This was my third year of having a plot – which is still not fully up and running, but there is a lot more to show for this year’s growing than last. I had a go at weighing the harvests and totting up what it would be worth if I’d bought it in the supermarket. The totals so far are 164.73kg and a value of £468.50 – but the oca’s still mostly in the ground. And some of the things I grow aren’t available in the shops…
For me, the stars of 2014 were the potatoes (never had so many!), oca, my one watermelon, saffron, squashes, achocha and padron peppers. I loved the leeks too – sweet success after 2 seasons of abject failure.
Less than good were the garlic, swede (again!), parsnips, sweetcorn and most of the beetroot sowings till the last late one. The slug population this year was unbelievable – if this winter is as mild I will definitely have to raise more plants in pots to stand a chance of harvesting crops, though they did hardly touch the early spuds.
The quince, the pears and the apple didn’t fruit. I think they are still too young at 3-4 years each – I know the quince needs to be about 5 before it will think about fruiting.
Starting to save my own seeds has been really interesting and addictive. As was searching out different types of beans and squashes. I am really looking forward to the seed parcels from the seed circles and to growing as many varieties from these as I can squeeze in to what now seems a very small space!
I still have to move Mum’s fruit bushes to the plot, which is not going to be a fun job in winter weather, and I am taking some cuttings from my gooseberries to get a few more red-berried ones. I also want to add some elder and some dwarf buddleia cuttings to the blackthorn hedge, to replace some of the weedier thorny saplings which aren’t doing well.
I am trying to learn more patience, and gardening certainly is good for that. I am really grateful for all the kind people on forums who share their knowledge so freely. And I can’t wait to get properly started again…Until then I have a Sue Stickland’s book on seed saving to read as well as a copy of the gorgeous The Compleat Squash by Amy Goldman.