Regular watchers of my Youtube channel will have seen my love affair with gardening evolve over the last year. This time last year I was sent 3 packets of seeds to grow on the window sill in my kitchen and from that a passion has developed for both my husband and I when it comes to gardening. The fulfilment its brought us both, as well as new skills and knowledge has been endless and all that is aside from the respite it has provided from the heaviness of 2020. To say we've missed gardening over the winter is a real understatement and with February well and truly under our belt, hope on the horizon and weekend of sunshine just passed, we've both been busy in the garden prepping for a Spring/Summer of learning and growing (pardon the pun) in our new found hobby.
February also marked the almost completion of our kitchen garden project, yes from three packets of seeds we now have a fully fledged kitchen garden comprised of 6 large raised beds from Harrod Horticultural and a dream Alitex 'Tatton' greenhouse with a beautiful Ca Pietra Neranjo Tumbled limestone floor due to go down soon and this weekend was my first time pottering and planting away in there. It felt wonderful to have a space away from the house to get muddy and wet, with a really wonderful podcast playing in the background, Lumi perched on the potting bench and Porter curled up at my feet I set about my planting list for the months ahead and March looks a little something like this;
I'm starting a number of seeds inside my greenhouse to get things moving and butternut squash was at the top of my march prep list, we go through at least 2 butternut squashes a week in our house, whether that's in the form of a Butternut Squash Mac'n'Cheese Thermomix recipe or a colourful bowl of roasted veg to power us through the day, it's such a wonderful filling and delicious vegetable and I'm really looking forward to trying my hand at growing them.
No roast dinner is complete without a parsnip and seeing as they are by far one of my favourite vegetables, after the small success of growing some very late carrots last year, I knew Parsnips would sit right at the top of my growing list this year. I thoroughly looking forward to a roasting tin full of my own parsnips coming out of the oven in our soon to be finished kitchen.
Just like we love a Butternut squash in our house, we also love a courgette and funnily enough 'Courgettie' is what really sparked my love of this vegetable. A hearty plate of spiralized courgette with a large helping of Bolognese on top and a Lydia sized sprinkle of cheese, you wouldn't know the difference when it comes to a usual spag bowl. I'm also looking forward to frying some Courgette flowers too because they are delicious!
The best crunchy addition to any salad if you are crunch lover like I am and also a wonderful light snack dipped in homemade Hummus (another fab recipe from my thermomix) however, can we mention cucumber without mentioning all of the amazing alcoholic beverages it compliments especially in the warmer months? I think not!
A new addition to my growing list and am planning on treating this as a challenge. I also want to grow produce that will help with improving my cooking and challenge me to try new things, despite loving kale chips I think we can find a fair few recipes to test drive Kale. If you have any good recipes though, please do share in the comments below.
Artichoke is a new found love of mine. Much like my discovery of avocados when I was 27 years old, Artichoke was something I tried for the first time in early 2020 and it was so lovely to still be discovering new flavours and preferences, even at my age! But not just delicious, they are beautiful too and one I really plan to experiment with in the kitchen too.
You're freezer isn't complete without a bag of them but how wonderful will it be for the peas to have been grown from you own garden, so with that I intend on planting a generous amount to see us though.
I'll never forget the time I pulled my first carrot out of my vegtrug, roasting them and enjoying them sat in our kitchen was quite the experience and in doing so I realised that learning how to grow carrots throughout the year was high on my priority list, how many is too many carrots? who knows but I'm sure I'll find out this year.
Honey roasted or raw as a healthy snack, this is the vegetable I'm most excited about this coming year.