Saturday, 3 December 2016

Food for winter

Vegetable Garden August 2016

After Storm Angus and Jack Frost had thrown their worst at the garden, I took a walk around the vegetable beds to see what had survived and was pleasantly surprised. Although the vegetable garden looks less than orderly or pretty at the moment, there is still plenty of produce to put on our plates for the coming months.

Here's what we have in the garden
Leeks
Oca
Dwarf kale
Purple curly kale
January King cabbage
Red cabbage
Swiss chard
Perpetual spinach
Parsnips
Swede
Beetroot
Lambs lettuce
Red oak leaf lettuce
Purple sprouting broccoli
Herbs

Stored in the freezer
Borlotti beans
Runner beans
Broad beans
Purple French beans
Patty pan courgettes
Tomatoes
Rainbow chard stems
Celery
Carrots
and fruit that includes
Apples (windfalls from our neighbours' garden)
Blackberries
White Currants
Rosehips
Elderberries
Plums
Mirabelles
Grapes (a gift from a friend)
Herbs

And stored in the larder
Onions
Garlic
Potatoes
Herbs
Plus a collection of sauces, jams, jellies and syrups.

Given that this is our first year, I am delighted with the range of vegetables and fruit that we have to see us through until the next crops arrive.

We have had to buy a few vegetables, but not very many, since the garden starting being productive and it feels quite strange to go to the fresh produce aisle. We have, of course, had to buy fruits like bananas, pineapples and citrus fruit. 

Since starting to plant the food forest I have discovered that we should be able to grow peaches, nectarines and apricots so I will be ordering trees very soon, to join the apple, pears, plums and cherries that I have already planted. I have taken hardwood cuttings of red, white and black currants, tayberry and loganberry. Although I don't eat nuts, Mr J does, so I have planted several hazel trees for hazelnuts and will be ordering a sweet almond tree too.

With all this abundance together with the eggs and meat from the chickens and ducks, I feel as though we have much more food security than we could have hoped for and, being able to buy meat from our friends, like the pork from Martha, means that we can be more certain of how and where our food is produced.

As Christmas is now only three weeks away, I have started to think about what we might have to eat over the holiday period, one thing that I can be sure of is that a large portion of it will be coming from our garden.
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