Unearthing our roots

Well, it’s been a quiet couple of weeks on the blog but it’s been all go on the plot. Suddenly spring has sprung and there are a thousand and one jobs to do. Thankfully the Mantis tiller arrived in time. It was a bit of a shock to realise that we had to practically build it ourselves (mechanics isn’t our strong point) but after much swearing and cursing over the instruction manual, the pieces seemed to all fall into the correct place and now man and machine are working together in perfect harmony.

Man and Mantis in action

Man and Mantis in action

 Since man and tiller have been united there has been no stopping them – every piece of earth has been churned up. So, whilst the two of them have been eagerly working their way through the plot, I have been trying to keep one step ahead by clearing everything that was either due to be pulled up for composting or salvaged for eating. This is what I unearthed.

The final harvest

Yes, it looks a bit like a line up for a Dr Who audition. For some reason most of the parsnips seem to have developed pairs of crossed legs. Some can even sit on a fence by themselves. Are parsnips supposed to do this? This year we’ve planted them in toilet rolls to try to solve the problem. Gnarled up shapes are one thing but it makes preparing them for the Sunday roast a very slow process.

Parsnips keeping their legs crossed

Sitting on the fence

Whitchetty grub or parsnip?

As for the celeriac – well, that’s all roots, shoots and no body. This is the second year we have attempted growing these and still aren’t very successful at it. We like celeriac but are we just wasting our time trying to grow them? Anyway, I’ve planted a few more seeds again this year but if they don’t produce anything, they’re out.

All roots, no body

Still, the greenhouse is filling up nicely now and in about a month’s time I think we’ll be struggling for space in there. This weekend I’ll be spending plenty of time in it transplanting all the onions so plenty of coffee and chocolate will be required. Since it’s going to be a wet weekend, it’s probably going to be the best place to be!

Off to Stoneleigh tomorrow to the ‘Grow your own’ show and then back to watch Monty in the evening – it’s good to have Monty back.


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