Eight years since I updated this. I suppose it was due to learning how to cope with sight loss and then there was Covid, but we are still here, nearly twenty years on!
Recently we started a U3a Group called “Grow your own, for flavour” So the objective is flavour. The easy way is minimising the time from cropping to eating. Ergo anything picked and eaten at the allotment is a priority:-
- Apples, pears, raspberries, baby tomatoes, baby cucumbers, spring onions, lettuce, blackcurrants, (other fruits are not easy)
Then there’s the challenge of trying to get two crops a year that is growing through the winter eg Aguadulce broad beans, garlics, chard, some brassicas, some onions and shallots, winter leeks.
After that we need crops that will store easily winter squashes, some onions, parsnips , carrots, celeriac, butter beans,
And the cream of the crop, the main summer crops Dwarf French Beans, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, summer leeks, beetroot, courgettes,
Naturally we have on-going battles with foxes, squirrels, mice, birds, slugs, snails, cabbage white butterflies, black fly and green fly.
So what would we have done differently:
- Two 4m x 2.5m polytunnels, door/window at each end and one set up with rable and chairs for coffee and for potting,
- 1m wide path
All that’s left is to select the right varieties to get the best flavour. I
The first ones on that list are from www.realseeds.co.uk:
“Pink Dreams NEW
Our fantastic new tomato, sent by Cliff Jenkins from seed he got in Bulgaria. Huge – really huge ( over half a kg)- glowing pink fruit with a truly excellent flavour. A perfect balance of acid and sweet, with a subtle smoky undertone; just perfect – this is the one we all rush to take home to cook with after deseeding.
It makes very few seeds, so just a few packets for you to try. Keep your own seed for future years!
‘Cupidon’ Filet Bush Bean
A filet-type, with long slender pods. An exquisite variety that produces a huge number of tender thin green pods all summer, starting early, and continuing cropping well after the others have finished. It has a particularly good flavour used raw in salads. The beans also stay stringless as they get to full size and it makes a good normal french bean, with a particularly good flavour raw.
Sadly, it does not make many seeds and this is unfortunately reflected in the price/packet size – but if you can afford it, it is a fantastic bean.
A special, gourmet early/maincrop filet variety.”