Harvesting for an easy life
Naughty nature. Just when we are at our laziest and summer is at its haziest, the edible garden is at its most productive.
Keeping on top of harvesting the fruits of your spring toil can often be more demanding than the work it took to get it there in the first place, so it’s worth remembering a few truths.
1. Firstly, little and often wins the day, so bring snips and a basket every time you set foot in the garden. This is particularly useful with herbs like thyme, oregano or basil which need constant pinching to prevent woodiness or bolting.
2. Secondly, a surplus of anything is simply an opportunity to make merry in the kitchen - pestos, jams, passata, soups, cordials; these are all the products of glut, and we are fuller and happier for it.
The freezer is your friend here, so stock up on receptacles of varying sizes, as well as all-important labelling paraphernalia to make you feel all Martha Stewart smug.
3. Harvesting a bit early is generally more useful than leaving anything until it is ‘perfect’ - peas, beans, courgettes and most root veg are all better this way. Tomatoes and most fruit can of course ripen on a sunny windowsill.
4. Finally, it’s well worth coming round to the idea that something home grown and edible can justifiably be ‘fed’ to your compost heap if you cannot face washing it, preparing it, cooking it and eating it yourself!