Sunday, 11 January 2009

At the allotment

I have neglected my allotment over the past few months.  Last summer was not a very successful year for salads and vegetables generally although I my soft fruit did quite well.  

At the end of the season I had lost a lot of my enthusiasm. Luckily the allotment didn't know this and quietly all by itself produced this midwinter harvest for me.  The leeks aren't very big but there are plenty of them and I will be harvesting them over the next couple of months.

Parsnips have done well after an almost total failure the year before.  We enjoy roasted parsnips but we have loads and I will have to find some different recipes to make the most of them.

Another welcome success was lambs lettuce.  I have never had much success with winter lettuces but lambs lettuce seems to be foolproof.  It isn't attacked by slugs and although the local deer population have been feasting on my spinach beet and american cress, the lambs lettuce has been left untouched.

Another reason I like it is that I no longer need to buy seeds each year.  I always let some of the plants go to seed waiting until they have shed most of their seeds before pulling them up.  If there are seeds remaining I give the plants a good shake as I carry them to the compost bin. After several years I now have plants self seeding all over my plot.  I have to clear some to plant other crops but I still have plenty growing all around the edges of the beds and even under currant bushes making use of vacant patches of soil.  In places they grow really thickly to form an edible weed-suppressing ground cover - all for free!

The rest of the allotment is lying still at the moment waiting for the spring and it is time for me to start planning next summers crops.


Heather L. said...

What wonderful winter produce you have!!! I'm going to buy some leeks this week to have with fish, I think. They won't be as nice as yours!

I got North & South from the library and have already started reading it. Can't wait to see the similarities/dissimilarites. I did have to wonder on the show of affection at the end -- but it made for a nice 21st century ending. :)

So glad you enjoyed "Understood Betsy". I thought it was a sweet book too.

Moonroot said...

Re the parsnip glut - I just made the most delicious cream of curried parsnip soup, which I heartily recommend!