Garden Gate Sales up on Last Year!

It’s a bit of a mashup this one, but this was the first day the Merrybower Growers stuck produce on the front (tongue still firmly in cheek over the name, but not sure the public is aware). With the glut of onions and shallots we knowingly planted, it was time to see if the passers-by were up for some oniony goodness. A stretch of 5 sunny days meant we could get them hanging on the fence at the front so people could see them as they walked by, and hopefully would remember to bring some money the next day. Although we’d grown several varieties of onions and shallots, we only put out for sale the Tris di Cipolla (lovely mix of three Italian onions, red, white and brown), and the Sturons. We kept the Centurions back for ourselves as we had less of them and they store well. The Sturons were monstrous in size – I really should have taken some photos of the stonkers. We also kept the Bedfordshire Champions for ourselves as about half of those had started to flower so they ended up in the freezer, which meant I’d like to keep the remaining strings for us to use fresh.

I’m chuffed to say that in the 5 days they were out, we sold about two thirds of them, about £30 worth, which is about one third of our seed costs per year to feed the family. We could have sold more, but we gave some away to family and the weather turned, which made leaving them out not an option. Next year we really could do with a cart that could be left out, with a small roof on. I’ve learned though, and now we have a sign with ‘Jersusalem Artichokes Coming Soon’ on, to build up expectations. All good fun!

We’re also getting ready for a marathon pickling session – the shallots here are the Picasso red shallots, perfect picklers I’ve been advised. This tray is one of sixteen we’ve pulled up, four each of Picasso, Red Sun, Yellow Moon and Golden Gourmet.

And finally, the ratatouille. Out of desperation of friends coming and what to feed them, I realised we had most of the ingredients for a decent ratatouille – garlic, onions, aubergines and courgettes. Only the tomatoes were thin in the ground so we had to resort to tinned (we need a 10′ x 8′ greenhouse for tomatoes alone I fear, the amount we could get through). This is one batch – the next batch was frozen ready for winter – yay for the new chest freezer!

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