Growing vegetables all year round. January 2010 updatePosted by Fiona Nevile in General care, Vegetables | 13 comments
It’s still very cold here. There was snow yesterday and a bit more last night – just a sugar frosting. So pretty if you can stay indoors tucked up beside a glowing woodstove. The fur lined wellingtons that my mum gave me last Christmas have really come into their own this winter as they have grippy soles and don’t slip in the snow and ice.
The brassicas are much sweeter since the hard frosts and the Brussels sprouts are to die for. Completely different from the ones available in the shops. Today I’m planning to pluck some of the kale – Black Tuscany that offended us so much back in October. I’m also going to take Suzanna’s advice and take the smaller leaves from the centre of the plant. I’ve just read all the comments on that post and they are bursting with great ideas for cooking with kale.
I have some small Webb’s lettuces growing under an open ended cloche. In the snowy weather they looked a bit unhappy but have perked right up again now most of the snow has gone. The mizuna and Italian lettuce leaves that are growing under domed cloches in the kitchen garden pots are doing well.
But the biggest surprise of all is how well the peas are doing under one of the giant homemade cloches. These cloches are great but I had to buy more anchoring pegs as the fleece has a tendency to blow off on a windy day, leaving the pea and carrot seedlings exposed.
I ran out of paraffin for the greenhouse over Christmas so was a bit worried about the temperature in the greenhouse. It is bubble wrapped on the inside and has an enormous curtain of bubble wrap over the door (courtesy of Freeman Harding’s generous packaging around the last delivery of jam jars). I had a peep yesterday afternoon and the thermometer told me that the temperature had not dropped below -2. So the bubble wrap has proved its worth!
I’ve decided to give our organic garden a boost by using biodynamic gardening techniques in 2010. I’m hoping to increase production by at least 25% – optimistic but not impossible. This should give us surplus crops to sell on the gate side stand as well as dehydrate for use later in the year.
By attempting to grow vegetables all year round we’ve already saved hundreds of pounds. But it’s the connection with nature and the changing seasons that I’ve enjoyed the most. It is wonderful to be able to harvest ultra fresh and tasty vegetables – with just minutes between plot and plate. I feel especially blessed.
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