Not an enchilada…

The plot’s looking a bit sad. I’m getting better at growing stuff, but the planning is awry as I’ve now only got garlic and beans left to harvest. When I look at the neighbours’ plots I see acres of potatoes, flowers and beans. Never mind; I’ve got ideas for the Autumn and beyond, and I’ve learned a lot from this year.

K wandered by on Sunday and gave me a bag of (stringless) runner beans. Fantastic flavour! On Sunday I made a great veggie stew and today I finished the beans off in a tortilla. I thought I was making an enchilada, but it turns out that enchilada is the past participle of enchilar – to add chile and mine didn’t have chile in. As an aside, I think that’s a cracking verb!

Veggie entomatada – no claims to authenticity

  • hard vegetables: sweet potato, beetroot, half an onion, carrot.
  • grated ginger
  • soft vegetables: mushrooms, leek, small tomatoes (halved), runner beans.
  • left-over haricot beans

Make a tomato sauce: sauté the other half an onion, add garlic and then sieved tomato. Set to one side.

In a heavy pan with a lid, sauté the hard vegetables and then put the lid on to let the veggies steam for a few minutes. Add the ginger and stir for a minute. Then add the soft vegetables and haricots, sauté and steam until all the veggies are tender. The veggies weren’t too wet.

Turn the oven on medium. Put the veggies into tortillas (from the inimitable Lupe Pintos), roll them up and into an ovenproof dish. Tomato sauce, cheese and then into the oven for a quarter hour.

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tidying up the plot

The warning letter says I’ve got to get the plot tidy before 26 March, so I’ve been down to the plot twice this weekend.

Yesterday: mended the broad bean supports; dug over the bed for leeks; rooted up the bramble on the side of the plot; cut back the oregano; and cut the grass on the paths. Made it back home in time to watch the Scotland-Ireland match, ordered take-away curry, had a bath and was in bed by 9:30.

Today: finished digging the bed by the compost bins (it’ll probably get peas), and dug in a barrowful of manure; answered a master composter question; cut back another bramble; weeded the rhubarb and put manure around the crowns, which are just starting to poke out off the ground.

That’s 5 hours of work this weekend, and I suspect I’ll sleep like a log again tonight. But for now, I’m going to brew some coffee and listen to the Food Programme on Cuba and Urban Gardening.

the back room is a nursery/sonic youth

The flat has been quiet over the last few days, and I’ve had some time to change things round. Worked ’til midnight last night moving the back room round. Eventually it’ll be the daughter’s bedroom but it’s been a clothes drying room and general junk room for over a year now, so I’ve created an interim configuration and cleared some trash. With the cabinet by the window, I can propagate seeds:

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On the left are 28 broad bean seeds (Bunyards Exhibition) to go where the first lot of Aqualdulce Claudia failed to germinate (outdoors sowing is more tricky). I’ve fashioned a bubblewrap cover and use a bent coathanger to keep it off the modules. On the right is a tray of parsley (plain leaved 2) and a tray of leek (bandit). Still got lots of seed left: 27 broad beans; 2/3 of the parsley; 1/2 the leeks.

Enjoyed myself thoroughly this evening sowing the seeds, playing Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth on the hifi. It’s probably my all time favourite album…

Everybody’s talking about the stormy weather, what’s a man to do but work out whether it’s true?

Shame I couldn’t find a decent video of Hey Joni on youtube:

In this broken town, can you still jack in and know what to do?

Very early broad beans means NOW

Took an hour and a half to weed and spread manure on the bed for beans. Problem is: Super Aquadulce are very early broad beans and should be planted by the end of February. I thought I had next month as well! So, the modified plan is: plant 1/3 tomorrow, 1/3 at the end of February, and 1/3 a fortnight later.

Compared my raspberry canes with C’s. Unfavourably it turns out! Maybe I’ll plant some new canes at the end of this year and then dig up the current canes when the new ones have settled in. Not sure where thy should go; not down the West end of the plot, but I’ve got nowhere obvious in the middle or East end. Where the second compost bin is? I thought I was going to put in espalier apples along the North side of the plot, so that’s difficult.

Measured out the leek bed — that’s the next one for putting manure on. It only seemed large enough for 15 leeks at 9″ spacing. That’s an under-estimate, but I’ll probably extend the bed along another couple of feet and have enough space for a few more.

Ambitions for the year

Last year was pretty crap on the plot. This year will be better. Better organised, for sure, and hopefully better produce. Today I received my seeds from Garden Organic: climbing French beans (Neckar Queen), broad beans (Super aquadulce), calabrese (green sprouting), leeks (bandit), turnips (purple top milan) and coriander leaf. And a sieve, which my daughter models with aplomb:

here’s the sieve

Cost: £17.32