Well, last week saw the last of the leeks from last year harvested.
The leeks (in common with the cabbages; more on those next time) were a bit of a surprise crop. I’d never grown them before, so in my typical spring-fueled enthusiasm last year I bought some seeds and put them in what I’d decided to call my ‘seed bed’, full of good intentions to follow the instructions and transplant them to their final location once they’d grown a little.
Then nothing happened, for a considerable time, and I just sort of assumed that they’d been eaten by birds, slugs, ants, or possibly abducted by aliens. In true ‘lazy gardener’ style, I just sort of accepted their fate and stopped worrying about them.
Some time later I noticed that finally these grass-like stalks were appearing. This posed something of a problem for me, because by this time I didn’t actually have anywhere to put them. My master plan had been to expand them out into the other half of the ‘seed bed’, but that was now filled to overflowing with the cabbage that I’d also not transplanted.
So, long story short I adopted my standard policy of ‘ignoring them’.
Fast forward to last autumn, and I find that I’ve got two or three rows of reasonable size leeks; they’ve had a hard year what with being under giant cabbages and sweetcorn, and because I’ve ignored them I haven’t done any of the blanching that I was supposed to do (apparently if you bank up the soil around them – sort of like potatoes I guess – the lack of light extends the white section) but I wasn’t too bothered as I quite like the green bit anyway!
So over winter we’ve had a reasonable supply of delicious leeks – certainly not a big crop, but a total bonus considering I’d given them up for dead very early on.
The last couple were pulled up last week (and disappeared into a very tasty blue cheese risotto), marking almost the end of the crops from last year. There’s still a meals-worth of savoy cabbage lurking out there, though…!