Digging it up, picking it, eating it

21:24, Jan 24 2013

There's things coming out of the ground or off the plant daily around here. I don't grow nearly enough to feed us all completely from the garden, but I grow enough to make a significant dent in our food bill.

We harvested our garlic this week. The chooks had done a fine job trying to harvest it before it had even put down roots back in the late winter and spring, and you can tell some bulbs really resented that early wakeup call. Other bulbs are big and fat and I'm pretty happy with them. Shallots also came up; they are far more fun to harvest - you just pull them out of the ground and they snap away from each other. After sitting out in the sun for a day, they are now hung up in my potting shed before coming in to the kitchen. Of course, I'll save the biggest bulbs for next year's crop.

Courgettes and peas are the plants that keep on giving. I've harvested most of my peas, blanched them and frozen them, but there are still some that we pick and eat straight off the vine. Courgettes quickly turn into club-sized marrows unless you pick them while reasonably small. I like to quickly fry them on the barbecue and chop them up into a Smug Salad, or use them in an eggplant parmigiana.

This is my first year growing Florence fennel, and so far so good. This is my first ever bulb.

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I grated it with some homegrown carrots, red onion and cabbage to make a rather fresh and crisp coleslaw. Delicious. It's also great just chopped up in a lettuce salad. I will sow some again in the autumn when the temperature comes down. Right now, if I sowed a new crop it would probably bolt. 

Is the amount of food you grow yourself making a dent in your grocery bill?

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