After the business of putting in more plants last week, it’s been a quiet one on the allotment. With sharing the allotment even the watering is halved which is great and has left me more time for the garden and planning ahead.
My peas were hit by the strong winds (first freezing temperatures and now strong winds, there is always something to worry about!) and the Ave Juan peas had some of the tops snapped off. I’m sure they’ll recover though and I’ll be more vigilant in future and wrap with a fleece. I have tried the first of the Ave Juan peas (delicious but still rather small) and mangetout (lovely). Having many times waited for the ‘perfect time’ to harvest and then had veg overripe or going to seed my policy is to just pick, eat and enjoy as soon as I want it. My other peas, Blackdown Blue, are flowering now too and have the most beautiful flowers.
I realised that I really hadn’t planned far ahead and, as always, had become wrapped up in summer/autumn veg potentially leaving empty beds in the winter. In the garden, I have a brassica cage which is now planted up with kale, cabbage, sprouts and calabrese but that’s it for winter veg. My plan has always been to grow what we like so with this in mind I’ve been considering what to add. We get a weekly veg box from the fantastic local organic farm – I collect it every Saturday and it is one of the highlights of my week (I don’t get out much at the moment!) – I love the surprise of seeing what we’ll get, it makes me be more creative in my cooking, I get to see where my veg is grown and love that has only walked across 2 fields to reach my kitchen. And, most importantly, I know that it has been grown without the use of any chemicals.
So this has opened me up to a whole new range of vegetables that I could be growing. And I think the winners are cauliflower (cauliflower cheese with homemade bread has become a favourite in the house) and chard – we stir fry a lot and this is such a tasty addition as well as being beautiful and easy to grow.
I’ve also ordered some winter lettuces and sugar snap peas – it might be too late for this year but I’m going to give it a go, I couldn’t resist after seeing how much the children loved them! So my mission now is to plant these and then try to squeeze them into spaces in the garden or allotment.
More about Lucy...
Lucy is part of the fantastic Heritage Seed Library team, working hard to grow and preserve seed varieties that are no longer available so that our members can enjoy growing them at home. Raising two young children, Lucy is keen to grow an array of fruit and vegetables to become more sustainable and to encourage her children to get involved in growing.
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