The Kitchen Garden is born

The Kitchen Garden vegetable bed, as I have lovingly named it, has had some overdue attention this weekend.

Our Kitchen Garden

The idea of this 6 by 4 metre bed is to grow as much veg as I can in the limited space. The idea is, if this was the entirety of my growing space, ie my house’s Kitchen Garden, would I be able to produce enough food to sustain my family for a season? Longer? Partially? I want to find out.

The idea fascinates me and along with a couple of other challenges I’ve set myself this year, I’ll be seeing how well I get on with this one.

Right now, we have broad beans inter sown with Charlotte potatoes. A further 16 supermarket potatoes that I purchased from our local greengrocer and a few stragglers in there too.

Broad beans are starting to flower

This past weekend I have planted out a few different varieties of spinach and beetroot that I had sown in modules which will hopefully survive the (yet more!) frosts that are coming.

I’ve also re sown carrots and parsnips, which I was a little too early with back in late February and early March, and they didn’t germinate. On another year, they might have germinated, so it won’t put me off trying again. It’s been a very cold Spring here in North East England this year and it feels as though a few things are behind.

There’s a few brassicas in this bed too. I took a gamble and popped them out early and they’ve shrugged the -4°c off like it was nothing. Cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage if I recall well.

I picked up some shallots in Wilko and every one of them is coming up which I am thrilled about. Alongside those babies I’ll be trying my onions that I grew from seed and also some yummy leeks.

As part of the Kitchen Garden bed, I’d like to build in a bit of a plan b, something we can rely on to provide us with our nutrients, if other things fail and so far that comes in the form of perennial kale (Taunton Dean variety) and walking tree cabbage. Both of these guys, in theory, should help me out most of the year round with greens. When I have too many greens to know what to do with, they’ll feed the chickens and ducks and when they’re sick of them, they can add green matter to the compost bin. Of course I missed out giving to family, friends and selling from the gate or to the greengrocer but you get the idea.

One other new to me plant, is the Welsh onion. This is another perennial, so another fall back plan, that should keep coming back year after year. I don’t know much about this as it’s new to me as I say, so I’ll report back.

Finally, I’ll be adding lots of herbs along the borders and including many more annual veg plants, but it’s not time just yet. We’re still due yet more frosts so I’m taking it easy, to a degree 😉

Take care, Tracy x