They’ve got legs…….at last!!
At long, long, last! with the coming of the beautiful, hot, sunny weather, all is beginning to grow. I was starting to think I would be harvesting very slim pickings this year, but my fears are gone…..abundance is commencing 🙂 In the poly tunnel the cucumbers are forming and it’s looking like the ‘Year of the Tomato’, so lots of lovely fresh passata soon. The mini corns, French beans, and pumpkins are all well on the way and the courgettes are bearing fruit already. What is hugely abundant is the mangetout and sugar snap peas, which are delicious both cooked and raw and are so sweet. We had so many in salads in this lovely warm weather. The peas (in the pods) are coming into their own and are like eating sweets, they are so delicious. As I write this I am reminded of a line in a song that my children used to sing, about peas and broad beans sleeping in a blanket bed :)) and they truly taste like they have been nurtured, loved and cared for in that bed.The swedes and cabbages are coming along under their white, netting shield (to protect from those pesky bugs, pretty horrid cutting into a cabbage next February and finding its a caterpillar home!). What is still a little disappointing is the turnips, beets and carrots…… perhaps it’s just not their year, but I have hope and will continue loving them in the hope they will reward me. The potatoes are ready for their second haunching and promise a huge return and after a ‘berrieless’ year last year, the raspberrries, tayberries,redcurrents, whitecurrents and strawberries are doing me proud and remind me of how they are truly supposed to taste, so different to the supermarket ones! And to top it all the Nasturtiums look beautiful with their firey, orange flowers and add a real zing to salads and the summer table.
I remember as a very small child, maybe 5 or 6 years old, my mother giving me some seeds to plant in a small area of ground in our garden. I was so excited….I could not believe that anything would grow from these tiny seeds, I could barely see. I planted my seeds, marveling at how tiny they were…..I tended them with water and loving care…..and sure enough I grew a patch of purple and white daisies and some radishes! That experience touched a part of me then that is very strong in me now….the complete awe that something beautiful and something that can be eaten and will nourish us, can be grown from such a teeny, tiny seed. I dabbled with gardening from then on for many years, watching my Mum grow her vegetables and growing radishes and other simple things. Then along came my children and in turn I gardened with them, giving them their own little plots in our garden.
When I moved to the house I still live in, about 10 years ago, I discovered, over by the fields, a disused allotment. It was fenced and incredibly overgrown, but with attention, action and time, my husband and I transformed it into a wonderful kitchen garden. We, me, my husband and four children erected a polytunnel (that was a fun experience in itself!), made large raised beds, shingle paths, compost bins, planted fruit trees and procured a shed. This space is now, for me, a complete sanctuary where I grow all manner of fruit and vegetables. I nurture and tend them well from the teeny tiny seed to the fully productive plant and they repay me with their luscious, delicious, nutritious offerings. It thrills me that I can produce the most wonderfully, delicious food from just a tiny seed and that my produce is used in Heart Kitchen….I put so much love into those fruit and veg it seems only fitting that the process continues ☺