Thursday, 4 January 2018

Our January Home Grown Food

A post today about the food we have left growing and ready for use in 'The Tunnels' and over on the Veggie Patch as well as dotted around by the house.

First lets have a wander into the polytunnel.

In this photo are the smaller of our Beetroot, planted later last Summer.  The leaves got a bit frost damaged a couple of weeks ago, but the plants are now doing okay again.

In the centre bed is the later planted Kale.

And over on the left hand side is a bed of purple Kohlrabi.  We mostly use this raw as it is absolutely delicious grated into a Winter Coleslaw.

Further along on this side are the older Kale plants, still lots to use on them but a bit tougher than the later planted batch.  Great for soups though.

In one of the centre beds near the back doors are the Spinach plants.  Still growing extremely well and keeping us supplied with lots of lovely greens.

The blue hoops are so that I can drape over some fleece when the temperatures outside plummet well below freezing.  I have only had to do this once up to now this Winter.

I have a pot of carrots left in here too.

Over in the Net Tunnel there is a bed of Red Onions for Spring.

A bed of Turnips in use now.

A bed of White Onions also for Spring.

And finally some more Beetroot, these are slightly larger as they were planted earlier than the ones in the polytunnel and we are working our way through these first.  Just one or two added to a pot of soup gives it a lovely colour and adds a richness to the flavour.

Of course we also have the Strawberries and Blueberries in the net tunnel but they are all dormant at the moment.

Out on the hillside on the Veggie Patch ... as you can see every day from the current blog header ... we have a bed of Leeks.  Like all the things we are using at the moment we simply pull up what we need each time.  The things we are eating both from the tunnels and out here on the Veggie Patch are all vegetables that can sit in the soil quite happily until they are needed.

Dad's Bed has a brilliant Rosemary plant that I am constantly using.

The other beds on the Veggie Patch are pretty neglected and weedy at the moment but over the course of the next few weeks will be dug over, manured and made ready for the start of the growing season.  I sow seeds a bit later here in North Wales, even with the polytunnel I find it's pretty pointless to start too early as later sown seeds grow into stronger healthier plants and soon catch up with anything sown earlier.

It's all trial and error as a gardener or grower and you have to adapt to your area, soil and the ever changing weather conditions.  It's taken me all of the four years we've been here to get to grips with this later sowing.

Walking back to the house we pass my pride and joy ... the first Bay plant that I have ever been able to keep alive.

Opposite it in the front flower bed is my large Sage plant.

And at the back of the house the old tin bath with it's collection of herbs.  From it at the moment we are using Rosemary, two kinds of Thyme and Sage.  It will be replanted in Spring and the compost refreshed.  It looks a real mess at the moment as I can't pull out the dead plants or the three chickens that roam around the house at various times of the day will be straight in there digging in the newly visible soil!!

But it's handy having all my herbs so close to the house.

So exactly what are we eating from the growing areas at the moment -


Of course in the large chest freezer we have lots of the home grown produce that has been blanched and frozen and this includes Carrots, Cabbage, Courgette, Spinach, Kale and lots of fruit ...Blueberries, Blackberries, Rhubarb, chopped Apples, Red Currants, Black Currants and White Currants.

So on a drab January day with the river having burst it's banks in the field opposite it's nice to know that we could easily and happily turn to just our home grown produce to keep us going through the month.  

Sue xx


  1. I haven’t really done veg for winter as I am the only one who eats them. We do have a nice bed of lerks tjough.

    1. 'Lerks' are really handy to have ready for use over Winter aren't they ;-)

  2. A good start to the year..and if they aren't too tough, you can use beetroot leaves as a tasty spinach. A good use when they haven't developed roots in time

    1. We usually do this although since they were hit by frost a couple of weeks ago they don't taste as nice now, so we'll stick with the real Spinach until the next crop of Beets go in. The chickens can have the leaves of these as and when I harvest them, they love them.

  3. That's amazing! And you've reminded me about winter coleslaws too - and that in turn reminds me of my love for raw beetroot...yum!

  4. Missing having a poly tunnel :-(

  5. I hope to grow more throughout the winter. I pulled up the last of the beetroot and carrots just before Christmas.

  6. Lots of herbs and fresh veggies still growing for you.

    God bless.

  7. What a great job you’ve done! We’re in the U.P. of Michigan. I have a black thumb in these growing conditions, sadly. I didn’t grow anything last year and this year is questionable. I would love a greenhouse! That would help a great deal.

  8. Oh, to be able to overwinter herbs! I brought in a rosemary plant (it's looking pathetic) but everything else is under a couple of feet of snow and will just be mush by the time the snow melts. My envy is overwhelming!

  9. The bay can not stand heavy frost


  10. Wow! Your veg looks amazing! And so well organised. I only have runner beans and blackcurrants left in our freezer. I love a handful of raw blackcurrants added to mueslu, helps to keep the coughs and colds away!

  11. We had a massive surplus of courgettes, tomatoes and shallots last summer. I made saucepan of ratatouille , that I then froze. It's keeping us going all winter. I am now planning for this year to store a bigger variety for next winter.


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