26th March 2012

A lovely weekend and with the clocks going forward, the evenings are also available to carry on in the garden.  The veg growing now takes on an exciting tone filled with anticipation of what's to come.  I did some more sowing of:

kohlrabi and beetroot in seed trays and peas in a rain gutter which I like to start off in the greenhouse.

I grow peas in the gutter to try and minimise and losses by mice/squirrels.

I also sowed some turnips, rocket and coriander directly in drills outside.

We had visitors round on Sunday and I cooked rhubarb crumble using of course, the forced rhubarb which had lovely pink stems.  Most of it got eaten and I finished it off tonight.

For the main course, I made some more leek pie for the vegetarians amongst us and I roasted the last of the parsnips that had started to sprout new green shoots; so time for them to go.  Do you like the T rex and half a brontosaurus?


20th March, 2012

I managed to get some seed sowing underway at last.

So I have sown some aubergine (moneymaker), tomato (cristal and tigerella), pepper (gypsy) and sweet basil which are on a windowsill indoors.

In the greenhouse I have got spring onions, radish and lettuce.

The leeks I sowed three weeks ago are starting to germinate.

There will be more sowing next weekend when I have can dedicate two days to the garden.

12th March, 2012

Another busy weekend with my son's swimming club; it was the second weekend of the County Championships which meant sitting in a swimming pool and anxiously watching his times.  He came away with a gold and 3 bronzes.  Not too bad.  I did manage to enjoy the weather and take some photos.  This church is very distinctive of where I was. Anyone care to guess?

I did have some time on Sunday morning for a quick tour of the garden to take some pictures for this blog. The purple sprouting broccoli is ready!

The blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes have fresh green leaves breaking out.

The overwintered onions look puny at this time.

The broad beans have started to throw up new shoots from the base to compensate for the floppy main stem.

Next weekend I have Sunday free to start sowing and probably take more time over taking the photos to check that they are in focus!

5th March, 2012

A rainy weekend and family commitments precluded much work getting done.  Usually on miserable days it's a good time to catch up on some cooking.  I'm clearing out the freezer for this season's bounty and came across some blanched parsnip chunks.  What to do with them apart from the same old roasting? Well we have this marvellous vegetarian cookbook which doesn't appear to have a bad recipe in it, so I tried the parsnip casserole for the first time.  I have to admit it didn't sound appetising, but it tasted wonderful.  Quite a surprise and definitely one to have again.

I also made a leek pie from the same book, again an absolutely lovely meal.

As you can probably work out, the meals are based around what is available (isn't that what veg gardening is all about anyway?).  I decided it was time to start eating the leeks.  They look like this.

They aren't very big at about 6" long in the picture above.  But they are tasty and seem to not be infected with the allium leaf miner that I had last year.  Maybe planting out late (July!) helps?

The potatoes are chitting nicely.  It's probably not necessary but it's fun to mark it in the blog and share with other chitters.  It's what veg growers do to mark the season's beginning.