September saw a few of our crops finishing up for the year. We dug up all the rest of the potatoes, and picked our last courgettes & tomatoes. The carrots were ready to get in but I’m going to finish digging them up and storing them this week. Beetroot and parsnips are about finished growing now as well, I’ll also be getting these in before the end of Oct.

Rather than the graph I did last month, I think it will be clearer to just highlight the main harvests as we get them in, I’ll then give a summary of everything towards the end of the year.

Crop

Sowed area m2

Harvested Total (kg)

Harvest (kg) per m2

Potatoes

60

121

2

Courgette

7.5

14.85

3.16

Tomatoes

20

23.7

1.18

Cucumbers

10

29.3

2.93

Sweetcorn 5 3.5 0.7
Pumpkin 10 47 4.7
I was pretty happy with our potatoes this year, although we learnt a good lesson about watering. I would say 75% of our harvest weight came from the bottom 1/3 of each row, which was as far as our hose went when watering. Next year I will plant a similar area but will work on a better irrigation system so that we can maximise the whole row. Cucumber were a great success, it seems all of the Cucurbitaceae (don’t ask how to pronounce it), which includes, courgettes, pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers, all did very well in our soil. Next year I will focus on this family, planting more of everything including the melons, which did surprisingly well considering I didn’t treat them very well. We had a good harvest of Tomatoes, certainly my best effort yet. I think in the end we had about 30 plants outside, which gave us 90% of our harvest, and another 20 odd in a poly tunnel, which didn’t do very well at all. From May-end Aug the weather was hot and sunny with very little rain, I think the polytunel became too hot and we weren’t here enough for watering and airing. Next year I am going to try for 200 plants, with most outside, I’ll use the polytunel for peppers and aubergines.
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I thought it would be interesting to have a look at what we harvest, when we harvest it and how much of it we get. I struggled a bit to find the best way to display it, this is what I ended up with. All numbers are weights in Kilos.

Some highlights are 29kg of cucumbers, which is a large increase from our last attempt in Cornwall of 130g, and tomatoes, so far at 14.8kg with some more still to harvest in the tunnel and outside. I’m also interested to see what our potato total will be, due to dig them all up next week. We have 21kg from our 1st row, with another 10 rows to harvest.

From June to end of August  we have harvested 117kg of veg from a cultivated area of 330 m2.

 

Harvest 2013_2

 

I’ll add an updated graph each month as I get the info, and start summarising the different veg to try and clearly show how much we sowed and how much we harvested (any suggestions on how to do this welcomed!).

 

Just a quick one to say Marta’s Mum went to the land yesterday. Early this morning she managed to harvest 17Kg of cucumbers (the little gherkin type with knobbly bits on them). Compared to my efforts in Cornwall this is quite an improvement, back then I harvested a massive 150g, which was one rather sorry little gherkin.

The batch was from our first planting of gherkins which totals about 25 plants now, after a few casualties. Our last planting of 45 odd are coming on strong as well, I think we will have quite a few gherkins. We will certainly be able to cater for the Polish tradition of pickled gherkin and Vodka, just need someone to bring the vodka (or maybe beer)!

Panoramic of the allotment mid June.

We’ve been having trouble with our new, old car, so haven’t been able to get to the land much over the last couple of weeks. This coupled with very dry and hot weather meant that I was a little worried I might find the allotment looking a little withered and sorry for itself. We haven’t had any rain for 4 weeks now and the temperature has been around 30C for a while with no foercast of rain despite a few villagers predicted some soon. We’ve missed the band of storms which have spread through the south of Poland, which I’m glad about, I drove through one on the way to Warsaw and experianced hail stones big enough to make me think my windscreen was going to brake. The wind in these parts had also caused a lot of the crops to collapse, hopefully they will recover. We need rain, but I’d rather not a storm like this if possible.

Anyway the plants are doing ok and we had our first decent harvest of small cucumbers (Ogorki) and yellow courgettes. The ogorgki plants are producing loads, I think we should have plenty for eating fresh during the summer and for pickling.

This is a breakdown of what I spent from November last year (when I got the allotment) to end of October. There will be a full breakdown on the Financial page. For now In Summary:

  • I spent £470 odd on seeds, equipment, and getting to and from the allotment.
  • I harvested £171.63 approx. of fruit and veg (based on supermarket comparison price chart).
  • I spent approx. 169 hours working at the allotment, which equates to 21 days full time work.
  • Leaving a deficit of £298.64 odd.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with our progress this year. A lot of our expenditure was on capital bits, stuff we wont have to pay out on this year. We will also continue to benefit with crops that can be harvested in the next few months. Moreover, our perennial fruits should give us a good harvest next year.

With the benefit of a years experience I’m sure we’ll be able to sow a bit more, reap a bit more, and exert a bit less effort.

October was a fruitful month. The tomatoes that I picked slightly early in September had ripened at home and we managed to realise the dream of using all our own tomatoes for a few pasta sauces. I also dug up the rest of the potatoes. A decent 27kg of mostly King Edwards. Thanks to a hot week in October we also managed to harvest a few aubergines, which was really satisfying, would have been more so if a slug hadn’t have eaten two of them! Below is the summary:

 

October:

Crop

Weight

Value

potato 27.6kg  
Carrots 1.25kg  
Parsnips 300g  
Tomato 2.63kg  
Courgette/Marrow 1.25kg  
Gherkin 75g  
Onion 900g  
Aubergine 130g  
Raspberries 60g  
Chicory 400g  
Peppers 575g  

September was another good month. Despite really cold windy weather we had a good harvest. The variety was reduced but good quantities of the basics. Peas were finished, pulled them up after turning brown and spotty. Tomatoes came back a bit after cutting most of the foliage back and frequent trips to pick off blighted fruit. Most needed ripening at home, which we did in a cardboard box in the dark.

 

September:

Crop

Weight

Value

potato 8.6kg  
Carrots 3.57kg  
Tomato 2.03kg  
Courgette 950g  
Beetroot 225g  
Onion 3.1kg  
Spinach 150g  
Raspberries 90g  
Savoy 450g  
Peppers 75g