Monday, 8 March 2010

Spring Is Here

I'm whispering this, just in case Mother Nature can hear me and decides to play a cruel trick. It seems that spring has been a long time coming, but I think it's finally here. We had some lovely sunny days last week, but on Saturday morning I woke up to drizzle. I thought that the weather was on the turn again, but it brightened up and turned into a lovely sunny weekend. It's sunny again today too. It's quite crisp, and there's some frost and ice about, in fact the small pond is frozen solid, but it's a lovely clear day. Long may it last.

Last year I bought a couple of rhubarb crowns. The allotment wasn't ready for them to be planted there, so instead, I planted them into large containers. They grew really well, but as they were new I didn't take any stems from them. I didn't get round to planting them out at the allotment so they're still in their containers, but they seem to be thriving. They've bulked up into good sized crowns and the Timperley Early is already throwing up new stems. I'll take a small harvest from them this year, enough to make a crumble, and then they can be planted out into the allotment. Rhubarb is a hungry plant so I will make sure that the ground has plenty of manure incorporated into it.

My kids have never tasted rhubarb. I hated it as a child, but I also hated beans. Since growing beans on the allotment they're now one of my favourite veg. Would you believe that before I had the allotment my hubby would not eat any veg at all? Talk about picky eaters. He now eats nearly everything I grow, and my son, who is also a picky eater, is eating much better. My daughter, well, she's just like me. She'll eat anything put in front of her, but that's one of the best things about having the allotment, not only knowing where your veg is grown and that there have been no chemicals used on it, but knowing that the family is eating much healthier. As well as growing all the things we like, I'm also growing things we're not so keen on, as it shows with the beans that our tastes can change. I'm hoping that we're going to enjoy the rhubarb.

As I've mentioned, we had a lovely sunny weekend, but I still haven't been to the plot. Instead I sent hubby down there to do some digging while I stayed at home and sowed more seed. I'm hoping that I can get down there this week to do some more preparation, and all being well, next weekend will see the drainage pipe being laid. Fingers crossed that this gorgeous spring weather continues.


  1. Allotments or veggie patches are great for trying new food aren't they. I hated sprouts but find home grown ones taste much better - less bitter. I still don't like them much but can eat then if they are from the garden :-) We have just sewn our sweetpeas, I know you can't eat them but they smell soooo good :-)

  2. I was a picky eater for a long time. Then I started growing my veggies and that changed. I’m not sure if own vegetables taste better, or is it just that I have changed my eating habits...

  3. ooh lovely, Rhubarb my favourite. I bet as well as having no chemicals on them your veggies taste of what they are supposed to taste of.

  4. Rhubarb tart with birds custard, that is what you need. We had rhubarb in the garden when I was growing up, quite a lot of it. Mom used to make Rhubarb Pineapple jelly (American style, like you put on toast, not jello) another great combination. My Sweet Husband introduced me to the Rhubarb tart. Birds custard is hard to find over hear, but worth hunting for.
    I think spring is coming here too.

  5. I can't wait for my rhubarb to be ready. That's another thing about grow your own, as you eat more seasonally things become a treat to look forward to rather than just something to lob in the trolley without much thought.

  6. Its right what you say about eating more veg - they are sweeter when freshly picked, for example runner beans! How cack are they from the supermarket? But freshly picked, I eat them raw!

  7. I think that whispering is a good idea Jo - winter may still have a few tricks up its sleeves yet :) Still cold here but the last couple of days have been gloriously sunny. I have been busy seed sowing too :)

  8. There's nothing better than seeing my two girls eating the veg I've grown, truly satisfying and knowing it was picked 1/2 hour ago as opposed to a few days like in the supermarkets makes it all worth while.

