbours who are just as crazy about growing their own as I am, and offered to look after everything while we were away...phew! I had visions of returning to a rotten pile of smolch, but Wendy came to the rescue! Turns out I needn't have worried. You really don't appreciate how much things grow when you see it every day, yet after just eight nights abroad we returned to what can only be described as a veritable jungle, dripping with every kind of veg you can imagine...even my cucumbers have grown!
The pumpkins have run riot and seem to be on a mission to take over the entire garden like some kind of yellow flowered monster, and the courgettes.....seriously, don't even talk to me about stupid courgettes. I'm convinced that they have a mind of their own and are growing so fast on purpose just to see me have courgette meltdown!
Little tip for you. Try growing both green and yellow courgettes. Nicole especially LOVES the yellow ones and they make your dinner plate look much more colourful and varied.
Ooh, on that subject, I have another recipe for you. It's a great way to get rid of a few at a time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...
Between 8-10 courgettes
1-2 large onions
(I tend to play it by ear which is why measurements are non too specific)
SO EASY! Chop courgettes and onions and sweat in a large pan until nice and soft. Do not let them go brown.
Once soft, add about 1 to 2 pints of chicken stock to the pan and simmer for about thirty minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a blender,
Now, I know that on paper this doesn't sound the most appealing recipe, but please give it a try. You'll be shocked at the consistency. It's similar to that of leek and potato soup and is so creamy. Absolutely delicious!
What else to tell you? The chillies have finally turned red and are ready to be picked. A friend told me that it's absolutely fine to freeze chillies so hopefully none will go to waste.
The French beans are also doing exceptionally well, as are the tomatoes and blueberries.
More impressive than all of this though are the peppers. I did a bit of an experiment with my pepper plant seedlings a good few months back. I put some on the window ledge in the house and the rest I put inside my mini greenhouse. The ones on the ledge were sadly laid to rest some weeks back, whereas the ones in the mini greenhouse are almost ready to eat.
It really took me by surprise when I saw them hanging there. They somehow seem to hide under all the leaves and are easily missed when watering. It's one of the best (and most smug) feelings you can get when you succeed in nurturing a tiny little seed into a fully fledged veg. Only problem is, I can never bring myself to pick them. I'm convinced that once they're gone, nobody will ever believe I even managed to grow them in the first place!