A day of planning and cooking

A day of planning and cooking

The first day of February, and it looked almost springlike. The snowdrops at the foot of our young copper beech hedge are in flower and it such a hopeful feeling. Other things in flower at the moment are the hellebores, mahonia, winter jasmine, sweetbox and some sweet violets.

The rhubarb plants are also bursting forth, the deep pinkish red and green buds a welcome sign that the growing season is beginning again already. We are due a cold snap and more snow in a couple of weeks so what will happen to the new tender shoots I don’t know. Rhubarb is hardy here though so it will return. One crown is being forced and the forcer provides some insulation from the worst of the weather.

Today being a work day, I had only time to plan some things and do a little reading. Inspired by a fellow grower on Instagram I will be mulching my raspberry canes with leftover pine branches from Christmas decorations, I also need to order some Bocking-14 comfrey plants to grow for feed, I have some patches of nettles under the mixed hedge for this purpose also.

I keep looking longingly at my seed packets, stuffed with little nuggets of potential and bounty. I’m chitting my potatoes now in the porch, and will be showing aubergines, chillies and sweet peppers this weekend.

An indoor day then mainly, working out what to do with an unusual surfeit of vegetables. Dinner tonight was salmon fillets with leeks and parsnip-horseradish mash, and I got ahead preparing chicken arrabiata stew with parmesan dumplings for tomorrow’s dinner.

I need to carry on knitting my scarf too, a good distraction from mindless snacking on long dark evenings. This year’s advent calendar kit is beckoning too, for a recipient whose birthday is in August. It will come around quickly, however long away it feels now…

Rhubarb Timperley Early’ peeping out