It’s a very busy time in the Genus garden.  The flower garden can pretty much look after itself for a few weeks, just a bit of weeding, tying in, and cutting back, but the veg patch needs lots of attention.

This morning we've been harvesting cauliflowers, carrots and onions.  Cauliflowers are always a bit difficult to grow.  Some years, like this one, they form a lovely curd but other years they can end up, what you could call, pixelated.  The individual florets grow with small heads and tall stalks and separate before forming a proper curd.  Apparently, this is due to too much sun.  We’ve avoided that problem this year by tying the leaves over the heads as soon as they began to form.

We love carrots, so we plant them every year, even though they’re so cheap to buy in the supermarket.  The taste doesn't compare.  We’ve never had a problem with carrot root fly because we cover the bed with Enviromesh, an insect-proof netting.  We put eight bamboo canes with rubber tops in the inside edge of the raised bed, put on the mesh, then secure it with a brick along each side of the bed and fine metal pins in the corners.  The Enviromesh and pins can be bought online from Agralan, a company that actually happens to be quite near to the Genus garden.

We also use Enviromesh on all the brassicas.  The first year we grew kale (without netting), we harvested it and cooked it for a family occasion.  We thought it was washed properly, but when dishing it up on a serving plate you could see lots of shriveled up caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly.  Luckily boiling frozen peas instead only took a few minutes and the grandchildren never knew.

Onions always seem to be successful regardless of the weather.  Most years we grow red, brown and white onions, shallots and garlic.  The white onions have a vert delicate flavour and make the most delicious cream soup.

We have four plum trees in the orchard and this year the crop is so heavy that several of the boughs are weighed down to the ground.  We’re now going to hurry up defrosting and eating the stewed plums we made last year so that we can start on the fresh ones.