Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kitchen Garden Musing

   The garden is multi functional. I showed the wild edges yesterday. Another side to it is the kitchen garden side. Growing edible plants or tree's for the purpose of harvesting them, and then using them in cooking. The grown your own bug has bitten me. This is the flower less Pear Tree Bonne Chretien.   
   Maybe next year? But it has the most sumptuous leaves covering the stems. I'm keeping the base of the tree weed free, and have been watering it, and using the worms fertiliser too. Hopefully all this leaf growth will develop flowering spurs for next year. Fruit trees are fickle, but I guess that means you enjoy it when they produce bountiful crops for you.
 This pretty Strawberry flower is smaller than the usual ones. This is the Mara De Bois Strawberry. Much loved by French chefs for its taste and sweetness. It has to be eaten right away as it loses vigour once picked. This is a chefs Strawberry, but not commercially grown by the supermarkets.
 Growing your own means you can pick old heirloom varieties, or ones less well known.
   This is the second trial year of the Pine berry. A white Strawberry that tastes of Pineapple. It produced no fruit at all last year, so I'm hoping for something to try this year.
 Strawberries are a big part of the garden with three separate areas devoted to them. Their is also a Gooseberry Bush, two Rhubarb plants, and some Raspberry canes growing in a pot.
 Is there anything better than eating Strawberries and cream from your garden in the summer?
 I have been growing a lot of plants for the allotment.These Pak Choi Ruby Shine were excess in the tray. I left them out on a chair and they grew better than the ones in the greenhouse! These are now planted in a cut green bag. These will be harvested by me, and stir fried with just garlic and soy sauce. They are yummy!
 The only Herbs that have survived the winter are a leggy Sage, and this pot of Garden Mint. Rubbing the leaves and smelling the minty scent is lovely. We used to make mint sauce at home with fresh garden mint chopped into vinegar and sugar. The smell takes me back when you brush the leaves.
  I have bought a Rosemary, and Lavender plant which can be used for cooking. They are being grown in two blue pots for their ornamental value, and for attracting the Bee's.
 The Greenhouse is full of Cabbages, Leeks, Green Beans, Chilli's, Tomatoes, and slow growing Celeriac. I have been starting plants off in seed trays and then trying to grow them onto a decent size with good root formation. The allotment plants need to be sturdy as they will have to cope with sunshine, rain, and pests. A three week trip to New Zealand for me has also complicated things.
 A welcome return to the Grape Vine that is growing in the Greenhouse. It has regrown from halfway up the stems. I need to make some support for the climbing leaves to clamber along. There are a good eight flower buds growing on, which means eight bunches of Black Munich Grapes.I maybe need to trim it further back in the winter to keep it low growing.
I hope that we have a better summer, so the Grapes can sweeten. The wet 2012 mean they grew but were not sweet tasting. I never believed you could grow grapes in Yorkshire. A long hot summer should mean lovely table grapes to eat.
   From the conservatory I can see the Oriental Mustard leaves, and Mizuna that I have tried growing. There are two planters growing Garlic.
 I have the two Cherry Trees in pots. The yellow Cherry has flowered, and is making the fruits. The Morello Cherry is all leaves and no flowers. The Bramley Apple Tree is also all leaves and no flowers.The old Braeburn Apple Tree in the pot will have a massive three apples only if they all grow into Apples.
   I loved cooking first, then go into gardening and plants. Now I can combine the two. A productive garden brings joy to the gardener/chefs heart.

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