Yesterday I nipped up to the plot to gather some vegetables for lunch. The first of the leeks, two varieties, I picked the largest of each. I have to say, rather smugly, that my leeks are the largest, by quite a big difference, on the plots that I walk past. It is early for leeks, but as I love them so, I start them off in spring, then prick them out and put them back into another seed tray (I never have enough room for a seed bed!) so that they are standing individually, water them assiduously in the summer of spring and then wait, with bated breath, whilst the onions who are occupying the space for the leeks to come to maturity. There was a point that I thought I had over egged the pudding and the leeks were looking quite sad for a couple of weeks and I thought they might die! Which would have been quite dreadful, but 96 leeks out of 96 leeks have survived.
I dug out some parsnips, these are Tender and True, they are rather nice if a little small. I haven’t cropped any of the other two varieties yet as I was working on the principle that these had the most foliage on them when I started to dig them out, so I’ve just followed that row. I have about a third of a row left of these before I start on the others.
Remember the dustbin potatoes, well these are the last lot. They are Pink Fir Apple, a salad variety which according to the books taste quite nutty, we haven’t tried them yet. Yesterdays lunch was roast pork, so they would not have worked, but today we have cold pork so these will work quite well, I’ll let you know. But the real beauty of these are that they were swapsies , of five seed potatoes given to me by my next door allotment holder, for five of Red Duke of York, I must ask her what she thought of those.
The brussels, well these are Bedford Fillbasket, which are an old variety. They seem to blow before they are formed, so I picked the best of what we have. I also picked some F1’s a mixture of Cascade and Wellington, it was interesting. The F1’s have the flavour and texture, but in the Bedfords defence we have not had a hard frost yet, so in the interest of fairness and along with that an awful lot of the old boys still grow Bedfords on the plot, I will reserve judgement until later in the year.
Today I gathered the last of the tomatoes. I could have done with a small child today. As I was picking these, a lovely memory came back to me, how my Grandad never used to let any of his grandchildren into his greenhouse until the autumn, and then, we were allowed to pick and eat any of the tiny red tomatoes that were left on the plants. We used to beg all summer, “can we have a tomato?”, the answer was always ‘No, they are for your Grandma”.. I think I may well have been the most persistent of the group, as my love for tomatoes is well known. And then at some stage at the end of summer, he would let us in, and we would like locusts, clear the plants.
After much work, I have an empty greenhouse. The glass still needs cleaning but it is empty.
You might have guessed it would not remain empty for long.
Salads for winter. The rocket is already sprouting.
A slight experiment, these are some winter cabbages/calabrese, that really should have gone in months ago. Actually I had fully formed plants of these varieties and no room on my plot so I gave them away. I doubt they will form hearts, but they will have nice leaves which will be a nice addition to our meals come the point in the year that nothing really grows.
Along with some chives and some basil, which will be taken home when the frosts become severe.
Another experiment, I’m trying to force some carrots and radishes along with preserving a root of mint, that will continue to grow in the greenhouse.
Is it a Kite or a Kestrel? I have no idea. Yesterday I saw this bird from a distance working the fields, it was beautiful. Today, for less than a few minutes it worked our plots, the closest it came was two rows away and I managed to get this wonderful photograph.
Then homeward bound, a rainbow,
and just before I left the plots, a little robin red breast, who I heard before I saw, he does look like a well kept lively chap doesn’t he.