February 2011

Full details of weekly harvests at bottom of page

Week 40:   January 29  – February 4

Total for week = £2.22 /111g

Just a few pea shoots and salad leaves this week.

After looking sorry for itself all summer and autumn, the wasabi plant has perked up with the low light levels and cold weather of the last few months. It’s nice to have at least one plant that flourishes in these conditions! Here it is flowering (it did have more flowers before my two year old son pulled some of them off!):

Flowering wasabi - suddenly happier in cold and dim winter conditions © vertical veg 2011

Week 41:   February 5 – 11

Total for week = £2.22 /108g

Just a couple of tasty salads this week. More of the Japanes veg is flowering, brightening up the winter. Here’s some Chinese broccoli:

 

Chinese broccoli in flower © vertical veg 2011

Week 42:   February 12 – 18

Total for week = £6.17 /462g

The best winter harvest to date: nearly half a kilo of cavelo nero, tatsoi and bean shoots. Funny to think I was harvesting up to 16 times as much (8kg) from the same space in the summer.

Pea shoots have become quite trendy recently – but you hear less about broad bean shoots. I’m hoping their day will come soon – they’re versatile – great for salads, stir fries and risottos – productive, and delicious. You need a lot of seeds to get a good crop so I use dried broad beans from a continental food shop – see fast, fun and healthy greens for winter for more.

Meanwhile, inside I’m struggling to raise some salad seedlings – they’re getting long and leggy even in a south facing window sill. Maybe a foil reflector to encourage straighter growth will help? Will try and make one in the next week or two. Here are the seedling long legs:

Leggy salad seedlings

Week 43:   February 19 – 25

Total for week = £2.07 /162g

Looking at a photo from my November growing diary today, I realised just how slowly things have been growing on the balcony over the winter. Here is the picture from 13 November last year with cavelo nero, mooli and chinese cabbage:

November 13: Mooli, black cabbage and Chinese Cabbage

And here are the same crops more than 3 months later on 25 February:

February: mooli, cavelo nero and Chinese cabbage

Notice any growth? It’s very little for over three months. Light levels are definitely beginning to improve though, so I’m hoping they’ll do more soon.

Harvest Details for February 2011

Week 40:   January 29 – February 4

Saturday: 18g pea shoots, 28g salad leaves
Tuesday: 65g salad leaves

Total for week = 111g; value = £2.22
Total since 1 May = 77.0 kg; total value = £802.33

Week 41:   February 5 – 11

Sunday: 16g bean shoots, 40g salad leaves
Friday: 52g bean shoots.

Total for week = 108g; value = £2.22
Total since 1 May = 77.1kg; total value = £804.55

Week 42:   February 12 – 18

Saturday: 90g bean shoots
Wednesday: 42g salad leaves
Thursday: 227g cavelo nero, 50g bean shoots, 53g tatsoi

Total for week =462g; value = £6.17
Total since 1 May = 77.6kg; total value = £810.72

Week 43:   February 19 – 25

Saturday: 97g Chinese cabbage, 3g rosemary, 4g sage
Sunday: 26g bean shoots.
Thursday: 32g salad leaves

Total for week = 162g; value = £2.07
Total since 1 May = 77.7kg; total value = £812.80