  9. It's been sunny here but with a cold wind at times. Still I've been plotting most days.
    I'd not eaten rhubarb in years until a plot neighbour gave me some, and hopefully I'll be eating my own this year.
    I've never been a picky eater and have been enjoying eating all sorts of vegetables that I perhaps wouldn't normally have if I didn't have an allotment. Flighty xx

  10. Both myself and my hubby will eat most vegetables and I'm looking forward to getting going on the new raised beds soon. Sadly our weather here has been dismal again, very cold and grey, only Saturday was clear and bright so we did a little bit of prep in the garden.

    Jeanne x

  11. I put in some rhubarb seed last year but I literally chucked it in place so I will have to wait to see if it does anything. I think growing your own is a great way to try new stuff and I think the kids are always more likely to give it a chance if they have grown it themselves!! Hope the weather stay fine for the weekend!!!

  12. I wrote a comment and it said it was published but now it has disappeared...this has happened a couple of times now so I think it might be can always delete this one if you want..i won't be offended..maybe the other one will turn up???

  13. Hee, hee Tanya blogger must be messing with you today LOL.

    Jo I don't think we whispered low enough its a dreary Monday greeting today but deep down I know spring is hear, its just winter isn't quite ready to relinquish his hold as yet.

    I also grew my rhubarb in a pot till year 2008 and so took one small harvest from it last year, this year i think I will also only take one harvest as well.

    My eldest is a champion eater but the youngest is picky but during the summer months of fresh garden grown foods she eats her best especially if she helps pick veges for the dinner meal.

  14. Great post! We have a 2 year old rhubarb now at the lottie and it's sending up buds, big juicy fat ones!! We didn't harvest last year but some sneaky ones are coming home this year, I haven't tasted fresh rhubarb and I really want to make a crumble - roll on this good weather!

  15. What's more Jo - you and I can call ours genuine Yorkshire rhubarb.

  16. Mother Nature can hear the slightest whisper from us, but will not resort to cruel trick because weather in itself is fairly tricky and unpredictable... ~bangchik

  17. You're lucky to have some of your family like rhubarb. I keep waiting to convert mine.

    Your drainage pipe sounds quite serious work - do give us a full account.

  18. Wow ! so many comments, as well there should be as it's a great post. By the way thanks for the comment on my craft blog.
    You are good for not harvesting any rhubarb for the first year, I know that's what I should have done, but didn't, so I hope I haven't done any damage.
    Today is an amazing SPRING day and I am going to the plot to see whats going on and to dig over the asparagus trench I laid last year. I need to get it ready to plant up.
    Have a great week-end. x

    PS: Blogger has been messing with me too as with Tanya over the last week, telling me comments have been published, they didn't turn up on the blog and then the next day appeared as by magic. Very annoying 'Mr Blogger'

  19. It's been lovely here this week too - sunny and lovely and crisp.
    I LOVE rhubarb - fool, pie, crumble, cake ...yum yum. I don't have any, but I always pick my brothers when I go to visit him!

  20. I think it's great to grow things which you haven't tried before, or which you're not particularly fond of, Scented Sweetpeas. Things can taste so different when you've grown them yourself. I love sprouts but didn't get to harvest any decent ones this year. I'll be trying again though.

    I think certain things taste so different to shop bought, Vrtlarica. For instance, sweetcorn tastes nothing like what you would buy from the supermarket, it is so much sweeter. Growing your own does change your eating habits though, it's good to have fresh veggies on hand.

    Thank you for visiting, Susan D. You can certainly taste the difference with some vegetables, but I think the whole process of growing your own is wonderful, right from planting the seed to serving on the plate.

    Custard is one of the very few things I don't like, Kat. I remember my mum having Bird's custard in the cupboard when I was young though. It's a shame you can't get it very easily in the US.

    I agree with you there totally, Allot of Veg. I never thought about seasonal eating before I grew my own. I think part of it is because you don't really appreciate how good something tastes when it's in season compared to how it tastes when it's not if you don't grow your own. Strawberries are a good example. I remember picking up a courgette in the supermarket a little while ago and then putting it back on the shelf as I thought to myself that it wouldn't actually taste the way it's supposed to.

