Relatively mild December, but even so as we head for the shortest day, we are also approaching the ‘hungry gap’. It’s relatively easy to produce great fresh food in this climate and at this latitude from July to October. But November to June are a different challenge.
So what have we got:
This week we’ve been harvesting leeks, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, cauliflowers. We could have had ( but didn’t for now) tons of kale, drumhead white cabbage, red cabbage, kohl rhabi, beetroot. Bit brassica heavy then. Perennial salads: winter cress, leaf celery, salad burnett, welsh onions, mizuna. Lots of herbs there still: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (go with the song) still fresh marjoram, bay. I’m sure I’ve missed some.
In the dry store we have stored: potatoes, marrows, pumpkin, apples, tomatoes.
In the fridge we have garlic, tomatoes.
Preserved we have: Bottled quinces, pears and apples. Jellies: hedgerow, medlar, quince, mint, apple, blackberry, blackcurrant. Chutneys: about eight different brews. Jams: strawberry, cherry, blackcurrant, gooseberry and who knows what else!
In the freezer we have: raspberries, cherries, blackcurrant, blackberries, redcurrants, white currants, gooseberries, Worcester berries, apple, pear, quince and some multiple concoctions thereof.
Dried we have: apples, mushrooms (various)
And there are some fruit wines fermented in the cupboard.
OK so every year I think what more can we do? In less than a quarter of an acre it’s currently unrealistic to be self-sufficient. But what if we had to be? I think we’d be swapping apples for grain. Fair exchange is no robbery.
There’s always more you can produce than you produce now.
Thoughts back welcome.