At this time of year, there are a lot of lasts and firsts occurring in the kitchen garden. The last of my giant savoy cabbages has been taken to the kitchen, the last of the nasturtiums have succumbed to the frosts and the last fruit crop has been harvested.
It was a particularly good year for the savoys in the kitchen garden and we managed to produce some absolute giants. The variety I chose was Wirosa and about a dozen of those planted ended the season the size of large beach balls.
The last fruit to be harvested is the kiwis, which have also had a really good year. Even when unripe, the large sized fruits have good flavour. We do pick them under ripe,as they have a tendency to drop off the vine in very cold weather. The kiwis are now in the kitchen dry stores where the warmth will quickly ripen them.
We have also managed to get the first of next spring’s crops into the ground. The classic broad bean Aquadulce, a very hardy early variety, was sown at the end of September and has been hardened off in the cold frames. As soon as the bed was prepared with a good layer of manure dug in a spit deep, these beans were planted and staked. This will be followed up by early sowings of the same variety in the New Year and later varieties throughout the spring.
Words and photographs by Helena
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