Jennifer’s Garden Diary (18th June 2011)

Week ending 18th June 2011

Here we are approaching mid summer and at last we have had some worthwhile rain. I have started planting out leeks and it is so much easier when the soil is damp and it is a blessing not to have to worry about watering.  My daughter was helping me and she asked why I nip off the top of the leaves and the ends of the roots when I drop them into their holes, I had to say that I had no idea it is just what I have always done!  Maybe I learnt it from an old gardener I knew in the second war, he also said that leeks should not be planted out until they are as thick as a pencil. My leeks usually do well (not always pencil thick), they are a lovely vegetables and with luck can be harvested all winter. They went in where the early broad beans are finished, space is the problem now and as soon as a crop is harvested something else is waiting to go in.  I have kale plants desperate to escape from their seed tray.

This week I visited Sally and Malcolm  and their wonderful West Cork garden. Their Poly tunnel is amazing and crammed with good things so early and ready to eat, raised beds outside also very productive.  Almost their whole diet is straight from the garden; we ate a meal of vegetables, carrots, mangetout, two kinds of beans and new potatoes, all harvested that morning and absolutely delicious. My father used to say “you have not lived until you have eaten your own potatoes”. Their peas were very interesting a variety called Poppet from Brown Envelope seeds, already about 4 foot tall and growing.  Malcolm had put up a strong cage in which to support them, I expect they will have a huge crop. John Seymour says, in his book Self Sufficiency  “You can’t have too many peas”. I came upon another quote from John “ Economics falls down flat on its face when it tries to equate all good with money”.  Some quotes on which to ponder.