Harvests, Gluts… and a Grumpy Christmas Tree

Cast your mind back to December, dear reader, when Ade and I decided to opt for the most eco-friendly of all the Christmas tree options, and decided to buy a small, pot-grown Nordmann Fir (which we named Radish) from a local farm, that we could re-pot after the festive period was over, keep him in the garden for a year, and then bring him back inside the following Christmas, ad infinitum.

All is not going to plan.

A few weeks ago, Ade and I noticed some discolouration on Radish’s needles, so we kept an eye on him, but it seems to be getting worse and worse. He also appears to be growing sideways, rather than up!

I’m wondering if the poor tree was so insulted that I named him Radish, on account of his bijou size and rotund shape, that he’s now slowing morphing into his namesake; he’s becoming redder and rounder by the day.

We’ve followed the care instructions provided; we gave him a good feed when we re-potted him, and we positioned him in a partially shaded spot, but he’s clearly not happy. Apparently, he’s a ‘disease-resistant, robust species’. Hmph. The discolouration started after we’d had quite a lot of rain, I’m wondering if it was too much for him? There does appear to be some new growth on the lower, green leaves, so that looks hopeful at least.

I’m wondering if anyone else has had any experience with pot-grown Nordmann Firs and whether this is a normal thing? Will he be okay? Will he make it to Christmas? Watch this space!

Anyway, on the kitchen garden front, everything is going full throttle, and for the first time ever, I seem to be keeping on top of the gluts. (I’m going to regret those words, aren’t I?) The fridge is comfortably full, the freezer is stashed with frozen gooseberries, cauliflower, beans, courgettes and broccoli, and the cupboards are filling up nicely with preserves. I am aware that we haven’t reached peak courgette yet, however, and looking at the number of plants out there, I’m anticipating a late summer deluge. But so far, so good.

This afternoon, Ade swapped the pruning shears for the pinny, to cook up some of our tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil into sauce for the freezer. It’s so handy having small tubs on standby, which can be quickly defrosted and used on homemade pizzas and tarts, and he’s done a splendid job.

I guess that means pizza is on the menu this week! Win! ❤️











9 thoughts on “Harvests, Gluts… and a Grumpy Christmas Tree

  1. I love my homemade passata- so much tastier than shop bought. I freeze mine in the 1 litre soup bags from Lakeland and still have quite a few left from last season- love it! There’s nothing like having a stash of home grown food –

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I do not know of many live Christmas trees that do well through summer nowadays. Like so many potted plants, they are grown in very synthetic or very foreign environments, and to not adapt to the real World at home very efficiently. Even blue spruce (in our region) is not very resilient, and it really does not want to be confined to a container anyway. To make matters worse, many live Christmas trees get planted into bad situations as they get to big (or disfigured) to work well as Christmas trees. As an arborist, I often encounter Italian stone pines that were planted under eaves and next to foundations, because they looked so cute and innocent as Christmas trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear… not good, is it? Our climate here in the UK is a little more temperate than where you are, and I know there are many people here who have managed to enjoy their potted Christmas trees for a few years, but it is proving to be a bit of a challenge. We’ve had some advice from a gardener on Twitter, so we’ll give that a go!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not handling the glut well, because my pantry and freezers are full already! I’ve already canned all the pickles we need next year, and yet they come. I only need to can diced tomatoes, but I’m picking baskets…We need to eat more, but as we age, we eat less…Too much left from last year, and since I rarely leave home, not giving much away. I’m going to work harder on that, but with the Senior Citizen closed, etc. I’m beginning to wonder where it all will go? Tomorrow, I will begin to look for options!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, at least you won’t starve! Sounds like you’ve been a very busy bee. I’m wondering if there might be a food bank near you? They might really appreciate the excess produce. 🤔


  4. Where do you get those pots from?! We clearly need some, not so much for this year but because her indoors is planning on planting lots more tomatoes next year, and I think we need to get set up for a glut in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you mean the plastic pots to freeze the tomato sauce? I’m not sure, my MIL gave me a stack of them a few months ago as she knows I’m always freezing our produce! I think they’re pretty widely available, to be honest. 😀


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