Sunday 24 March 2013

Snow in the Tudor Kitchen Garden

It's only been four days and we have already had our first setback in the Tudor kitchen garden project for the BBC's Grow Your Own campaign. Unfortunately, no-one told the weather that it is now Spring and it looks as though the seeds that have been planted will have been killed by the frost and snow this weekend. I'll re-sow next week if the weather gets any warmer, although I heard somewhere that we're due a new ice age...

Anyway, luckily we only had a few rows planted so it's not a big deal. Such a late snow would have been of considerably more concern for Tudor gardeners who were relying on their produce to feed their families. Seeds, which were saved over winter for sowing in Spring were valuable and a loss of a substantial part of their store would have been disastrous. I'm aiming to save my own seeds this year to sow next year. Seed saving must have been something of a science - letting a carrot plant go to seed, for example, means that you can't eat that carrot. It was therefore necessary to balance the needs of one year against those of the next.

I will keep updating on progress here. You can also listen out for progress updates on the Robert Elms Show on BBC London Radio on Saturday mornings. I was on there yesterday to introduce the project and will be featuring regularly over the coming months. Yesterday's programme is available on the BBC I-Player for the next six days.

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