Sunday, February 05, 2017

Hellebores and the Courgette Crisis

Imbolc and Pauxatawney Phil have delivered their equivocal predictions about the length of winter remaining. Probably no matter how brief it will be too long. My garden pal and I were planning our veg and flower patch and wind protection strategies for the upcoming season. 'If' played a major role, as always. If we do not get a sudden cold snap--it is possible. If we do not get the cold cold northeasterlies late in March when bulbs and leaves and such have begun to think Spring is all the way safely here again then we have our optimistic scenario. But we've both lived up here long enough now to have our more cautious plan.

And for all our planning, the plants and the weather will do what they decide to do. The snowdrops are in bud and the hellebores, those most hardy of flowers, are blooming in the perennial bed.

Weather has asserted itself in the food supply chain. It is hardly a crisis that we can't get courgettes in February in the supermarkets because of floods and cold weather in Spain and many parts of Europe, but it is a reminder that buy local is not just a hippie slogan or empty localism in the face of rampant globalism. Eating things in season and eating them where they are grown just makes good sense.

Ok having dabbled in growing veg I have the luxury of my own approach to what the media have dubbed the Courgette (zucchini to my American friends) Crisis. I have seeds to start in a pot in my sun room. I can pick a few of them at a time rather than fretting about how to get through the multi-portion bags they sell in the supermarket.  A recent addition yo the veg aisle in the supermarkets is pea shoots--very tasty, so again, I'm going to use some old pea seeds and harvest them as tender young plants.  If I had courgette seeds, I would be tempted, but that is probably a step too far even for a sunroom in this latitude.


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