Sweet Harvest

The first harvest of our new Victoria plum tree is finally ready. 

And it is as good as I had hoped, a sweet, slightly tart and beautifully juicy plum. It’s impossible to buy flavour like this and as with Proust’s Madeleines, it is a flavour that takes me straight back to childhood. 

To be entirely honest, we almost forgot about them. The tree is slightly hidden behind a high group of sunflowers and is not yet tall enough to be easily seen. However, luckily, we go there just in time. 
It’s not a big harvest this year, and there is an argument you should not let a tree fruit at all in the first few years to build strength, but we could not resist. 

We also plucked our first runner beans this morning, and I forgot to take photos but we harvested and ate our rather meager (but delicious) new potato crop yesterday. The potatoes were rather neglected at a crucial time as they were in a pot and allowed to dry out while we were on holiday. However, the runner beans have done extremely well and we have a very good crop developing. They are so decorative too. We’ve put up a trellis and they are growing up into the neighboring hibiscus. I would almost grow them just for the beautiful scarlet flowers and heart-shaped foliage. 

 I planted both of these crops with our youngest child, who has really shown an interest and a feel for gardening. It is such a joy to spend time in the garden with her, passing on the knowledge, the skills and the enjoyment via all the senses that the garden provides.

This year for her, the big discovery has been the fresh fig. I adore these and my lovely husband gave me a mature specimen in a pot as a Mother’s Day gift this year. The first figs have now started ripening, and though requiring some encouragement to try one at first, they are now a firm favourite of our children. It is such a wonderful and very funny thing to watch them first rejecting and then realizing how tasty a new kind of fruit is.

This time of year, harvest-time, is when the joy of growing your own fruit and vegetables really comes in.

Anyway, a wonderful way to start a Monday morning. 


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