The cold has well and truly come to Norfolk and December is due to get even colder. Since clearing up the allotment I have not been down to check on it and the last few things growing down there.
The allotment is a very different place during the winter. It is missing a sea of green from summer and the busyness of spring. Today, I was the only person visiting the allotments and was greeted with a grey haze laying across the site. Despite the risk of gloom, islands of green are scattered across the allotments offering a kick of winter flavour and much needed vitamins.
Our site, a reasonable sized patch of land at the end of the main path, has been closed down for the winter except two Brassica cages. One protects my first ever crop of sprouts (which are destined for Christmas dinner) and the other covering white and red cabbage. Neither of these are likely to be the greatest addition to dinner but they are full of goodness and I have come to appreciate the opportunity they present to have some freshness on my plate on these long nights.
As I approach my sprouts I find a slightly lack luster crop but still enough to ensure my wife eat her mandatory single sprout at christmas and fill a couple of plates. This is the first year I have grown sprouts and I’m not too sure what I have done wrong. I think I will write a growing guide as a way of learning how to maximise the crop. I think I started too late in the year and I didn’t pay enough attention to its nutrition. Nutrition and soil PH is something I have not paid enough attention to over the last few years and I will make this a focus for next year. I have a feeling that my garden is fairly depleted so will invest in enriching the soil.
My cabbage is also not looking too great, I think this is due to late planting, something I must avoid next year. Despite this, there are a good few plants with meaty hearts to pick to add as a side to my Sunday roast.
I have to admit, winter is the most difficult season for me but this added bit of produce helps. Next year I will try to plan more winter crops to keep the goodness coming when the sun is in short supply.