This time of year is what vegetable growers often refer to as "The Hungry Gap". Outdoor winter vegetables are just about finished, summer ones are not yet cropping and the stores are all but empty. We have 3 rather sad pumpkins left, no potatoes, no onions and no outdoor leeks. The remaining parsnips, kale and brussels have gone or are going to seed. In the past this was a very bad time for people who had no shops supplying vegetables and fruit of every conceivable type all year round. We take it for granted that we can have what-ever we fancy but this really is a new concept and in years gone by people often went hungry at this time of year. They supplemented their diet with what they could forage for and would have preserved what they could in salt but pickings were meagre and stomachs were rarely full.
For those people like us here at Eco-Gites of Lenault who aim to be as self sufficient as possible the Hungry Gap is ameliorated thanks to 2 modern lifesavers - the polytunnel and the freezer. The polytunnel brings vegetable harvests forward by several weeks and the freezer means we can preserve the excess harvest of one year to see us through until the following year. We do not head to bed hungry.
When we sat down to our stir-fry last night a good chunk of the vegetables we ate either came from our polytunnel or the freezer. Here's a taste of what we are currently harvesting:
Peas (wish I had sown more as these have done very well this year)
Broad beans. Shhhh, don't tell anyone but so far none have made it back to the kitchen as I have eaten them all straight from the pod!
Salad leaves including these peppery nasturtium leaves and their even more peppery flowers.
Add to these leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, lettuces, oriental greens and chard and we are not short of fresh veg. The rhubarb is also going great guns outside and we still have plenty of last year's harvest in the freezer. All I can say is we are very lucky to live in 2014 and 1014!
Are you harvesting anything right now? Why not see if any of the other gardeners are who have linked up with Annie's How Does Your garden Grow linky over at Mammasuarus.