About this blog

My photo
Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

First harvests: Carrots, runner beans and tomato

I've been a bit lax in my updates (as if you were interested!) on garden produce. I think once the excitement of getting any food from the garden wore off, I no longer felt compelled to tell you every time I picked something new.

I first dug up carrots three weeks ago:

First carrots

They're a bit short, in fact some of them are very short, so I need quite a few for each meal. They also have some damage which I think is caused by the dreaded carrot root fly. It's not catastrophic - if I cut the damaged bits out there's still plenty of edible root - but it does reduce the yield somewhat. I'm a bit disappointed with the flavour, too. I'm sure carrots of my childhood were deliciously sweet when pulled straight from the ground, but these are slightly bitter, just like supermarket carrots.

The runner beans are just getting big enough to harvest; I picked the first ones a few days ago.

First runner beans

There are no disappointments here: No sign of pest damage (yet) and they're just as delicious as they should be! There are plenty of small ones on the plants, so with luck I'll be freezing some of these as well as enjoying them over the next few weeks.

I've been watching the first tomato getting gradually redder and redder, and the other day decided it was time to pick it.

First tomato

Frankly, this was disappointing, too. I know what fresh picked tomatoes should taste like, and this wasn't it. It was slightly better than supermarket varieties, but not much.

Oh, well. When the disappointing crops are much the same as I would have bought if I wasn't growing them, and the good ones are much tastier, that's still a pretty good result on average.


  1. I know what you mean about getting lax after the initial novelty wears off - after recording nothing last year, I was very diligent about detailing the weights of harvests in my spreadsheet at the start of this year but now... meh.

    Neither our normal size or plum tomatoes are showing any sign of red just yet so I'm not sure how they'll taste compared to supermarkets but John (my chief tomato eater) says the cherry ones are delicious. What types of tomatoes did you grow?

  2. I'm reassured to hear that yours aren't ripe yet, either. I thought mine were really slow. I'm growing Tamina (the one in this picture) and Roma plum tomatoes. I also have some unknown cherry tomatoes, but I planted them outside so they're even slower.

  3. Oh Nooooo, I'm just so sad that you didn't close your eyes and have an orgasmic taste explosion. SO sad. My DD grew some stumpy carrots and they were vile; a real disappointment - overly sweet, like sticks of sugar. The nantes which we grew in containers because we have clay soil were beautiful and our first tomato was heaven on a plate. Anyway, hope you're still enjoying those beans...

  4. Hmm, overly sweet carrots? I wanted to grow sugar beet (to use in making wine, cordial and jam), but didn't manage to find anyone selling seeds in garden-sized quantities. I wonder if sweet carrots would be a worthwhile substitute (always assuming I can protect them from the slugs). Do you know what variety they were?


I don't know why Facebook thinks this is the most interesting text on the page - it's not, I assure you!

If you'd like to leave a comment, but it asks you to "Comment as" a load of options that don't relate to you, choose "Name/URL". You can type in your name and leave the URL blank.

Do leave a comment (unless the main point of your comment is to advertise your business, in which case it will be deleted). It's always nice to know I'm not talking to myself ;-)