Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Christmas Dinner!

I've been trying hard this year to fill the 'hungry gap' - that's the time in Winter and early Spring when there is precious little in the edible garden. One of the focuses of my attention is growing some veggies for my Christmas Dinner! Not sure what variety these cabbage plants are. I was in a bit of a rush so bought some seedlings at my local garden centre a few weeks ago. These were labelled.....'cabbage' .. helpfully! No idea what variety they are, but I hope they will stand through the Winter and give me some edibles in Spring!
Fortunately I do know that this Purple Sprouting Broccoli is the ultra early variety 'Rudolph'. It has done well for me over the years and crops for ages. Fingers crossed I might get some purple florets showing in time for December 25th...
I am just so excited at my first attempt growing Brussels Sprouts. I did some research back in Spring and decided on a new F1 hybrid variety 'Bosworth'. You can see the lower leaves have started dying back, dropping and leaving a beautiful stalk. They are well on course for gracing my table on Christmas Day!
I was clearing up and digging over a spot today when I found a couple of lost potato plants! I think these were my first early 'Rocket'. Still completely OK, despite the awfully dry Spring and Summer. I might try a late variety next year, I have always loved Pink Fir Apple....mmm!
You might remember a few weeks ago I bought a tiny little plant in a pot which was labelled 'Christmas Potato' - well it seems to be doing very well in the greenhouse. I think the seed potatoes have been specially prepared to fool them into thinking it is Spring. Just one stem, I have been potting it up every couple of weeks and there really are little potatoes under there! Potatoes are greedy feeders so I might make some compost tea feed for it. Fingers crossed I will be eating fresh, new potatoes on Christmas Day too!
Finally, a thrilling success! I had a bumper crop of courgettes this Summer, and one of the things I did was pickle a few jars. I found a proprietary Kosher Dill Pickle mix (which is just sugar, salt, dill and spices I think) salted and rinsed the sliced courgettes and poured over the hot spiced vinegar. They are sensational!!!! Still crunchy and completely wonderful! No more problems with gluts of courgettes in the future! I have just one more jar left (I ate a whole jar today!) I'm not sure if they will still be here at Christmas...

10 Comments:

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Carole said...

I grow Pink Fir Apple and they are great. I'd recommend you try them next year.

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Matron, you are well on the way to having a full allotment dinner on the 25th Dec!Remind us of the courgette pickle next year when hopefully we will have lots to pot up.

 
At 11:59 PM, Blogger Lexa said...

Matron- you are well on your way to having lots of fresh, local produce on your Christmas table. Congrats to you!

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Jo said...

Fingers crossed that you get an allotment dinner on Christmas day. My potatoes in containers are growing well, I'm hoping they will be on my plate on Christmas day.

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Damo said...

I can't be without Brussel Sprouts and yours are looking good Matron. I'm trying that courgette pickle next year, we struggled to know what to do with some of ours, there were so many! And for Christmas I have my eye on the leeks for a turkey and leek pie to use up the leftovers.

 
At 9:16 AM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

It looks as though you have the Christmas vegetables sorted Matron.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Mr. H. said...

I love what you did with the courgettes, we will have to try that next season. Fresh produce from the garden in December will make for a really nice Christmas present.

 
At 7:54 PM, Blogger Rachael said...

Snap Matron - I too have set myself the goal of providing all home grown veg for Christmas dinner. I have a few Cara potatoes saved in the shed, parsnips (my first attempt) brussels (also my first attempt) but mine are only pea-sized at the moment, and either carrots (if there are any) or leeks. It will be very satisfying if it all comes off!

 
At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Lou Murray's Green World said...

Matron, brilliant idea of making dill pickles with your zucchinis. I got NO squash this year, I guess due to bad weather. First year I've not been able to grow squash. I'll try your dill pickle trick next year, assuming the squash grow.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Ian said...

You're an inspiration Matron. Maybe next year you'll complete the homegrown Christmas dinner by raising some turkeys?

 

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