Time to reflect

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I've been away for a week in Wales with friends. For me, one of the best things about going on holiday is removing yourself from everyday life, and thinking about times ahead. As a veg grower, I enjoy a trip in late Winter. I can ponder the growing year ahead, and get my focus back in time for the busy spring period.

View from the holiday cottage

Good to Get Away

Whilst in Wales, I've learned that it's good to be away from the allotment from time to time. Despite arriving to sheeting rain and high winds, I've thought a lot about spring as and began to really look forward to returning home and getting stuck in to my overdue jobs. One very satisfying job that awaits is the first sowings of 2014 and the time for sowing hardy veg varieties such as broad beans, leeks, peas, carrots, parsnips and lettuce is almost upon us! I’ll remain guided by the weather, but I might make a sowing start this weekend. If temperatures remain mild, all these veg can even be sown outside. Watch out for cold nights, and cover any seedlings with fleece for protection. With the sun now setting well after 5.30pm and the sunlight hours getting longer by nearly 4 minutes a day, I’ll also be rushing home to do some sowing after work.

Looking Forward to Cooking With My Veg Again

I've also realised that I miss cooking with my own produce very much. That’s not meant to be a smug or a self righteous claim, but I didn’t use any home-grown veg for over a week, and life just isn't the same without my allotment readies. Good ingredients are of course available in the shops, but I genuinely believe that GYO provides such life affirming joy, that once you've grown something once, you always will. A week’s not a long time, but it is time enough for me to realise that whatever happens and wherever I go, I’ll always try to grow some of my own ingredients, one way or another.

New Harvests

I've also got a few new vegetables ready for the kitchen too – the first harvests of a new year are always one of the most exciting, and the rhubarb that greeted my return was no exception.

Rhubarb

I picked half a dozen very early rhubarb stalks, and immediately set about chopping them up. The sugary scent is gorgeous, and the rhubarb could be my favourite allotment crop for this alone. I won’t get fat on this harvest, but it is a very welcome reminder of the goodies to come.

Thanks for reading!

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