February 7

Harvest Monday 07/02/22

We have had a strange winter here on the south coast. Very little wind, evident from the fact that we have not had the sand blown off the beach and along the road at all this year, and little rain. That is not to say, however, that we haven’t had storms with a lot of wind and rain in one heavy drop. I do wonder if this is the future.

The downside of this is that the weather has been grey. Dreary and grey. The upside is that I have been able to do quite a bit of work outside in December and January. We had an official complaint about rats which is tricky as we border houses and have had to re-organise our plots to ensure that it isn’t us providing the perfect conditions for them. It turned out it wasn’t but we have all had to move our compost bins and other detritus from the bottom of our plots and store it elsewhere. I found carpet under the soil, a burial pit of plastic bags, many, many tree and bramble roots plus all my poles and wood. I also had to move 5 large compost bins most of which were ready to use and that has been strenuous but warming work.

From the store we have been pulling out potatoes – we’re still eating Charlotte – and carrots which are a mixture of Autumn King and Oxheart. We are also valiently working our way through a Queensland Blue squash that is delicious with a firm flesh but is quite large and has lasted for about 3 weeks already. Memo to self – eat more squash!

From the plot we have Brussel sprouts and Kalettes, Parsnips (Tender and True), lettuce (Rouge Grenoble), lambs lettuce (Vit) rainbow chard, Boltardy and Bona beetroot and fennel from the tunnel.

Over-wintered red admiral which came in to the kitchen on the vegetables.

When I brought the veg in yesterday, a Red Admiral came in with them. Its wings look a little tatty at the edges, particularly the bottom so I think it must have over-wintered here as it is not really the right time for the migrating ones to arrive. Apparently, down here in the south that is happening more and more.

I put it outside but with a fairly heavy heart as it really wasn’t warm enough.

It is the first year that I have almost grown enough sprouts! I had 8 plants which I started picking at the beginning of December and still have a few left to go. I think 12 plants next year would be fantastic and I won’t have to ration them! They were of a good size probably because I grew F1 varieties – Crispus and Brodie – rather than open-pollinated which seem to be a lot more variable. I have been trying to grow more OP vegetables but sometimes F!s are better. Food is becoming a lot more expensive here for a variety of reasons so getting the best crops is more important.

I’m off to finish the bug pit on the wildlife plot before seed sowing starts in earnest. Have a good week.

I have linked to Harvest Monday on the Happy Acres blog. Do visit to see what else is being harvested around the world.