Friday, 11 June 2010

The Vegetable Headlines today are ......

Rabe Broccoli: Was very nice but isn't really broccoli like at all. Everything is eaten, the leaves, stalks and florets. The bottom 6cm or so of the stalks are really very fiberous so they're best cut off, the leaves wilt right down like spinach (and also has a similar minerally taste) which is a relief on the emergency chomping front as I've not got the mountain of veg I first imagined. The recipe I tried was lovely, highly recommended.

Broad Beans: Having pinched the tops out I decided to keep the pinchings (not sure that's an actual technical term) to cook at home. I arrived back from the allotment with a carrier bag bulging with beans tops, Raab Broccoli and Radishes which I left in the hallway when I came in. About half an hour later I went back to it to find an army of winged creatures teeming out of the bag and making their way determinedly up my walls. I would have screamed and flung the bag outside if I hadn't remembered that not only am I gardener but am northern to boot and therefore made of sterner stuff, so I placed the bag outside in a calm and seemly fashion. Now I just have to come up with a way to use up a carrier bag full of bean tops.

Potatoes: I began to worry about my potatoes at home after seeing several plots at the allotment had flowering potatoes already whereas mine are showing no signs of doing so, yet were planted out much earlier. I rummaged around in the bags and was horrified to discover the soil at the bottom of the bags was bone dry, despite several days of heavy rain here. I didn't realise that the bags seem to be in the rain shadow on the fence. I've obviously given them a good watering so it's now a matter of keeping my fingers crossed and see what happens.

Courgettes: I've got my first courgette flowers! I initially bought 3 courgette plants, planted 1 at home and 2 on the allotment. The one at home has gone from strength to strength in the shelter of our high fences but the allotment courgettes struggled in their exposed position in the cold snap we had (despite cloches). In a panic I planted a few more courgette seeds as I couldn't face a second courgette-less year after the 2009 Mosaic virus incident so I now also have 3 baby courgette seedlings planted out on the plot. Some may call it disorganised - I call it succession planting!


  1. re: broad bean tops....wilt them lightly with a bit of olive oil & garlic...they'll be suitably nommy

    I also had some Rabe Broccoli...felt slightly underwhelmed by it - much prefer my black tuscan kale!

  2. Tuscan kale has been safely planted! Looking forward to that one. Rabe Broccoli has speed on it's side, good for a new patch like ours with impatient allotmenteers wanting their first crop : )

  3. Rabe brocolli looks very interesting and I like the sound of black tuscan kale.

  4. I love succession planting...and don't worry about them being small..none of mine have flowers yet!! I also wouldn't too much about your potatoes..they will do fine even if they were dry for a last year I had a varitey that didn't yours flower??/ Have you checked??

    I haven't been able to harvest anything on my plot yet..everything is so much later than last year and although I'm not worried I am not the greatest at patience...stuff is growing nicely especially after the rains...but nothing is ready yet!!!