It finally feels like spring this week. The cape weed, a thigh-deep blanket, has turned from green to a buzzing yellow of petal and bee. The sun has warmed our backs in amidst spates of wind, rain and hail, and the time has come to change. Everything in nature and in life is in a continual state of change and spring seems to be the essence of it. In the patch, we are constantly dancing to the lead of the seasons and this week the rhythm we’re dancing too has definitely shifted. We’re shaking off the slow and steady beat of winter and starting to shake some serious spring booty instead!
The winter greens came out of the ground this week in preparation for the next crops of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and basil. The first of our summer beans were planted from the seed we saved lovingly last autumn. The cauliflowers breathed their last and are making way for the next crop of root veggies and….we planted sunflowers! Nothing quite says summer like a sunflower.
We save our own seed where possible at the patch and this time of year loads of plants decide they want to make some. It can be a bit of a juggle to prioritise which varieties of seed to save and to try and keep the strains pure, especially when there are so many helpful cross-pollinating bees around! We’ve been letting our Cavolo Nero plants go to flower so that we can collect the seed off them. The Red Winter, Red Bor and Scotch Curly Leaf kales have also decided to flower, so to stop them cross-pollinating the Cavolo Nero’s we harvested the delicate and delicious flower heads from them to eat and sell. A once-off seasonal delight!This time of year around here the broccoli and kale really want to flower. It’s hard to produce the big heads that you see in the supermarkets but, rather than pulling the plant out, you can get weeks and weeks worth of sweet and tender side shoots, with or without flowers. They taste better than the big heads too! I love that we live (and grow) in a community where people are willing to push past the notion of what food should look like (as determined by the big supermarkets) and respond to the wonders of what food actually does look and taste like. Many growers would have to throw their kale and broccoli flower heads onto the compost because the supermarkets won’t buy them, but we are lucky to have places like The Good Table, The Growing Abundance Project, and Red Beard Bakery to sell our not-so-conventional yet exceptional produce to—places and people that, like us, delight in the wonders that each season creates.
Happy season’s change everyone
Sas and Mel