These cold and windy days do seem to drag at the moment: the temperatures aren’t warm enough to really get going with the next round of seed-sowing or ground preparation, and any other jobs I could be getting on with – such as weeding and mulching the perennial herb beds, clearing brassica stalks from the field, making a new raised bed or taking off the plastic from the Vole Tunnel and getting it ready for its new skin – all really don’t appeal in this weather.
So it’s a case of filing VAT returns, catching up on paperwork, planning tunnel crops meticulously and trying to find motivation and inspiration online from the office today. I’ve picked 4kg of salad this morning, packed and delivered it; but although it’s brilliant having salad all year round, some customers (and myself!) are hankering after more exciting veg due later in the year. It’s enough to make me want to sow climbing beans and cucumbers right now; but looking at the forecast for the next couple of weeks, I know I’ll regret it. The trouble with the Hungry Gap these days is that most people aren’t aware of it: we are used to having a wide variety of fresh fruit and veg all year round: tomatoes in January, strawberries in March, leeks in June. Gone are the days of surviving on stored roots and some early green pickings if you’re lucky throughout the winter; now we expect our palettes to be tantalised by more than cabbages and potatoes from January to April. So I can’t wait until the radishes are ready (perhaps three weeks or so), then the spinach, then the beetroot, then the spring onions, then all the summer madness; meanwhile the plucky salad leaves will still be going, offering us fresh and healthy flavours no matter what the weather!