Posts Tagged courgettes

Wow what a whopper!!

I have been letting some of our courgettes (zucchini) grow into marrows to cut up for food for the chooks.  Today Neil picked this one which weighed 7lb 12 ozs, that’s as much as an average baby!!

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I chop it up and then stew it up for a short while to soften it.  Our chooks are well spoilt!

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There are a couple more really large ones growing on the plants which I have left to grow into marrows.  The others I either pick really small and we eat raw in salads, or normal size to cook up for ourselves.  These plants really do keep on giving!!

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French beans outwit the deer

This year, as well as runner bean I planted a dedicated line of climbing French beans alongside bean poles.   Unfortunately some deer got in and munched all the emerging shoots of the beans and stopped them from climbing up the bean poles.  But Mother Nature is so clever!  What did the French beans do?  They produced all their beans really low down on the bit of plant that was still alive.

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And some of the beans are really long, about 7 or 8 inches, much longer than you see in the supermarkets.

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I think its pretty clever that all the bean pods have grown at the bottom!  I thought our crop had been ruined, but not so!!

Also today I picked the first of our runner beans.  They were similarly munched by the deer but managed to put out other shoots and still climb up the bean poles.

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Our sweetcorn are coming on nicely too.  I think it is all the lovely sunshine we have been having lately

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I have also been picking the courgettes (zucchini) and let one or two of them grow really large into marrows to cut up for the chickens.  It’s going to be a bumper year for all our crops this year.

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What to do with all these courgettes

This year we have had a bumper crop of courgettes (zucchinis).  I bought 4 plants as my seeds didn’t look like they were coming up, and then of course, much later a few sprang into life and I had 3 more plants.  Seven courgette  plants for 2 people is way too many, so I have been giving them away and we have been eating loads.

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I have left a couple on the plant to grow into marrows and these I chop up, cook and feed to the chickens, they seem to enjoy them.  I left one on quite a long time and it was enormous.

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When I picked it I could  hardly believe how heavy it was, so I thought I would weigh it.  It was 9lbs 11 1/2 ounces!!

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We have yellow courgettes as well as green ones, and I have found they don’t last as long in the fridge so I have to use them straight away.  Small yellow ones are lovely cut up raw in salads.  But for the rest of the courgettes I have been making courgette and tomato bake.

In an oven proof dish slice courgettes and alternate with sliced tomato.

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Sprinkle with a little olive oil and place into a hot over 200 degrees C for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes take out and sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the top and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

The resulting bake is delicious.

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Of course there are courgette fritters to make and a courgette cake (bit like a carrot cake only with courgettes) and many other things to do with courgettes.  I don’t mind having a glut of them, I do like to eat seasonally and fresh.

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Just call me Mrs Birdseye

This evening I picked the peas ( and a couple of courgettes, also known as zucchini)…

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then I shelled them, sitting in the back garden in the sunshine, which makes it an easier job

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Then I took them into the kitchen and plunged them into boiling water for 2 minutes to blanche them.  Then quickly into cold water to chill them, and a couple of minutes later bagged them up and froze them.  So picking, shelling, blanching, chilling and freezing all in 45 minutes flat.  Birdseye reckon to do in in 2 hours so I beat them to it!! And Neil called me “Mrs Birdseye”!!

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Moor Lane Plant Sale

On Saturday it was the Moor Lane Plant Sale in Churchinford.  This is an annual event, eagerly awaited by budding gardeners as an opportunity to pick up a bargain plant or two.  We were there as part of the Blackdown Hills Transition Group stand, where we were offering packets of seeds for a donation and encouraging youngsters to “sow a seed and watch it grow” with some compost in a yoghurt pot.

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Neil made a small frame as an example of “no dig” gardening, with plants coming up through cardboard to keep down the weeds.

The plant sales were very popular, and no sales were allowed before the bell was rung at 10.30am.

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There were some great signs outside too:

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I bought some courgette plants that I got into the ground the same day, and a couple of nice tomatoe plants that I have potted up already.

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9 wins at the Buckland Flower Show

Today was the annual Buckland St Mary flower show. It’s not just flowers, but vegetables, cakes, eggs, photos, jams etc. We entered a few categories for a bit of fun, not taking it too seriously, although some people do.  It’s very competitive.  The money raised from entry fees etc is going to the Chard Hospital League of Friends, so a good cause.

A selection of veggies and flowers

Anyway, we took our exhibits in early this morning and went back this afternoon to see the results of the judging.  A red card is first prize, a green one second and a blue one third.

prize winning cabbages

My cabbages won a first prize, which was a bit of a surprise.  Of course I never normally pick 2 cabbages at once, there being only 2 of us to eat it, but luckily we have friends coming for dinner tomorrow night, so I can use them up.

I also won first for my courgettes.

prize winning courgettes

I picked about 8 courgettes including some yellow ones and put these 3 in because they were roughly the same size, so that obviously worked.

My blueberries won a second, should have been better than that, our blueberries are gorgeous!!

My blueberries

Neil got a second for his onions, which was really good as we have never grown red onions before.  Last year his onions were not placed but he won a first for potatoes, but this year his potatoes did not win.

Neil’s red onions

Overall we came away with 9 wins, so we reckon we did quite well.  When we got home I laid out all our prize winning products and here is a picture of them all, including a photo that got a third.

All our prize winning products

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my seeds are growing

The seeds I planted in cardboard tubes indoors have sprouted and are reaching for the sun.  The beans are getting quite tall and will start to wind round each other soon, so I have decided to plant them out into the garden.

my emerging beans

The courgettes and sweetcorn have started to come through but are not so far advanced, so I will leave them indoors for another week.

Courgettes and sweetcorn

As we had some welcome lovely warm weather over the weekend, I also planted directly into the ground, some more sweetcorn, some raddish, rocket and lettuce.  I bought some cabbage seedlings at the local school May fete and planted those out, surrounded by shrouds to keep the rabbits at bay.  I can see my peas are starting to come through.  The blueberry bushes are covered in blossom, the rhurbarb is growing like mad, and we still are picking the purple sprouting broccoli.  It’s such an exciting time of year, watching all the plants spring to life in the garden, and looking forward to the harvest of fruit and vegetables in a couple of months time. 

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