Weekend harvest

Somehow a whole week has passed since I last posted on this blog and during this time spring carried on its one step forwards, two steps backwards progress, still feeling cold at times but with enough sun – and plenty of rain – to keep the plants growing well. In the garrigue some of the wild flowers are already passing their best. Wild garlic:

1-wild garlic

and wild salsify – I think I’ve posted a photo of this beautiful star-shaped flower before but I’m doing so again because this is probably the last one I’ll see this year.

2-wild salsify

 

In the garden, our big purple iris is almost embarrasingly big and purple:

3-big iris

 

and the white cistus – my favourite of the cultivated cistuses – is flowering, its delicate flowers lasting only a day at a time before being replaced by others waiting to burst out of their buds:

4-cistus

 

5-cistus

 

We’re thinking ahead from spring to summer crops now and this morning we planted out six peppers that have been nurtured up till now in mini-greenhouses on the balconies. These first six plants are of a variety that we call A and A Spanish as the seeds originally came from our friends A and A who had brought an especially tasty red pepper home from Spain a few years ago.

6-pepper plant

 

I’m very glad that I sowed two double rows of broad beans last autumn, one in October and another in November, because the second row is now producing huge pods while the first hasn’t finished yet either. In past years I’ve sown one double row in the autumn and then another in February, but I’ve found that the February-sown row never does very well, perhaps because there isn’t enough water for them at crucial times. Autumn-sown broad beans do much better here, as shown by the 4.5 kilos we picked today.

7-broad beans

These (most of which will be frozen), another small artichoke, some wild thyme from the garrigue and some wild flowers Lo Jardinièr had brought home to identify made the kitchen table look full of possibilities:

8-kitchen table

 

I cooked some of the broad beans straight away for lunch, in an earthenware dish over a low heat in olive oil, adding chopped garlic and oregano leaves and some tomato concentrate, then, once they were cooked which took only 5 minutes, some chopped leftover cooked artichoke hearts.

9-beans

13 thoughts on “Weekend harvest

  1. The broad beans are great but DO love the flowers: your beautiful purple iris ‘changed colour’ on its journey tho’ and arrived here a most lovely marine blue🙂 !

  2. A fantastic post. I don’t recall seeing the salsify bloom in your previous posts so I’m glad you shared this one. What a beauty! My iris didn’t winter well. Yours are such a vivid blue and that’s some harvest of broad beans. I think you’ve definitely found the right planting schedule. May your peppers produce as well.

  3. Hi,
    Favas were on the dinner menu here tonight also. Made a pesto of sorts – the beans, newly harvested red garlic, tarragon, olive oil,lime juice and a bit of pecorino done up in the food processor, served over a whole wheat pasta. Salad from the garden too. Happy.
    Teri

  4. It all looks so beautiful and on my few shorts walks around the mountain the last few days I’ve been alble to enjoy some of these colours too. Will have to look up Salsify…didn’t know that one!

  5. Lovely to see the Slasify, I have it growing on my allotment, it self seeds and the joy of the flowers is exactly that – a joy!
    My winter broad beans were mostly enjoyed by the mice, so I’m still playing the waiting game for the Spring sown …..

  6. From the looks of your broad bean lunch it seems you don’t peel each bean. Is that right? Unless the bean are very young I have always shelled the pod, blanched the beans and peeled them. Even younger and I grill the whole pod. LOVE you blog.

      • The bigger ones, peeled, are extra work but it is worth it. I just toss lightly with olive oil and vinegar. I too keep seed from year to year. Thanks for the reply.

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