Friday, 24 April 2009

Home Grown Harvest - The Hard Way

Well - I don't know if it's a disaster or a triumph. The spinach, as mentioned in my last post, was going great guns on the kitchen windowsill. There's not a huge amount of advice on the back of the packet about when to plant out - in fact it disregards the process entirely - so MCD went for it, and planted out about half of the seedlings into the veg garden. So severely traumatised where they by the experience, they've all fallen over, and he now thinks they might be dying. So i am fiercely protecting the half left in the seed tray - they need to toughen up a little more I think, but at what stage do you plant out - does anyone know? How tall should they be? And further to the seed packets - a little rant. I wanted to grow Cavolo nero - or Tuscan black cabbage as you might know it. Quite distinctive and completely addictive with anchovies or chilli and garlic.... When we were buying our seed packets from the local garden centre, how can you tell if you're buying the right thing when the packet quite clearly shows an image of cavolo nero, but calls it curly kale - something else entirely - and if you haven't got that much space, it does make quite a difference. Who is making these decisions and why - where are they getting the information and is it even worth complaining when they might bamboozle you with a whole load of Latin genus and sub-genus jargon. Here in the office, we're starting to feel the whole world of vegetable naming (think swede/turnip or any of the various lettuces) is starting to become a bit like the world of fish - endlessly confusing with anyone sticking any old name on they fancy, be it right or not... Vis a vis sainsburys and their pollack/colin fiasco. Not that I'm sure anyone has the slightest problem with pollack, but we were under the impression - from holidays in France - that colin is hake - but then the only person to know all this absolutely and lay down the law was Alan Davidson - and he's no longer here. However, on a happier note the basil is coming through, it seems to like the terracotta pots as they're nice and deep, and the afore-mentioned cavolo nero seems to benefit from a little more water than we thought. In the garden, the broad beans are coming up thick and fast and we can start to see the tops of the onions and even a sprinkling of rocket. It's looking good...

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