Harvesting the fruits of your labour – oh, and the garlic of your labour too

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WHAT a difference a week makes! From being convinced everything was doomed, I’ve been harvesting at last.

Mind, two crops were in the “pick them or lose them” category.

Japanese Senshyu onions don’t store well, although they will happily sit in the ground until you need them.

Unfortunately, not in this damp weather. There was only thing to do – pick all 12lbs of them, sauté in olive oil, then freeze them.

My eyes had just recovered when I checked the autumn-planted garlic. It had a bit of rust, but a few of the bulbs had split and were looking mushy.

I dug the lot up and luckily, the bulbs were big and had formed cloves.

As they were picked a little earlier than usual, there were no scapes (the delicious flower stalks, a delicacy in France), but at least the crop was saved.

Now to the process of curing. They need to be in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place. I prefer placing them on racks rather than hanging them up (I use old baskets from a freezer).

They’ll take three-four weeks, by which time the outer leaves will be papery.

Then clean off any dirt with an old toothbrush and trim roots close to the bulb.

Leave stalks intact if you want to plait them, or cut to a couple of inches if storing them loose. They should last for months.

•Non-emergency crops this week were Flyaway baby carrots (with no carrot fly), raspberries, sunberries and the last of the blackcurrants.

Biggest surprise was the Vivaldi potatoes in sacks – absolutely perfect, with no scab, absolutely delicious.

The misshapen vegetable of the week award goes to the first courgette.

Or should I say two - this freak of nature has conjoined courgettes.

Children of the 1970s will remember a cartoon character called Barbapapa. That’s what this beauty looked like when sliced.

You’ll not see one like that in the supermarket!