Time for another update on the Tudor kitchen garden project...
The weather has really turned here in the last week. It all feels very autumnal. Some of the beanstalks are still flowering, but have been producing fewer and fewer beans (I only found two today). The cabbage plants have now started producing heads, but they are being decimated by an unidentified creepy crawly (possibly caterpillars?). Otherwise, the turnips are growing, although I don't seem to be very good at root crops - perhaps you can eat turnip leaves? We will certainly be eating the leaves of the third crop of radishes, which are growing well.
The stars of the garden at the moment, however, are the carrots. This is one root crop that I seem to have been successful with and, today, Dominic (aged 3) and I decided to pull some. They are not the prettiest carrots in the world, but they taste great, even if we may have pulled a few too early. Unfortunately, very few purple carrots have grown, but there are a few of the orange variety. The yellow carrots are growing really well. We still have quite a few to harvest in the next few weeks!
The project has now been going on for seven months and has been great. What I particularly like is that I am learning about what vegetables are in season, and when. For Tudor gardeners, where only very little of the produce could be stored for long periods, it was a question of eating your greens (and oranges, yellows and purples!) when they were available. That meant salad leaves and radishes in late spring/early summer, then beetroots and beans and, finally, the autumn crops of carrots, turnips and cabbages. With so much produce, we've been following a similar pattern ourselves. I've tried to use everything that we have grown, meaning that we are only buying a few vegetables from Kingston market to top ourselves up (as Tudor gardeners would, again, have done). Everyone is looking forward to carrots at dinner time tonight!