Back on our A to Z of the allotment and kitchen
J is a tricky one, there is Jam, Jam Jars and Jam Pans.
This is my mum’s Jam Pan. I have fond memories of its use, not so much for jam but for marmalade. January and the Seville oranges are in season and for a few days the kitchen, no sorry the whole house, would have that wonderful sweet-bitter aroma of marmalade in the making.
I’ve used it since, many a time for a recreation of marmalade moments, carried it around with me from flat to flat and finally the house by the sea. But it’s on its last legs and for the last 3 years has resided in the shed waiting for its moment. It’s moment is to be a garden moment, the summer has seen it filled to the brim with parsley and coriander, the winter will see it, crossed fingers, as my one of my salad pots on the terrace. I just need to pluck up the courage and drill the drainage holes. I still haven’t worked out what to do with the lid !
J is also for Jerusalem Artichokes, Juniper Berries, Jasmine and Japanese Turnips - I need to remember to photograph the Jasmine and not let the Japanese Turnips go to seed in their trays, only to be destined for the compost heap!
K is for Kale and Kohl Rabi
Kale is a mainstay of a winter garden for me, alongside Chard and greens.
Kale seedlings are planted out in July, to give them time to put down roots and settle in for winter, netted against the pigeons they will survive all that winter decides to throw at them – be it frost, snow, rain and cold. My favourites are Cavelo Nero with its dark green-black leaves and Ragged Jack green frilled leaves tinged with red.
And now to a sorry little story and the advice is to avert your eyes if you are squeamish. The Kohl Rabi has not played nicely this year. This first batch was mowed down by slugs and snails. The second batch sown later in summer survived well, started to grow nicely and then, chomp, chomp, chomp. The Caterpillars found them and decided the leaves made a tasty snack. Thank you Caterpillars for providing this photo !
L is for Lettuce like you’ve never tasted before and Leeks for winter
I love lettuce – whether it’s a frilly Frisse, a soft Butterhead or a crisp Romaine. They are sown planted and harvested all year round, well that’s the plan, there are sometimes gaps where I’ve forgotten to sow, but that is soon amended. The Cut and Come Again salads will be sown in the Jam Pan and Pots on the terrace and the winter lettuces will be fleeced outside or in the greenhouse over winter. I need my salad fix !
My new lettuce lesson this year came in the form of how to make the prefect Caesar Salad, the instructions from The Kale Chronicles. And the perfect Romaine lettuce for this is a favourite of mine to grow – Cimmaron a Leprechaun of a Lettuce
Leeks, I love ‘em, what more is there to say? Planted in June or July and along with the winter greens on the plot will provide us with fresh food over winter. Soup anyone?