Since I started growing vegetables two years ago I’ve comforted myself that I’m a beginner and that if anything grows is a bonus. It seems that this year my beginners luck has run out as far as Cauliflower growing goes. Unlike the creamy tight balls I have previously grown this years crop has been more flower like than cauli. Despite covering their creaminess with leaves to keep them safe from the sun I have been left with the rather unattractive sprouting look.
The good news is though that they taste just as good in soup. And with winter upon us I’ll be rustling up plenty this week before these plants finally go to seed for real.
Aside from the dodgy cauliflower there is plenty still flourishing in the kitchen garden. The celery is still tall and strong. I’m harvesting as I need a few stalks so we’ll have plenty to keep us going for a while. The broad beans are shooting up and about ready for tying in to save from the retched winds that are most definitely on their way this week. My favourite tall vegetables are the fennel which makes a mean risotto now MT has found his risotto making mojo again.
The cabbages, beetroot and parsnips are keeping us well stocked too. The leeks look very promising – can’t wait for Spring to see them in their full glory.
There is something heart warming to wander down the garden and wander amongst the kitchen garden. The bassets see it as the biggest snack cupboard to raid. I am content to discover what’s ready for picking and plan what might be on the menu for the coming weeks.
For all the gardening books I have there is nothing that prepares you for what actually happens when it comes to vegetable growing. Nothing like experience to teach you how things work. I’ve bought myself a beautiful notebook this week to start my full Backyard Pantry masterplan. With the wet and windy weather this weekend it’s a perfect opportunity to start planning for next year.
I’ve got my sights on a cloche system that will support poly sheets as well as sun shade (for the pesky cauliflowers), insect net (to keep the pesky white cabbage butterflies) and fleece to keep the plants warm (to keep off the pesky frost). But first I need to plan out what I’m going to grow and in what quantities. Planting will start in the barn in August to give me the best start this year.
Although we could never eat all that we grow it gives me a real buzz to drop off a bag of vegetables to the neighbours or to my city slicker friends. I may also give away extra plants from seeds to people to see if I can make the growing bug into a virus.