    It's amazing how good something tastes when picked straight from the veg patch, Cat. I can't seem to make my non gardening friends appreciate this though, perhaps I should organise some veg baskets for them so that they can see for themselves.

    I agree, Anna. It's been pouring down today. Perhaps I did whisper a bit too soon.

    It's great to see the kids eating freshly grown veg, Damo. There's really nothing more satisfying. I'm hoping that my two will get the grow your own bug too so that they continue to eat freshly grown veg.

    We've had some rain today, Flighty. I'm still hopeful that it will brighten up again in time for the weekend though. One of the great things about allotments is that fellow plotholders are happy to share their produce so that if you're short of something you still don't miss out. I hope you get a great harvest from your rhubarb this year. I remember being a picky eater right up until my teens. There isn't much that I turn my nose up at now though.

    I hope the weather's perked up for you Jeanne. It's so annoying when you've got lots of plans and the weather puts paid to them. I'm looking forward to following your progress with your new veggie beds this year.

  21. Your first comment did turn up, Tanya. Blogger must be playing tricks on you. From my own experience, kids will eat more if they've grown it themselves. Even husbands do! It will be interesting to see if your rhubarb does anything for you this year.

    I don't think we did whisper low enough, Kella. It's raining today, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed still that I can manage to get to the allotment this weekend. I was quite surprised that the rhubarb thrived in a container. It just goes to show that you don't need a huge space in which to grow veg, and anyone with a small space can do it. I'm sure that growing your own is helping your little one to grow out of her picky stage. It certainly does help when they can help grow their food.

    I love crumbles, Carrie, though I don't make nearly enough of them. I'm sure your rhubarb wouldn't mind you taking a small harvest this year, I intend to.

    We can, Green Lane Allotments. Have you been to the forcing sheds? Cat from Manor Stables did a post about it recently. It sounds fascinating.

    That's very true, Bangchik. It's raining today, though we are only in March so it's to be expected really.

    Hubby is hoping to get the drainage pipe in this weekend, Linda, weather permitting. There's only our plot on the site which hasn't had this installed yet and it does seem to make a difference on the other plots. I'll let you know how we get on.

    I'm sure you won't have done any damage to your rhubarb, Maureen. It's so hard to be patient when you see it there ripe for the picking. I hope the spring days have lasted where you are. We've got the rain again today.

    You've given me lots of ideas there for my rhubarb, Lynda. Perhaps I should take just a bit more than a small harvest. You should get yourself a crown if you love it. I picked one of mine up from Wilkinson's for a couple of pounds.

  22. Hello! I've been trying to post comments on your blog but the embedded comment setting doesn't let me do it at work. But anyway, hello Jo! Hope you're well and I look forward to hearing what you get up to this weekend. More sowing? More sending the hubby out to do the 'dirty work'?! ;) Take care & best wishes, Steph x

  23. I haven't been to the sheds myself but a friend has and gave me photos which are posted in an article on my website which is linked to my blog. The history behind growing rhubarb in the triangle is fascinating with a special Rhubarb Express train. I did read Cat's post as well

  24. Hello Jo
    My fave veg is now broad beans but would have starved rather than eating them as a kid.
    I havent grown rhubarb before but think I will give it a go as it seems pretty self caring.
    Thank you for commenting on my blog. I am quite new and still finding my way so it's great to get comments.

  25. How did you guess, Steph? I've done lots of potting on and sowing this weekend, and hubby has been laying the drainage pipe at the allotment. It's all systems go now.

    I'll have to have a look at the article on your website, Green Lane Allotments. Apparently they say you can hear the rhubarb creak as it grows.

    Thanks for visiting, Claire. It's funny how our tastes change as we get older. I'm hoping that my fussy eater of a son will get better with age.


!-- Start of StatCounter Code for Blogger / Blogspot -->