Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hidden treasure

Lets not waste time with all the reasons for not posting, or wring hands over computer melt downs,  and a forgotten email address, oh how the list goes on. As someone said to me this week, "Never mind the why, let's just solve the problem" so onwards to the ever fascinating, richly rewarding world of gardening. 
I realise, emptying the camera, I haven't got the photos I thought I had, and the yams are doubley invisible because not only no photo, but we ate the superlative yielders before it became apparent that the other variety was such a poor cousin. 


Come winter and the crops are mostly underground. You don't know until you dig quite what the performance level is going to be. I had two varieties of Jerusalem Artichoke also, one had gazillions of these little satellite creamy  nodules and the other was a monster red sort of knobbly football, covered in long roots. It looked strangely like a futuristic space ship. 
Well as you can see, one comes as smooth portioned crunchy tubers, a quick scrub with the vegetable brush (which is a nail brush most of the time) and they store in the fridge for weeks. 
The others are too big for the fridge and  too knobbly to get the dirt out easily. We are juicing them with carrots, apple, and ginger. It tastes virtuous with earthy undertones. 

I broadcast the carrot seed over quite a large plot this year, nevermind rows and thinning and all that palaver. Pulled out all the big ones first,  as you do when you're making tea in a hurry, and now I'm clearing the plot to make way for peas.
 I've got a feeling I've gone awry already with my rotational theory and it should be potatoes next. However I seem to be shoehorning things in where I can this year. It's early days in this garden, there is time to iron that out as the soil quality lifts. 
I'm stripping a section at a time, pull a bucketful of carrots, scrub and  sort into small for snacks, medium for cooking (halved) ,and large for anything else, carrot and artichoke soup, carrot cake and juice.
 It's brilliant having them all ready to go and the small ones are the best instead of being a nuisance. 

What with a mild winter, there are a few sporting 'carrot beard', that mass of tiny roots that sprouts as they  begin to grow again so yes it is good timing to lift and deal with them. 

What a great result from one artichoke plant, five was probably one plant too many for us this year. One of my yams produced nearly a bucketful like this one of artichokes.  

Anyway the mild winter seems to have been just as productive as a lacklustre summer.  Perhaps it's just that I hadn't fenced the garden with expectations and I have been free to seize every opportunity and enjoy every small thing.