A welcome change this morning with a crisp, sunny start and a lovely walk with the dog in Bentley Wood. Saw some deer and plenty of birds, the walk really blew away the cobwebs and I wanted to spend some time when I got home getting organised on the veg plot.
You may remember from an earlier post that my father built this handy potting shed for me whilst we were away in France last summer. There’s plenty of space to store compost and hang tools with a sturdy bench to work from.
My main job was to get the shallots started. I grow Hative de Niort and want to enter both the pickling and exhibition classes in various shows this year – these are mainly my own saved shallots from last season with a few I won in the Hampshire DA raffle. The exhibition shallots were planted out in 3″ pots of Levington’s M2 compost with the picklling shallots in the standard multi-purpose. I had 32 exhbition and 16 pickling. I’ve heard people say that pickling shallots are Hative grown badly – I guess there’s an element of truth in this as whilst you are looking for good shape and uniformity you need to restrict the growth to keep the size fairly small. Hopefully they will put on some strong root growth in the cold greenhouse before I transfer them to their final postions in March.
Also in the greenhouse are some spring cabbage (Pixie), spring bulbs starting to come through and winter lettuce and land cress in the bed.
January tends to be a month when everyone organises themselves after the holiday and I’m back on the diet to shed the Christmas excess. Last year I lost 3 1/2 stone cooking recipes from the Hairy Dieters cook books and sticking to roughly 1200 calories a day whilst on the diet. This worked really well and, whilst I was only eating half of the recommended daily calorie intake, I was having tasty meals which got me through the lean times.
This is one of their recipes – Mince & Vegetable Pie with Tumbled Spuds – which was only 292 calories per portion. I’d recommend the books to anyone who wants to cook great recipes with less calories.
The next job on the veg plot is to get the chillies started. Have a good weekend everyone!