Winter is definitely not as I originally pictured it for this year! When Rick first started the market garden he’d had the (fleeting) thought that maybe winter would be our off season when we work on other projects/jobs etc.
But then books started coming in the mail with titles like “The Winter Harvest Handbook.” About a year ago Rick had designed a new kitchen to replace our 1980’s one, which is starting to fall apart. When winter harvest books started arriving, it became apparent that a new kitchen wouldn’t be coming this winter! But that’s ok, there’s no rush and in the first year of a new business, taking a season off isn’t such a wise plan.
So throughout winter the planting continued. The harvesting continued. The veggies kept selling. And more and more ideas and projects sprung up, just like the seedlings in the garden.
One is the strawberry patch. We’ve planted three rows, 3 different varieties, all of which are long season. We’ve just started harvesting the odd few now, though it appears we’re competing with the local wildlife for them! Maybe one day there’ll be enough to sell, but with 6 strawberry loving children, don’t get your hopes up!
The herb patch also came this winter. What is that ugly white barrier, you say? I know it’s daggy, but the morning after hares invade and devour your whole coriander crop, your first thought is not on the aesthetics, but on how you can quickly protect what remains with what you have on hand! And it’s worked, so that’s something. Actually, the barrier may have been the second thought. First thought was that Rick’s got a lot of live target practice hopping around out there.
Anyway, the new crop of coriander is up, and safe 🙂
And this is the proposed tomato patch for this spring/summer. We’ve got a decent variety of colours and sizes coming in the tomato department this year. I’m so looking forward to it, because the surplus is what I make our tomato sauce, tomato paste, canned tomatoes and more out of. And it all has a much better flavour than the supermarket versions, as it’s come from homegrown tomatoes.
The trellis hasn’t gone up yet, but now that our supports have arrived that won’t be far off…especially as the tomatoes will need to get in the ground soon. Those seedlings are huge!
The other unexpected factor this winter has been the warm temps. Looks like our mulberry tree thinks it’s spring already. And we still have a few cherry tomatoes fruiting from last summer!
Working through the winter season has been a good thing after all…the second half of the market garden is almost full now. Rick’s a machine and prepares row after row each week (and then thinks he hasn’t achieved much)! We have our surprises and set backs, but over all this venture is turning out beautifully.