How to Harvest

Honey

equipment See our beekeeping page for all the necessary kit

Honey harvest is a bounty like none other and the fresh liquid gold that falls from frames packed full is something to be experienced. If you haven’t got bees then its time you got some, or made friends with someone who has. Offer to help out with harvest – two sets of hands are definitely better than one. At this time of year hives will be in the peak of productivity and honey is taken from parts of the hive where the queen does not have access to lay her eggs. Most often frames are removed with adequate precautions – bees don’t like to give up their hard won stores – and are either spun in a centrifuge (where the honey literally flies out of the cells) or are scraped of all beeswax and honey that is then sieved. Whichever way, the product is delicious! It’s worth noting that a single female worker bee will visit about 100000 flowers in her 6 week lifetime and will produce about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey as a result.

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How to Harvest

Melon

equipment Knife for cutting vine

Once melons have formed reduce your watering so that you merely do so to prevent foliage from wilting. Now you can encourage ripening by removing all other fruit but the largest on any single shoot and then pinching out the growing tip two leaves ahead of the remaining fruit. Put some straw or a flat piece of wood under your selected fruit to protect from damp soil. Melons won’t continue to ripen once picked so wait until the fruits smell sweet through their skin at the end opposite to the stem. Fruit should make a hollow sound when gently drummed upon with finger tips – as if doing some energetic typing. Should be eaten fresh if possible. To store, place picked fruit in a plastic bag in the fridge, where they should be okay for a couple of days before they start to suffer chilling injury (small depressions on the skin) and their flesh goes a bit rubbery.

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How to Harvest

Capsicum and chilli

equipment Secateurs or a sharp knife with a firm blade.

Capsicum and chilli plants can be highly productive and a timely harvest may save them from losing a branch or two due to overload. The trick is to cut fruit from plants with scissors to prevent breaking or damaging any of the brittle stems by pulling. Capsicums are edible from when they start to swell and sound hollow when tapped. They will be best once they have reached the mature size and colour indicated by their variety. Chillies become hotter as they mature can be dried for use through the winter when their warmth might well be appreciated. The heat of chilli peppers comes from their concentrations of capsaicin oil which can easily be transferred to hands and anything they then touch. So, when harvesting or preparing chillies be mindful of their heat. Milk is a good soothing agent for any unpleasant heat due to contact or consumption of chilli peppers. Capsicum and chilli plants can be highly productive and a timely harvest may save them from losing a branch or two due to overload. The trick is to cut fruit from plants with scissors to prevent breaking or damaging any of the brittle stems by pulling. Capsicums are edible from when they start to swell and sound hollow when tapped. They will be best once they have reached the mature size and colour indicated by their variety. Chillies become hotter as they mature can be dried for use through the winter when their warmth might well be appreciated. The heat of chilli peppers comes from their concentrations of capsaicin oil which can easily be transferred to hands and anything they then touch. So, when harvesting or preparing chillies be mindful of their heat. Milk is a good soothing agent for any unpleasant heat due to contact or consumption of chilli peppers.

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SEASONAL RECIPES

Pea Gucamole

The most insanely delicious and incredible pea, lemon & garlic guacamole. In this sensation of a dip, I have added plenty of lemon juice & zest for a citrus kick, a large handful of fresh mint, italian parsley & oregano, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a couple of large handfuls of toasted pumpkin, sunflower & sesame seeds to give fantastic rustic texture. A hint of chili also wouldn't go a miss if thats your thing. See the recipe below. Enjoy!

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SEASONAL RECIPES

Raw crumble with nectarines, blueberries,lemon, cinnamon and coconut

Here's my recipe for raw pistachio and almond coconut crumble, with juicy nectarines slices, blueberries, lemon juice and a touch of cinnamon. What I love about this gluten and dairy free plant based recipe, is that it is ridiculously easy to throw together, and ready to devour in less than 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or yoghurt if you desire.

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