Harvesting Potatoes & Onions at the Smallest Smallholding


OK, so I’m still reading Harry Potter obsessively, but I have been good and I have some veg news for you all.


Earlier this year I harvested my first lot of veg (although, I really think of rhubarb as fruit) at my allotment. A week or so ago Mum and I hotfooted it up to the allotment to harvest our first crop of Charlotte spuds. As you can see from the pic, they are a good size thus far. We have loads more to get out of the ground, so looking forward to going up there in a day or so (inbetween the intervals of rain) and getting some more. My first portion of Charlotte potatoes were simply boiled – and they are so tasty that they didn’t need anything fussy doing to them. I’ve found Charlottes are a winner in the early potato category, because they’re very creamy and melt-in-the-mouth. I also had enough to use in a leek, onion and potato soup. Using fresh ingredients makes a world of difference. You can just tell when you’re cutting and chopping – the knife slides through, there’s no leathery texture. Everything just screams “I’m fresh! I’m tasty! Eat me!”. So I do, thank you very much.

red onions

The red onions just need a little while longer, and then they’ll be ready for pulling up. The onions have gone great guns on the allotment this year. My Smallest Smallholding onions are struggling in comparison. They look a bit weedy and underfed, so I’ll have to review the situation and see if there’s anything I can give them to help them along. Granted, I did put them in later than their allotment counterparts, but still, they’re obviously lacking something. I’m hoping to make a lovely warm potato salad with the red onions and Charlotte or Pink Fir Apple potatoes from the allotment – and then cheat a bit by adding a dash of Pizza Express dressing on top. Makes my taste buds rev into gear just thinking about it.


I also have a few pods of broadbeans, but I was a bit quick off the mark and shelled them far too quickly. I didn’t know what to do with them, and as a result they went really wrinkly and leathery and I couldn’t use them. Which is a real shame. More thought, less haste! I understand now why pea companies are always boasting about ‘field to freezer’ within the hour. It really has to be that fast. The rest of my broadbeans look a bit miserable, thanks mostly to the blackfly that have plagued them since March. I don’t expect I’ll be getting another decent sized crop. But then I did plant about 4 plants per beanstick, which was just way too optimistic. I’ll give myself 5/10 for the broadbeans. Maybe I’ll try them again next year.


  1. Those tatties look great, and the sight of those red onions make my mouth water!

  2. Terrific spuds and lovely pic of the onion,

  3. Your potatoes look great!

    I have grown broad beans for the first time this year and I have also had a Black Fly invasion. I have added broad beans to everything. rissotto, soup etc. I think it was on a Jamie Oliver programme where you can make a pesto like sauce from them. I find them so much nicer fresh and with the skins removed.

    My BIL, is a veg growing wizz, and he has said next year pick the tops off earlier and grow some companion plants for onions inbetween. So that is what I am going to do next year. I think he said marigolds….

  4. Beautiful red onion – our onions are covered in horrid mould! I think I’ll not grow as many next year and use the beds for something else – after all onions are one of the things I can buy locally.

    Intrigued by what you bean by planting the broad beans “4 plants per beanstick”.
    Not a good year for broad beans – the bees were hiding from the rain and cold when the flowers were out!!!


  5. Compostwoman says

    Our BB were rubbish this year..not really blackfly, just small and pathetic….we have not had this problem before in the 11 years we have lived here?

    Ah well…next year. BUT iour onions are going great cuns , like yours! The red ones were not much good last week BUT the rain has made them grow, and grow, and GROW!

    Nice Charlottes, BTW!