March 2011

Full details of weekly harvests at bottom of page

Week 48:   March 26 – April 1

Total for week = £7.28 / 513g

Spring is in the air and things are on the move.

And with spring comes good news: my downstairs neighbour has kindly let me have more space on the narrow strip of concrete outside the front door. It’s south facing so valuable space. The plan is to grow fruit trees here predominantly, but I’m also building a ladder to hold lots of pots by the side of the front door, and planning a space for a rambling tromboncino squash.

The blueberries and this new apple tree are in full blossom:

New apple tree in blossom by front door

Growth remains  slow with everything I’ve sown outside in the last couple of months on the balcony, but crops that were established before winter are putting on good growth.  Meanwhile, inside, the tomatoes in the bay window have taken off – some of them are nearly 18 inches tall already. Actually, I’m worried I’ve started them too early as I now have to nurture these baby triffids until they can be unleashed into their final homes in the outside world in May (when the risk of frost is passed).

Tomatoes hardening off on the balcony: already over a foot tall and still a month before can go outside permanently. Help!

 

Week 47:   March 19 – 25

Total for week = £12.40 /1.05 kg

A kilo’s harvest for the first time this year.

Good crops of salad again – so we can enjoy fresh green leaves most evenings. My favourite dressing is a simple lemon and olive oil one – especially at this time of year when particularly fragrant lemons seem to be available in the shops.

At the same time, fresh chives, mint and lovage are all sprouting, looking healthy and back on the menu again.

Chives regrowing after winter

Week 46:   March 12 – 18

Total for week = £8.40 /515g

After being reluctant to grow throughout last summer,  the wasabi plant has never looked healthier and has been flowering profusely. The flowers tasted good (mild horse radish) and looked lovely in a winter salad. It’s probably the only plant I’ve ever grown that actively dislikes sun, quickly wilting even in cool March rays.

Wasabi flourishing without sun

Also this week I cut back the sage and thyme, using them in meals for the week. This included a yummy potato, onion, sage and mushroom gratin – one tip I’ve learnt to make this tender and moreish is to saute the onions first until they are really soft, before adding the potatoes.

Week 45:   March 5 -  11

Total for week = £5.58 /611g

The veg that was in over winter has begun to visbily grow again – and this week I harvested some of the cavelo nero, Chinese cabbage and some tasty mooli.

Mooli are related to radish and both the root and the leaves are edible. I’m not a big fan of radish leaves but I like the mooli leaves much more – even though they’re bigger, they seem less hairy and bitter and with a good flavour – delicious in a stir fry. Mooli are proving a successful winter crop – definitely worth growing again. I tried two varieties: minowase and china rose. The china rose looks pretty with its pink root and stem, while the minowase has been more productive with a better taste (less woody root).

Mooli minowase - a great winter crop

Week 44:   February 26 – March 4

Total for week = £2.30 /102g

Small harvests – just a few bean shoots and salad leaves. The first tomatoes, chillies, peppers and aubergines are sown inside. This year I’m trying seven varieties of tomatoes. Three heritage varieties:  Yellow Ripple, Sugar Plum, and Wapsipinicon and four others: Costoluto Genovese, Gardeners Delight, Cherry Cascade, and a bush tomato that I saved the seeds from last year – but have lost track what it was… (another hard lesson learnt in plant labelling). It’s going to be interesting to see how these different varieties vary in yield and taste. Only space for one plant of each, of course.

Seedling tomato

Harvest Details for March 2011

Week 44:   February 26 – March 4

Saturday: 43g salad, 5g lovage, 3g rosemary, 6g chives
Monday: 45g salad

Total for week = 102g; value = £2.30
Total since 1 May 2010 = 77.8 kg; total value = £815.10

Week 45:   March 5 -11

Sunday: 72g pak choi, 39g Chinese cabbage, 24g sorrel, 16g chives
Tuesday: 98g cavelo nero, 36g Chinese cabbage, 76g mooli
Friday: 141g mooli, 46g salad, 63g Chinese cabbage

Total for week = 611g; value = £5.58
Total since 1 May = 78.45 kg; total value = £820.68

Week 46:   March 12 – 18

Saturday: 184g mooli
Monday: 16g radish and broccoli micro greens
Tuesday: 66g salad, 21g thyme, 41g sage
Wednesday: 70g salad, 4g micro broccoli
Thursday: 113g salad

Total for week = 511g; value = £8.40
Total since 1 May = 78.96 kg; total value = £829.08

Week 47:   March 19 – 25

Saturday: 184g mooli
Monday: 16g radish and broccoli micro greens
Tuesday: 66g salad, 21g thyme, 41g sage
Wednesday: 70g salad, 4g micro broccoli
Thursday: 113g salad

Total for week = 1.05g; value = £12.40
Total since 1 May = 80.02 kg; total value = £841.48

Week 48:   March 26 – April 1

Saturday: 12g mint, 13g chives, 235g mooli, 70g salad
Sunday: 45g salad, 3g rosemary, 17g lovage, 7g parsley
Wednesday: 40g salad
Thursday: 71g salad

Total for week = 513g; value = £7.28
Total since 1 May = 80.54 kg; total value = £848.77