January 2

New seeds for 2018

I have just finished listing all of the seeds I have for 2018 and am just wondering if I have too many. Of course I do but there is always something new that catches my eye.  Here are this year’s new seeds:

Chinese Cabbage Scarlette

I saw this on Our Happy Acres on the posts that list what they harvest every Monday. I have not grown Chinese Cabbage before but what really drew me was the colour! I got the seed from Simply Seeds and I understand that they are best grown in the autumn so something to sow in June.  The packets says that they are frost hardy, not that we get a lot of frosts down here on the south coast.

I am not entirely sure how you cook Chinese cabbage. Stir fry? However, good ol’ BBC food has a selection here to get me going.

Lettuce Pigale Pills

I think I might have a bit of a thing for red vegetables this year. This is a Little Gem type of lettuce that is said to be sweet-tasting and has good resistance to bolting, tipburn and mildew – all of which I need.  The interweb says that it can be sown from March to July so can be grown over a fairly long time span, the later ones probably better off outside rather than in the polytunnel. We eat a lot of salads in the summer – have you seen the list of lettuce I grow on the page at the side?  We eat tons – tons I tell you! This will add colour to the salad bowl.


Cabbage April

No this is not a red cabbage – ha! This is a cabbage for early spring to be sown in July or August. I can never grow enough of these so I am going to try this one outside and in the polytunnel to try and stagger the harvest. The thing that attracted me was the description that it grows well in well-drained soil and that is definitely what we have on our plots. Some might call it sand.  The 5cm of compost/manure I am adding to each bed every year as part of no-dig growing is starting to ameliorate this but I thought it was worth a try.


I can not lie! I know what I like in tomatoes and it is Black Russian, also known as Noir Crimee, Costoluto, Sungold, Tigerella and St Pierre and I have grown these every year for the last 6 or 7 years. I do also like to throw in Green Zebra every now and then and will do so this year just to give a range of colours. This year I am trying out a couple of new varieties just to see how they taste and crop – taste being the most important thing. This year it is  Rosella and Zlatava. Why have I picked them?  That is a really good question. I have to admit that it was more stick a pin in the page than a careful, thoughtful choice but she who dares wins as they say. Kings describe Rosella as a deep-pink cherry tomato (nearly red!) with the taste of blackberries, raspberries and other summer fruits. I couldn’t resist but I am a little doubtful. I will of course update you. Zlatava is orange on the outside and guess what colour on the inside?  I thought they might be an interesting. Kings do say that they have an excellent flavour.  We shall see.

What are you growing that is new to you this year?

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December 11

Harvest Monday 11th December 2017

Over on the excellent blog Our Happy Acres every Monday, bloggers get together and share what they have harvested that day. I thought I might join every fortnight. After all, there are only so many interesting ways you can photograph leeks!

In the polytunnel, I  have a couple of cabbages for over the Christmas holiday. We particularly like these with sauerkraut, raw beetroot, mackerel and horseradish sauce. Sounds disgusting, tastes lovely.

The peppers are sweet peppers and are a chocolate colour. I found these last few lingering on the plant. I did think I would try and save this plant and keep it going over winter by cutting it back quite hard but it is very cold this week and it may not survive.



These veg are what I think of as typical winter veg.  The parsnips are really quite big and too my annoyance I snapped one off as I was digging it up. There are three different types of kale, curly leaved, Tuscan and one other with red midribs which I am not sure about. They are all great in soups or casseroles.



And finally there are the herbs and spinach again from the polytunnel.  The flat-leaved parsley grows all winter here and with 5 plants, I have enough to see me through until late spring.  There is also some lemon grass in here which I grew from seed. I use it in a raw carrot, ginger and lemon salad which is one of those fresh dishes that you sometimes crave during winter.  The spinach is just a small handful now and will sit there until spring when it starts growing again.


What have you been harvesting this week?