I go away for one week, and this is what I come back to:
This is despite my sister calling out and picking a bunch mid week! Still, we'll get through them. The four smallest went on pizza last night and I'll make courgette soup for lunch today. Another couple are destined for a Thai curry tonight and then I think I'll try stuffing the biggest two round ones - probably using this recipe: http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2009/09/stuffed-zucchini/.
The plot survived alright in my absence, but everything is very very dry. There has still been no rain, and Ireland is now officially in a drought for the first time since 1995. Despite my sister's mid-week watering everything in the polytunnel looked dead when I arrived; droopy and parched. I watered immediately and again before I left so I'll hoping for a Lazarus-type resurrection. The French marigolds seem to be the only thing to like all this dryness!
The garlic and elephant garlic laid out on the benches are drying really well, but the shallots all seem to be bad; squishy and a slight smell of rot off them. They didn't bolt so it can't be that, and the onions still growing in the same bed seem fine, so I'm not sure what went wrong there.
Outside, the harvests are bulking up. I picked loads of lovely French beans, one of my favourite things to eat. I have a mix of Ferrari and Yellow Bush Bean. Also a bag of peas - some Twiggy Pea and the last of the current batch of Irish Green Pea. A few of the ones I picked have nearly dried on the plant so I'll use them as seed. Then I cut down the last of the broad beans and sowed more French beans and some borlotti beans in the empty space.
I picked scallions - actually Japanese bunching onions - and some Sweet William and dog roses for vases, and a bag of blueberries and alpine strawberries.
So I've a bit of cooking to do today as a result. We've turned the corner to a time when harvesting and then processing and eating takes a lot of time. Not that I'd have it any other way.