Country Living Blog from Herne Cottage

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October – Final Harvest 30/10/2011

October was the month for the final harvest for us at Herne Cottage. The last veggies left in our beds were tomatoes, beetroot, runner beans and chard. We’re hoping the Kale will keep going throughout winter – one year it even survived through snow! Just perfect for adding to winter broths with chestnuts and leftover Christmas ham. We decided to get all the tomatoes in before the frosts, which meant that some were still green. No problem however as they made a perfect Green Tomato Chutney!

So all that’s left to do is a final tidy of spent plants for winter, then planning next years garden when the new seed catalogues fall on our mat just after Christmas!

Final Harvest - Beetroot and Tomatoes

Final Harvest - Beetroot and Tomatoes


July in the Kitchen Garden 10/08/2011

July was the month that the main harvest started and we’ve enjoyed plenty of peas, French green beans, courgettes, chard and lettuce to keep our kitchen larder stocked! The second early potatoes were also ready towards the end of the month and we’ve been enjoying those especially with seasonal fish suppers. The veg beds need constant weeding and tidying this time of year also to allow the veg to have the best conditions to come through, along with lots of watering and feeding to allow their fruits to swell! We’ve also been pinching out out tomato plants to allow them to concentrate on swelling their fruit and feeding regularly also. Towards the end of the month/early August the first kale and runner beans were ready to pick.

The fruit garden has been abundant this year for us, helped by the combination of some warm sunny days to help ripen the fruit, but also rainy days to help swell it and make nice and juicy! We were still picking strawberries well into the month, along with blackcurrants, blueberries and raspberries. The blackberries are also early to ripen this year and we have picked a good 500g already! Now the only decision left is what to make with them?!

Here are some pictures of our harvest:







Autumn Veg Harvest 18/09/2009

Filed under: Self Sufficiency,Vegetable Patch — hernegardens @ 1:20 pm
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Went out in the garden just now to see if any of the autumn veg was ready and worth picking. Was pleased to see that some of it was! The squashes are ripening up nicely and the sweetcorn extracted milky juices when pricked so that means that is ready too. Still getting the last of the tomatoes and looks like my second sowings of beetroot and carrots back in July are just about ready to pick also.

Autumn veg harvested today, squashes, sweetcorn and tomatoes

Autumn veg harvested today, squashes, sweetcorn and tomatoes


Welcome! 25/08/2009

Hello everyone

Welcome to my new blog. I hope to share with you all the things I learn about gardening and self-sufficiency. It is our dream to be fully self sufficient one day, but for now we are starting with the veggies!

We live in a lovely railway cottage with ample gardens, the longest part being our allocated veggie patch. Back in March this year we built our 4 raised beds, and sowed the seeds ready to go in.

The results have been fab. We started off harvesting lettuces and spring greens in April/May, then came the beginnings of summer veg – peas, new potatoes, carrots, beetroot and the like.

Some were enjoyed fresh, with the rest being frozen or stored so we can enjoy the summer taste in Autumn/Winter! The pea-pods did not go to waste, with them being made into our finest Pea-Pod wine.

We made a second sowing of carrots, peas and beetroot etc which look like they are nearly ready again now. The main harvest over mid-late summer has been courgettes and runner beans. Too many courgettes cropped to all be eaten at once, so they were made into a courgette and apple chutney. We think the bumper crop is to do with the nettle fertiliser we made back in March. A top tip from Alys Fowler!

Wild foods have been made use of too. We are lucky to have wild plums in Tring and loads were gathered by us to make into jam, chutney and wine. Our latest wine endeavour has been elderberry. That looks like it might be the nicest tasting, but we shall see. Got a long time to wait yet, we will probably be tasting this time next year.

The latest foods to gather in the garden are our tomatoes and blackberries. Am planning to do lots with those – the first being blackberry jam!

So that’s all for now, my first post. Hope you enjoyed and will be back soon!