As the winter Solstice passes and a new year beckons, I’ve been reflecting on the plot as I potter along in this thing called life. Regular readers will know how much I like a list post, so I thought I’d combine reflection and lists.
Here are 5 things me and the plot have in common right now:
We’ve both been quiet in recent weeks
My winter veg hasn’t been very successful this year, and there isn’t much on the plot now: some struggling kale, a couple of rows of very under-performing leeks and a similarly disappointing row of normally reliable perpetual spinach.
The blog has been similarly quiet, and posts have been few and far between in recent weeks. I have to confess that veg wise I find winter a pretty uninspiring time, so blogging tends to drop down. However, for the first time I’m comfortable with this.
With two little ‘uns to deal with, time is at a premium. It’s okay to put the blog on the backburner for a while.
We both need a bit of recovery!
Speaking of the little ‘uns, 3 months in and life with two children is pretty knackering! Rory is just a typical baby, waking up a lot at night but Lewis is also a handful – particularly now he’s picked up the terrible twos. I could really do with some R n’ R (so quite how my wife feels…).
After a busy summer, the plot definitely needs some recovery. I’ve tried to help by topping up two of my beds with homemade kitchen compost, which is the best soil improver / reconditioner I’ve ever used. I also got some nice manure from the side of the road (a bargain at 50p a bag!) for the other bed.
We’re enjoying the mild weather!
The temperatures in this corner of England have been nuts recently, reaching 16 degrees on more than one occasions. This has been lovely for riding my bike, and I’ve been out in just a couple of layers. It has been like riding in a wet spring!
The experimental sowings in the greenhouse have been lapping up the balmy temperature too, with the little gem lettuces not far from being harvestable, the last tomatoes ripening off in December (a record for me) and the mibuna doing well too.
We’re both getting fruity!
I’ve begun eating a lot more berries over the last year, particularly on porridge at brekkie and with yoghurt as a healthy dessert. Berries are expensive in the shops though, especially during the winter when they’re out of season. To reflect the change in my diet and the impact it has on my wallet, I’m going to introduce a lot more fruit into my garden patch.
I’m going to fill a bed at home with fruit bushes and move some of the veg to the allotment. This will start with the brassicas which never suffered from cabbage white attacks at the plots, but get massacred every year in my garden. Potatoes and squashes will follow too, leaving me room for extra fruit to fill my freezer during winter.
Soon we can both start again
The shortest day is over, soon the Christmas downtime will pass and me and the plot can come together again. Winter often feels like time apart from the veg patch, like we’re on a break or something. There’s a couple of months where I don’t do much on there at all, just the bare minimum.
But with the help of the greenhouse and a few cloches, I’ll be able to start sowing again and that lovely union of man and plot can begin all over again for another season.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year x