Wednesday, 15 December 2010

December Occupations

The snow melted away at the weekend, so it was time to get out and do a bit of gardening. A bit of rough digging, tidying and excavating beckoned. The top of the soil was still a bit frozen but only about an inch deep, so it was easy to punch through. I decided to get all the parsnips up; with more snow and very low temperatures forecast for tomorrow, it would be the last chance to get them out, so here is a bucketful of parsnips, very delicious.
I also dug up some Jerusalem Artichokes (above) - the ones that had escaped their own bed and were growing in the bed next door. I like artichokes, but the downside is - ahem - they make you "windy", if you get my drift! For those unfamiliar with this vegetable, here's a link to the Wikipedia article on them. They're a true winter vegetable, I dig them up once they've stopped growing in December, through to January, eating some and replanting some for next year. I got them at a greengrocer in Suffolk a few years ago, brought them home and planted them up. It took a couple of years for them to settle in and grow on, but now they're prolific.

One other thing I did this week was to sow some Himalayan Poppy seeds - I've heard they need a cold spell to germinate, so I carefully sowed them in the pot with the parent plant as it is armour plated against snails and slugs.

All that's left to do now is hibernate with some gardening catalogues and my laptop: I did the bulk of my Christmas shopping during the thaw when I could get about, I have a 25 kilo bag of bread flour in the kitchen, along with some big bags of lentils; parsnips and artichokes in the fridge, brussel sprouts on the allotment waiting for Christmas day, so I'm all set for the snow. Hope you all enjoy the wintry weather (those of you in the cold part of the world, anyway!) and have a good Christmas.
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