For most of December I’ve been down with ‘the lurgie’. Some sort of cold/’flu which involved sore throat, a cough, fever, and finally to top it all of about three weeks of sinusitis. Visits to the allotment have therefore been off the agenda. Finally, I made it down there yesterday to see how things have been. It was a lovely sunny day. Although the surface of the ground was frozen and crispy, the soil beneath was still soft and wet. The garlic and winter onion sets I put in at the end of November have sprouted. The elephant garlic from a couple of bulbs I kept back from last year’s harvest don’t seem to be doing anything. Maybe they got too dried out before I decided that I was going to use them this way.
Ideally I’d have picked sprouts a few weeks back but we ended up buying before Christmas. The surface leaves have been nibbled a bit but we had some of them last night and they were great. I think there will have to be another serving this week and possibly some bubble & squeak one day too.
On 18 July last year I sowed some extra rows of carrots. I didn’t thin them so they are packed tight in the drill but they have produced some lovely tasting carrots of various sizes. One spade-full produced this big pile. The larger ones we will have as they are and the tiny ones will probably end up in the soup. That is if I can stop myself eating them one by one as I pass through the kitchen!
The parsnips are “Tender and True” which I sprouted on a plate of paper kitchen towel on 14th March, and sowed the sprouts on 28th March. We love spicy parsnip soup. I’ve been harvesting them gradually but at last they are properly frosted and there are plenty more to come as long as I can get them out of the ground. We are due a few milder days later in the week so I might take the opportunity to lift some and store them in the garage.
Late in the year I sowed the salad bed with mizuna and land cress. They have flourished and I’ve been picking handfuls of each. These are definitely worth repeating as the combination of the two makes a great green soup with a peppery/spicy/meaty taste. The frost last night was even harder so it will be interesting to see how they have survived.
I have been debating whether this is the thing I should be giving up to make more time in my life – it’s certainly under review. The seed catalogues have started arriving. Time to do some armchair gardening. Sorting my bag of seeds and working out what to get for next season. Of course, once the seeds are ordered I’ll feel committed…