"ONE for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, one to grow”

How is your January?

Christmas is cooked along with the turkey, it’s cold, it’s dark, and you are probably the heaviest you have ever been. Aah, trends. You are beating yourself up to join the latest fad diet or even go dry for January, give up meat, or change your politics? You started a new gym or yoga class, but the concrete floor and breeze block walls were like the Arctic. It would have been kinder to snuggle up at home with the latest Netflix series. In fact, why go out at all in January? Except you must, bring home some much-needed wonga after your misspent YOLA of a December? And to top it all February is not much better (well it is the snowdrops will be out) but it seems a long way over the horizon.

Anyway, what is the point of being upbeat in January get it done and over with. Wish your life away?   Or not. The plants need a rest. let them sleep their lazy buds.

Try leaning into it a bit, follow the storm, coach, and distract yourself. After all this is an exciting time to plan the Kitchen Garden for the coming season and order my seeds. And it is not just seeds but where are you going to sow them, what you need to prepare, how are you rotating the crops and how will you sequence the sowings?

January is about preparation for the year ahead. So, what are you going to sow? What do you want to get out of your vegetable patch?

I can split my reasons for growing my vegetables and herbs into four categories:

  1. Quantity of produce and Economics
  2. Quality and freshness
  3. Flavour and tastiness
  4. Nutritional content including organic

Everything you grow should fit into at least camps two and four. So, with an average of sixteen plant varieties, I sow each year, I begin at quality and freshness, with hopefully a better nutritional content for all sixteen.

I would then call out nine plants where the flavour and tastiness are a reason to grow in itself: Peas, French, broad and runner beans, tomatoes, carrots beetroot, cucumbers, and new potatoes.

But, when it comes to the economics and quantity of produce I am down to only four that I can honestly say are value for money: French, Broad, and Runner beans plus new potatoes. Everything else is more of a luxury, considering the time and effort taken, and as the saying goes: “ONE for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, one to grow”

In my garden, it would be: “Three for the vole, three for the snail, three to rot, and one for your pail”, but I love it and it gets me through the January blues, and the voles attract the owls and the snails the thrushes

My go-to seed companies feature heirloom varieties for flavour such as the Real seed company.

 


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