There is nothing as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown. ~ Alice B. Toklas

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb…

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

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I don’t know about you but I always look forward to the first rhubarb  of the season.  Seeing the leaves grow bigger and bigger, pushing them aside to find the juiciest sticks and giving them a gentle tug is one of life’s simple pleasures.

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I pulled a dozen sticks – which in supermarket terms is £4.50’s worth – surely it must be one of the most worthwhile crops to grow.  It just keeps coming and coming – the more you pull the more you get.  I know some of you have more than one type planted  but I personally think one crown is enough.

I soon get fed up with the constant supply – even though I have tried many ways of eating it; rhubarb and strawberry compote; rhubarb pie; rhubarb gingerbread puddings; rhubarb and banana fool; rhubarb and ginger jam; rhubarb chutney there are plenty of different ways to use it up – you only have to take a look at Pinterest under the heading of Rhubarb to see just how many recipes there are.

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I personally don’t bother forcing mine but I do try to pull the stalks before they get too big and stringy.  I don’t bother freezing much either as it takes too much room up in the freezer but I do have a daily bowlful during the season – which for me is up until July – then I leave it alone, generally, to give the plant a chance to recover.  I once read an article on some long-lived gentleman who said that his secret to a long life was rhubarb – so you never know – it may work for me too!

“The first ‘forced’ rhubarb, those gently tart stalks that appear in the market around Christmas time, came to prominence in the 1800’s, thanks to an ‘accident’ at Chelsea Physic Garden.  The story goes that it was here in the winter of 1815, when the garden’s rhubarb patch was accidentally covered with builder’s rubble, that this particularly fine-tasting form was first discovered.  The pale pink stalks that were unearthed by the gardeners in early spring were found to be extraordinarily mild and sweet, and a new kitchen ingredient was born.” ~ Nigel Slater

I’m just away now to make a rhubarb crumble for Sunday lunch – happy days!

Elaine

Friday, 24 April 2015

A Busy Time of Year for Veg Growers …

 

Well, it’s been almost six months since I posted – I guess you could say that I am a fair weather blogger as far as the kitchen garden is concerned.  But I haven’t been idle – oh no – there has been lots going on in the background.  Plans have been made and carried out, the raised beds have been cleared and are ready for planting and it’s all systems GO.

One bed has been planted with potatoes - Charlotte earlies and another sown with Hurst Greenshaft and Kelvedon Wonder peas.  I decided to direct sow this year, trying to keep the work load down and simplify the gardening tasks.  The third bed is reserved for two Courgette plants and the fourth for PSB.  Anything else I want to grow will be in containers – Runner Beans, French Beans, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Lettuce, Leeks and Chard.  Have you noticed that I have reduced the variety of veg that I shall be growing this year – I am only growing veg that is obviously better tasting than shop bought or more expensive to buy.

These are a few pictures of what is happening so far. 

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PSB, Greenhouse Toms, Sweet Peppers, Cucumbers, Courgettes, Leeks, Lettuce and French Beans.

Most of these will be potted on before they are planted out – waiting for the last frosts.

It’s good to be back in the swing of things again isn’t it and I hope we all have a successful veg growing season.

To see what is happening in the flower garden pop over to the latest post on Rosebank Ramblings

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

New Life …

Parsley seeds – saved from my own plants – sown a couple of weeks ago – have sprung into life.

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Elsewhere – everything vulnerable has been cloched as the weathermen predicted frost – it never happened.

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The weather is still incredible for the time of year – encouraging growth.  Even the stump of a tomato plant has started re-growing.

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