First harvest

Tim Young - 21 June 2011

Sunday was a red-letter day for us and our allotment – our first harvest. With the gleeful help of the kids we filled an ice-cream tub full of broad bean pods, and a bowlful of lettuce leaves for lunch. It was truly a satisfying moment, especially the lettuce as we had no intention of taking any (the lettuces are still fairly young and small). However, having seen both boys tuck into a leaf that they’d pulled off the plant (something that literally has never happened when they’ve been offered shop bought lettuce) we thought it prudent to take a ‘cut and come again’ approach in order to encourage a life-long love of salad. To be fair neither the beans nor the lettuce lasted past lunch-time once we got them home.

The last couple of weeks have also seen us plant out our tomatoes and peppers (though unfortunately it’s been gloomy and raining ever since, what happened to the sunshine?) and also plant some extra climbing and borlotti beans - the seedlings we put in a month or so ago have suffered due to the wind. I’m not sure if the beans will thrive as it’s getting a bit late now, but fingers crossed. And, but for a few more tomato plants and four sweetcorns that need to go in, we’re just about done planting – now it’s about weeding, maintenance, and hopefully eating! If the broad beans are anything to go by, I’m certainly looking forward to the last bit of that trinity.

Tim is editor of the Soil Association's Living Earth magazine, and has written on food, health and consumer issues for the last ten years. When not at work Tim is normally being run ragged by his two young sons. In 2009 Tim started trying to grow vegetables, and last year he took on an allotment. Two years later he is still trying to grow vegetables, and is very hopeful that one day soon he will have some success.

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