Thrills and spillsNovember 14th, 2010 by Jackie
I’ve been meaning to update what’s been happening in a minha horta for a while now. It’s mostly going well but there have been casualties. First up the experiment to grow beans and peas throughout the summer failed. I sowed these early July. Everything grew wonderfully at first and then it just became too hot. The dwarf broad beans (which have failed at every attempt now) just went brown and died, the peas flowered and then dried up, the dwarf french beans had loads of flowers and beans but these were hollow and dry. The only slight success came from the runner beans but now they too have no flowers. So, in short, useless.
The courgette sown early August has given us a few courgettes, enough for some fritters and a cake. It’s rather pathetic really but the flowers are lovely in the morning still. On a more positive note we are now eating the leeks, carrots and lots of sprouts.
More good news comes from the cabbage, cauliflower and calabrese (aka broccoli) sown mid August. They have done really well. The calabrese heads are now bigger than tennis balls so am really looking forward to having those soon.
Another problem has come from the strong winds and rain we’ve had. The purple sprouting broccoli is almost as tall as me, and the sprouts are not far behind. But gale force winds and soggy soil saw them lean precariously, and one broccoli stem fell over completely. I tied it up, and could see it was broken at the base, but amazingly it seems to be ok. Many of the leaves looked sorry for themselves but it seems to be still alive. Fingers crossed.
The asparagus, rhubarb and raspberries have all been ‘put to bed’ for the winter. Garlic and more onions are in but otherwise there are big empty patches covered in manure and protective cardboard waiting for the spring. So of course now I’m working out what to grow next year. I’m also digging more beds as I’d like to grow additional varieties of plants, especially tomatoes. We’re eating those roasted from the summer but I’d like to have a lot more. Looking back I need to remind myself that this was the first year that I have done this, and overall it’s been great. Occasional feelings of chuffness well deserved methinks! I’ve learnt masses of course but am so looking forward to next year, and all those seed packets, already.
Next week we’ll be up the olive trees getting in the olive harvest but meanwhile we’re enjoying our new four-legged companion who has been with us for a week now and feels like she’s always been part of the family.