Sunday, 1 May 2011
Hopefully, as the summer commences, I'll be able to do weekly harvest roundups, as is the norm in this sort of blog. However, as April is a lean time (and I didn't keep up with winter crops), I am doing one summary for the whole month.
Some things have been abundant. Applemint (which started out as variegated pineapple mint, but has reverted to the green form) grows freely in the front garden (though is rather choked by couch grass, so I need to dig the whole lot out and start again), and I've harvested lots of sprigs for summer rolls (rice paper wrappers filled with rice noodles, herbs, and sometimes prawns, sometimes chicken). Chives have been naturalised in the front for years, too, and I get lots of handfuls - it grows back quickly. The spinach and chard have bulked up almost without my noticing, and I've taken a few leaves (see the picture above). And I cut back the flowering sweet woodruff, though I won't eat that - it's mostly for enhancing rooms and laundry with its sweet vanilla scent.
Aside from this, wild foods have been abundant over the past six weeks. I've had dandelions (I gathered them for beer, then ignored them and had to throw them out), ground elder (which infests my friends' garden, and made a delicious soup with lovage and homemade chicken stock, of which more in a future post), and I keep meaning to gather the nettles that luxuriate in the uncultivated parts of the back garden (for soup, pesto, and making plant food).
May might see the first tomatoes forming, and the broad beans are already showing tiny pods. More herbs, nasturtium leaves, and rose petals will add a little interest, but no bulk. But come June, and the first strawberries, raspberries, ripe tomatoes, and salad leaves should be providing regular meals.
Total harvest to date (chives, spinach, mint, chard): 137g.