Finally, finally, there is food growing in our garden.
I vowed last year that I wouldn’t try to grow vegetables again. Every year I start off with good intentions, but then forget to water, or the snails eat everything.
Every spring I remember these failures, but with distance, they don’t seem so bad. And so I plant more seeds, and things get eaten again.
But every year there’s something. We’re never going to be entirely self sufficient (except in fennel, lemon balm, and mint), but every year there’s a small harvest. And each year it’s something different, without me even planning it that way.
In 2010, I grew peppers, rhubarb, courgette, spinach, rainbow chard, tomatoes and broad beans.
In 2011, I grew and dried a lot of herbs, more tomatoes, and, er, pizza topping.
In 2012, we grew pea shoots, and then pretty much gave up on veg growing and enjoyed the flowers instead.
This year we have broad beans. Not many, but an improvement on the year we grew ONE broad bean pod. I haven’t grown chard, there will be no tomatoes, and my cabbage and kale plants haven’t grown at all for weeks now. All my squashes were eaten, and I moved the rhubarb, which it found so objectionable I didn’t dare harvest any.
We also have garlic – just a few cloves. These were an accident, leftover from two summers ago when they were lost amongst the weeds and left in the ground. They’re misshapen and tiny, but that’s one more thing not to buy.
And fruit. Years ago I bought fruit bushes for £1 and wondered if they’d grow. They did, and we’ve had some fruit, but this year we have lots. Redcurrants and blackcurrants and blueberries and gooseberries and even a few raspberries. A garden full of glorious jewels.
This morning I picked some redcurrants for my porridge. They’re tangy and tart, and another time I’d probably make jam, but right now I’m enjoying seeing them sprinkled over my breakfast.
So we might not have the perfect kitchen garden here, but there are things growing that we can eat, and a lovely sheltered spot to eat them in.
And sunshine! Glorious sunshine, for days and days now. Finally it feels like summer has arrived! Today has been hot and muggy, and tomorrow we will have thunderstorms – just in time for the annual Green Fair. I’ll be there with our local Transition Towns group, and we’ve got our gazebo ready, just in case.
How’s your garden looking? Have you harvested anything yet? What are you up to in the sunshine?
I got the most gigantic tomato plant given on Thursday from the Great Yorkshire Show. It has literally hundreds of fruit or potential fruit on it. My stepson brought home two courgette plants from a colleague’s surplus planting. These are now in fine flower in my conservatory along with the Big Tom. In the garden we have gooseberries and redcurrants (the gooseberry was rescued from an abandoned allotment years ago).
Ooh, your tomato plant sounds utterly ENORMOUS! What will you make? I was surprised to find mine actually growing the other day! We also have gooseberries, I’m never quite sure when they’re ready to harvest…