Sunday, 28 June 2009

"wake up dead"

Don't people say the strangest things? I was listening to the TV news a couple of days ago, the day Michael Jackson's death was formally announced. One of his aquaintances said something along the lines of 'If Michael wakes up dead one morning...', my partner, who was staying overnight, and I looked at each other and said 'wake up dead!!! - how do you do that?'.

What other strange things do we say, without even thinking about it? You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - evidently true. It's raining cats and dogs - really? What are your favourite sayings?

My runner beans are now about a meter high, and the broad beans are approaching a foot. I was very late sowing this year, so I'm delighted that they appear to be thriving. I credit David with the success to a large part, as he sieved all the soil for the three raised veg beds, so there is very little damage from slugs and snails, and almost 100% germination. I expect the little devils will colonise the soil eventually, we all know how well they can climb - I've seen them at the top of my runner bean arch munching away on my plants with evident enjoyment. Oh well, at least this year is easier than most :-)

The swiss chard has self seeded wonderfully, so there is a plethora of vibrant green all over the place, and lots of lovely young leaves to enjoy in stir fries and casseroles. It's growing very happily below the runner bean arches, and will continue to do so until they've grown so densely over the arch that they block too much sun from them. I'll have eaten plenty by then, and frozen some for the winter, too.
My little snowball swedes are thriving, too. It's so lovely to harvest small ones, between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball. They are delicious finely sliced or grated into salads, and also cooked in any of the traditional recipes. The snowball varieties don't take up much space either:-)

Finally, the spring onions are gathering strength - it seems to have taken them a while, but they are getting there - probably the heat hasn't helped them, and I haven't been as dedicated with the watering as I should have been, as I've had some silly bug.

I've never really tried growing vegetables over the winter, except the ubiquitous sprouting broccoli, which I absolutely adore - nearly as much as asparagus. I had an asparagus bed at my last house - there was space to indulge in one there, as we had nearly a half acre site. Here, I couldn't justify a bed dedicated to one vegetable which needs the space all year, I simply don't have enough room.

Anyone any ideas as to what would be good to try? I've got some cabbage seeds to sow in July for the spring, but that's about it. I tried Lamb's lettuce, but didn't think it worth the bother, it was so lacking in flavour. I'd love to hear suggestions, please!

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