We are in the middle of our summer garden season! I love it, as all our hard work is finally being rewarded. It is truly a lot of work – once a week treating with neem (a natural oil to keep the dreaded ‘hongo’ and pests at bay), feeding, weeding and watering. Then another day watering. All told, this must take us 8 hours of work per week, if we’re lucky!
This summer has been so hot that we get up early and go down to garden before breakfast. (yes, you heard it here first, I voluntarily garden before coffee!!!) We used to do this in the evening, but with this heat, we found we couldn’t work until about 9 at night, and who wants to do that!? Also, going down early (before 8am) means that the garden is cool enough for us to work comfortably, and for the dogs to have a nice run around.
Anyway, back to the vegetables and fruit! We are eating loads of cucumbers, peppers and aubergines (aka eggplant) every day. Our tomato glut is nearly here, too, so it will be tomatoes morning, noon and night! We had our first watermelon yesterday, and it was truly delicious!
In Yunquera, the larger the vegetable, the more prestige it has. I’m not sure why this is, but it means that if you are ever given vegetables, they are huge! Our friends in the village don’t have a garden, so they are inundated with giant aubergines and humungous courgettes. All well and good, but in my opinion, these giant vegetables often have a lot less flavour. My friend always loves to be given vegetables, of course, but with only the 2 of them, it takes days to eat just one giant courgette – so how can she cope with a bag full of the beasts?
We buck the trend here at Casa Tyr. We pick our cucumbers and aubergines when they are small and sweet. They are small enough for the two of us to eat in a reasonable amount of time, too! We also pick and eat our small, new potatoes – true heresy here, where the small potatoes are only judged suitable for mule food!