Page 57 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
P. 57

                                Lancashire DA
We’ve just cleared the glasshouse of the last of the tomatoes which means it’s autumn again and the nights drawn in as the clocks have gone back.
Despite the main growing season being over, there’s still lots to do at the HQ’s – Gatty and Rhyddings Walled Garden. Putting autumn/winter crops in – onions, garlic, spring flower bulb pots. Clearing the old crops out – cucumbers next, squash and courgettes – they’ve had frost bite and given up the ghost. Talking of ghost, I cut the pumpkins at Rhyddings I’d grown for the kids for Halloween. We didn’t have many despite manuring, feeding and watering the plants regularly. I blame the weather – too hot too soon. Zombie was my favourite
– name, colour and texture. We’ve got Hooligan for next year.
My dahlias are still going strong, though like the squash, have had a bit of frost bite. Pretty soon I’m going to have to think about bringing them inside then they don’t get too weather damaged. They were late going
in but have flowered their little heads off and the open centred varieties have been absolute bee magnets. And another dahlia fan is little Charlie, our youngest volunteer at 1 1⁄2.
Charlie loves coming down to our growing project – his face lights up when he gets out the car. His favourite jobs are pushing his little wheelbarrow round, pinching tomatoes (we had to close up the glasshouse to keep him out), watering with his mini watering can and getting as filthy as he can – result. He may or may not make a gardener as he gets older, may come back to it in later life, as I did. In the meantime he’s having lots of fun, giving us plenty of entertainment, outside in the open air, playing and learning.
We’ve sown green manure in one of
the beds at Rhyddings. I’ve never used it before, so be interesting to see how it pans out. We’ve more to sow – trying several
different types – alfalfa, phacelia, summer mix and winter mix (Suffolk Herbs). It certainly can’t do any harm as the soil in the raised beds isn’t in the best condition. Everything we can do to begin conditioning them helps. It’s a slow process but will pay off.
Very pleased with one of my “unusuals”
– a Szechaun /Sichuan pepper. Finally
had corns off it this year. They’re quite spikey plants with a fierce tasting corn.
It’s not spicy like black peppercorn. I can only describe it as weird with a lip / mouth numbing property which I could still feel the next day – won’t be doing that again in a hurry. I’ve harvested some of the black pips which come out of the corn to try growing them.
On the DA front, pretty much similar to everyone else – no talks or meetings, which should have started in October. No shows. No Medwyn’s Veg Master Class Weekend
– our annual “pilgrimage” to Llanberis cancelled. Gutted. Always great to meet
up with everyone again. I hope everyone who goes is keeping well despite everything. You can follow Medwyn on Twitter, if you’re a tweeter. He’s posting videos of what he, Alwyn and the rest of #TeamMedwyn are up to in preparation for Chelsea 2021.
On the Northern Branch front, we recently had a Zoom meeting, which was a bit of a fiasco for me – should’ve done a trial run first but didn’t – couldn’t get on for a while so was late, took a while to work out how
to turn on video and then sound. I wouldn’t mind but it wasn’t my first Zoom meeting.
It went very well though. On a plus side, meant no one had to travel and I got to stay in the glasshouse – Zoom from the potting bench ! It’s the future.
Cath Holmes, Secretary
Facebook page https://www.facebook. com/NVSLancs
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