Saturday, 9 June 2012

Brute farce

Growing vegetables is easy isn't it? You plant the seed in spring, water it regularly, watch it grow as you keep weeds away, and then when it's ready, usually harvest time in summer or autumn, you pull it out of the ground and devour with pride.

Unless of course you're me.

My approach to celeriac has been somewhat unconventional. Late last summer I decided to plant some celeriac seeds, not really paying attention to what Mr Fothergill advised on the packet. I planted the seedlings out in the ground possibly August time, perhaps a month or 5 too late but I was thinking to myself "root vegetable, will be ready in time for Christmas..."

It wasn't.

I had planted them in a somewhat crowded part of the garden, where the best sunshine falls. I blamed the raspberries for the lack of growth in the celeriac and in a rather cavalier manner uprooted the root and moved it to a place it could spread it's legs.

I had also planted one in a pot, to see if that too were possible. I realise that this most ugly of beasts can reach a size that would make most plastic pots ill fitting, with all the lumpy bits hanging out much like an inappropriately dressed overweight teenager in that dodgy bit of town you only go to to scour the charity shops for a bargain.

Not much has been happening in my garden of late, at least not much that I have designed. Having left the celeriac to get on with itself I noticed that it had in fact been growing, both in the ground and in the pot. I had left the pot on the soil next to the planted celeriac and it was only when I lifted the pot up forcefully that I realise I had torn the roots apart from the vegetable. They had gone through the holes and down into the soil.

At that moment, I guessed it was a goner. And sure enough, so it has proved.

However, in happier news, the planted celeriac appears to have found its vigour and the stalks are green, firm and growing and there is a hint of flesh on the top. Not particularly attractive flesh but then a hapless gardener like me is never going to get the prettiest vegetable... 

And oh! Before I forget, when you pick the leaves you get this amazing celery like fragrance on your fingertips. Does anyone know if you can you cook with the leaves?

My only other thought is whether, upon ripening (do vegetables ripen?), the celeriac will be edible after a stunted growth? Let me know gardeners!

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

My photo
I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.