Itching Up To Get In Your Kitch-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!
March 25, 2014
That Was The Food Week That Was!
August 2, 2014
So as promised (to myself) I am now trying to note down everything I do in the kitchen garden - if not to help and inspire a few others, but more to help me remember what to do and, maybe more importantly, what not to do.
So today I have mostly been clearing up - I've learned the hard way that clearing your plot is actually just as important as sowing, harvesting or treating - because it is far too easy to let things go to seed and run wild.
Now going to seed is actually something that should be embraced - to an extent. A recent visit to The Ethicurean in Wrington showed us the virtue of using everything a plant throws at you - rocket flowers, radish seed pods, brocolli that goes over. Nothing is poisonous - so try it for yourself. At worst, the flowers or seeds will be bitter. At best, they will taste of concentrated versions of their former selves and will be delicious in a salad, or in that main dish you are trying to perfect.
Clearing the Summer Peas / Broad Beans - a good harvest was enjoyed by us (and the mice) this year - both have now gone over, the peas being bullied now by wild jersusalem artichoke stalks - sprouting up from last year's crop that weren't totally harvested.
If you have jerusalems, then when they become four foot high or so, cut the stalks right down to ground level - this will stop any damage caused by the wind, but more importantly will concentrate all the growth into the tubers.
In place of the broad beans, plant out your leeks - lots of them, teeny tiny stalks. A good tip for leeks - trim the roots to one centremetre, trim the green tops slightly. Next, poke your finger into the soil and drop in the baby leek - don't pack the soil in; don't firm up around them. They will look slightly pathetic to start with, but as time goes on, the roots will take and the stalks will grow into the hole you produced, with no pressure from the surrounding soil - meaning thick, tightly packed foliage come late Winter.
Harvesting the Garlic - another resounding success and hugely satisfying pulling them from the ground, the garlic is the type that the French would die for - the beautiful, pink and purple tinged variety that is great for cooking and roasting in equal measure. If you are clever, you'd have picked off the scapes (the scorpion-like tails they produce) back in mid Spring - cook them in butter, gently for a few minutes for the gourmet snack.
Once harvested, you need to dry out the bulbs (stalks intact, important) - I stick them on a bench in the greenhouse. You could leave them on the beds to dry (but the rain is unpredictable).
Once dried out (another week I think) you can then try and plait your produce. Defo increasing the crop for next season - 100 bulbs should see us through the year.