Sunday, 6 June 2010

Our First Allotment Harvest!

Another historic day in the kitchen - Roughly 10 weeks after taking on our allotment, I brought home our first harvest, a bunch of big, fat radishes and a straggly bouquet of Rabe Broccoli.

I guess it's no surprise that radishes feature as they're such a fast growing crop though the stonking great size was unexpected. We sampled them at home and they were eye wateringly, nose runningly hot. On the upside, my sinuses have never been so clear.

I've recently discovered that I'm actually growing Rabe Broccoli (a name I prefer to it's other, rather off putting, one of turnip broccoli) I have to admit I got the seeds free on the front of a gardening magazine and just slung them in the ground without paying too much attention. When they came up with a somewhat unconventional appearance I did some proper research and realised what I actually had.

I now find I have the first glut of the season on my hands, the plants have grown up remarkably quickly and some are even flowering which gives an urgency to our diet over the next few days. I chopped down just 4 of the biggest plants, they filled a bucket and I struggled to cram them into the fridge. To make matters worse the children have turned their nose up at the slightly peppery taste so chomping duty falls to me and Adam. I may experiment with freezing some though I'm not sure if the leaves can stand it.

I'd happily give some away if it weren't for their embarrassingly lacy appearance thanks to the flea beetle. My efforts to control them haven't been effective so far. I put up some sticky traps but the little blighters merely boinged contently around them, refusing to fling themselves at the traps in a suicidal fashion. I've tried the treacle on card method but again, they seemed quite savvy re jumping away from the death trap card rather than onto it. Fleece is next on the list to try.

On the chomping front I'm going to try this recipe with the Rabe Broccoli alongside some barbecued pork belly for that authentic down home vibe.


  1. Congratulations on your first harvest and your first glut!

  2. Yay!! Always look forward to radish, it signals the start of the coming season!

  3. D-day too - how apt! Congratulations!!!

  4. Wow, great looking radishes!

  5. I've never heard of this 'rabe broccoli'...I will have to look it up, and I'm very impressed with your radish harvest...mine are nowhere near ready yet so I'm very envious.

    As for the flea beetle...try mixing one part washing up liquid with four parts water and using a mister to spray it onto the plants...can't decide whether it makes the plants hard to cling to or unpalatable but they really don't like it...bonus to it is it's organic and you get to wash your veggies early!!

  6. Thanks for the tip, I'll try that.