Wednesday, 4 April 2012
The weather has been brilliant for the last week and then over the last couple of days it's been a let down. It seemed that winter had returned with its cold, wet wind and I've been stuck indoors thinking of all the things I could be doing outside. Today seemed like it was going to be another wintery day but the winds on the Irish Sea must have blown so fiercely that they sent Jack Frost back to where he belongs.
Needless to say, I jumped into my gardening clothes and headed outside and up to the allotment. And yet another unexpected surprise stopped me dead in my tracks - our allotment shed is up! The poor builders must have been working away through the stormy weather over the last few days since there was definitely no shed there on Sunday. The windows and door have yet to be attached but I'll bet we'll see them magically appear in the coming days.
After admiring that fine structure I headed down to my plot to do a bit of work. Most of my beds have been dug over a couple of times but very little has been planted out aside from shallots and some early radishes and spinach. This is a dangerous time of the year for a lot of gardeners since warm days that seem like the beginning of summer are followed by cold weather sent straight from Siberia. I have no doubt that more than a few people were fooled by last week's sunshine and are going up to find that tender greens planted optimistically early have been devastated by the cold and wind. In fact my plot neighbour's handmade mini-greenhouse has been blown all the way on the other side of the field.
Even so, I was delighted to find that an overly leafy Purple Sprouting Broccoli had finally begun sprouting. About time! I have several handfuls of juicy sprouts and put them in my basket along with some tender greens from my last Brussel sprout stalk and the first of this year's rhubarb. The rhubarb is going into the Hubster's all time favourite dish tonight - Rhubarb Crumble - and the greens will be cooked up as a side to the spaghetti squash cakes I found a recipe for on Pinterest.
There are a few handfuls of greens and PSB which will do for another meal or two but after that we'll be in the lean time before the asparagus start shooting up. This will be the first year that I can really start harvesting it in earnest and I'm eagerly awaiting the first spears.
How about you - has the weather been good for you this week? Do you have any vegetables still coming out of your gardens?