Allotments don’t stop in winter

Forcing its way through snow, this broad bean seems determined to prove it’s winter hardy (I certainly hope so, as there’s not much we can do to help it now) which is more than I was, with water leaking through my boots which had unexpectedly sprung a leak, harvesting Brussels sprouts with frozen fingers, and trying to dig up leeks from a perma-frost of definite Siberian proportions.

Okay, I exaggerate a little. But it was a very long cold snap for Sussex, which has little or no dealings with snow that lays – usually it melts within a couple of hours. One thing it did reveal, for all the things it hid, was that our fox, or foxes, are very much creatures of habit.

We walked quite a bit of the site, making sure there weren’t any burst pipes which were waiting to spew out water as soon as the thaw arrived and one the 60 plots we passed, we found the same story – one set of fox prints, going straight down the main path, veering off to investigate any items of interest (usually compost bins!) and then returning the same way. It was a fascinating insight into the life of the allotments after dark, and the regular patrols that the foxes must make of their territory.

Sunday’s harvest: two parsnips, two leeks (planted in open ground, very hard to dig, compared to those planted in the raised bed which hadn’t frozen below the surface of the snow) Brussels sprouts and a Brussels top from a denuded stem (I shall stir fry the top leaves, they’re delicious and shouldn’t be wasted), one celeriac.

And with that sackful of provisions, I wish you all a happy Christmas and a productive and profoundly germinating New Year!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, December 21, 2009


OpenID said...

well at least you got some brussels weren't anywhere near ready to harvest...much to my dismay...I may still go and pick some for christmas dinner though!!

December 21, 2009 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

Merry Christmas. I wish you a plentiful harvest in the New Year.

December 28, 2009 at 1:12 AM  

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