I'm just back in this evening from a really interesting talk on hedgehogs, given to the Norfolk Organic Growers group, which I joined just before Christmas (I was lucky enough to get a gift membership as a Christmas pressie). The talk was given by a lady who volunteers her own time to run a rescue centre for these lovely little creatures....and she even brought in one of her current lodgers....so cute. Anyway, there's a lot that we can do as growers and gardeners to help these vulnerable mammals, so I'd encourage people to do a quick internet search to find out how.
Back to veggies, this week I've managed a couple of trips to the plot and have even brought some goodies home. I lifted a few leeks, picked some chard and snipped some corn salad.
Jan used up the chard and a lot of the corn salad almost straight away, making a delicious pizza. She also added some homegrown purple basil pesto, which I found another jar of in the freezer, in a place I wasn't expecting it to be - a nice surprise.
So as the chard had been eaten quick-smart I popped down again today to get a bit more greenery - first some small leaves of Nero and curly kale -
And a lot more chard - I leave some chard to go to seed so it pops up all over the place (and can easily be transplanted if it's in the way). I also got some more corn salad but didn't take a pic.
Talking of corn salad, here's the main bed that I have it growing in - I let it self-seed too - this bed originally had my maincrop potatoes in, with the corn salad germinating later - I also transplanted some clumps from where they'd germinated on top of the hay mulch which I had over the potatoes. They germinated on top of it because I'd laid some dried corn salad stems on top too.
Yum. I tend to snip off the bigger plants at soil level, and leave the rest to get bigger.
The Nero kale is still looking ok - the top leaves are quite small but picking from several plants gives a reasonable yield.
The autumn-sown broad beans (super Aqua-dulce) are looking healthy so far. I took a bit of inspiration from Sue Garrett of Our Plot on Greenlane Allotments, and sowed double seeds in some spots, because I had a few spare seeds after filling the bed. If I recall, Sue sows double at each station and gets a good crop. I'll see how my doubles do this year and maybe extend it across the whole bed next time. I'll be sowing a bed of spring beans too (Eleanora Express).
The garlic looks alright. This was planted in two sessions, so the ones at the back are only just coming through. I used broken-up bulbs from the organic veg stall but I think next time I'll buy a proper variety suited to our climate more. On the surface of the soil you can just make out the dissolving chicken-poo pellets I scattered when planting out the garlic. I'm wondering if it's better to scatter these in November or spring, as maybe some of the nutrients will wash through the soil over winter (or maybe it doesn't make much difference).
Still a few leeks to harvest. They're not very big but I try to harvest alternately-ish to leave space for the remaining leeks to grow-on.
And a shot across the main rotational beds on the plot (The two in the foreground are strawberries though). I have a lot of weeding to do! but am prioritising weeding under the fruit bushes, so the birds can get in and eat any overwintering pests in the soil. Plus I don't want to leave the soil bare as the nutrients will wash through otherwise. I've weeded and then covered the beds with large sheets of cardboard in previous years but I don't have any at the moment.
Oh, I've started volunteering at a community veg farm (Eve's Hill Veg Co) and will hopefully share some photos next week.
So that's it for me. I'm linking in with Harvest Monday, kindly hosted this month by Michelle at From Seed to Table.
P.S. Am posting a day late due to technical issues yesterday