3 May 2012

Feast, veggie style

Veg patch dinner April 12

Writing about the veg patch last year, I was using words like 'herbalicious' and 'lush' and reporting conversations with the children here as everyone crept out of their winter hibernations and started looking forward to the summer harvests. The weather this year has meant that it's been tricky to get started properly. Early spring gave us warm days and very cold nights - hopeless for sowing! - then... well, need I say it? Wet.

I'm behind with sowing because, before I can put anything more out, I need to fence off all the beds and borders against unwanted intruders of the four legged kind; there's been a lot of nocturnal digging and *shudders* toilet-ing going on in the garden. The cauliflowers seem to be a popular spot, thank goodness for long stems.

Newly planted herbs have been tossed around, carrots and potatoes have been disturbed in their pots and sacks. It's too frustrating. The onion bed has survived because I made a little plastic netting fence for it. Very fiddly to make but, so far, effective. The broad beans are also surviving but are covered in chicken wire which is a bit hazardous - both for small children and foxes' noses, I imagine.  The brassicas are being left alone, even by the pigeons, although I popped wire cages over the cabbages, just in case.

So, with all this mayhem going on in the garden, I'm pleased that I've been able to enjoy several very tasty veggie suppers.  The basket above shows kale, tenderstem cauliflower, sprout tops and sprout shoots. Chopped, sliced, steamed, seasoned and buttered, they've filled the hungry gap very nicely.


9 comments:

  1. I have only just had my breakfast, but that it making me hungry again! I can't wait to be munching on cauliflower and kale!

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    1. Mine, as you probably know, are plants that have overwintered. Such a treat to have really fresh veggies - plus I've just found a recipe for cauliflower soup that sounds really good! Will post on this if it works out!

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    2. I also meant to say that it won't be long before you're eating your own produce - reading your blog, it sounds as though you've been really busy! Good idea bringing your seeds indoors in the warmth to help them germinate in the cold : )

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  2. Yum! There's nothing to harvest from my allotment now, and the veggies I put in the freezer have nearly gone too.

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    1. Oh Jo, what a shame! you work so hard during the year, sowing and planting. I'm always impressed by the amount and variety of your produce. I think I just got lucky with my winter veg - a tray of sorry looking seedlings in either Morrisons or Homebase (can't remember which), planted out with a bit of fingers crossed and now I have cabbages and kale. The brussels have finished but the caulis (as we know) will go on for a bit longer. I'm going to harvest them for soup for the freezer.

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  3. I hate it when I have to net and protect everything - half the pleasure of growing your own is to see it growing, if you know what I mean. Sadly, protection is necessary against all sorts of things. You veggie feast is pretty good for this time of year.

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    1. High praise indeed, coming from you Elaine! I must say I'm rather enjoying my winter/spring veg, particularly as it's so nice to see things growing at this time of year, rather than empty beds. The netting is actually not too intrusive so I can still keep an eye on things. In fact, I think it's better than the chicken wire I had before as I can open up one side of the netting to more easily get at the veg. ; )

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  4. Hi Caro,

    Enjoying your blog. I have to say those four-legged fiends are getting me down. The last thing I want to be doing is digging up their mess but neither do i want my lettuce to be growing side by side with it. Do you dig it up and throw away?

    Also I would be interested to know how you construct your netting to protect your plants.

    Thanks Max

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    1. Hello Max, thanks for taking the time to comment. As I garden in a community space, I often wonder what goes on during the night as I find bottles, cigarette ends, crisp packets, etc, as well as animal poo. Over the years I've learned to rise above the poo (it's not as if they know better!) but the other trash is disheartening. Any plants growing on ground level (salads, beets, strawberries) are protected, poo found near caulis and fruit trees is swiftly removed with a trowel into a nearby bin! I'll write up a post about the fencing as you, plus others, have made me realise that this is quite a universal problem, especially for urban growers!

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Caro x

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