Granted, when we hear stories of the celery’s nobbly brother celeriac, our minds aren’t awash with images of natural beauty. I mean, how could he ever overshadow the chiselled frame of that dashing celery?
However on tasting this little fella I can’t help but think people are missing a trick here; he’s a beauty. In the last few weeks, we’ve been pulling up a couple of celeriac at a time and so far I’m delighted with them. Once the foliage and skin have been removed they’re probably the size of a golf ball. So although not the biggest, the taste still packs a punch.
I recently read that the garden dandy, Monty Don, likes nothing better on Boxing Day than to sit-down to a bowl of chestnut and celaric soup. Don’t know if his dog Nigel feels the same way, but it does sound like a cosy treat.
I’ve always been an admirer of this misunderstood soul and will always make space for his nobbled presence on my plate. And to discover Soph has now been adding him to winter soups, well that’s even better!
There’s truth in the saying ‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts’, no more so than for this little beauty.
When I was talking to the lovely Amie on The Dirt Radio Show earlier this week, we got onto the topic of ‘bug love’ which is a subject very close to my heart.
So with all things ‘bug’ flying around in my grey matter, this weekend I began making headway on the second allotment plot. This included preparing a second area on the edge of the allotment specifically for bugs, butterflies and any other creatures looking for somewhere to rest their little heads rent-free.
I built a similar area back in early Spring when I took on my first allotment as I felt I had inadvertedly upset the bug life that had been happily buzzing around uninterrupted during the previous couple of years when the plot was abandoned.
I’m aware that the relationship between bug and gardener isn’t always the best; spending weeks nurturing our sacred seedlings only to have an unwanted visitor munch and nibble all our hard work does occasionally result in a few trigger-happy assassins going bugmaggeddon on anything with four legs or more. How you get rid of your unwanted visitors is between you and your conscience. For me, I try companion planting to protect plants and deter pests; Marigolds and Nasturtiums are two of my favourites.
Being caught between a small orchard and a large Buddleia, our plot is an ideal haven for any critters, and if I can encourage them to stop off for a little respite, they might return the ‘bug love’ by pollinating some of my plants. Everyone’s a winner!
With the onslaught of winter, my busy little friends need a place to retreat, rest and have a little snuggle time with Mrs ladybug. Hence the bug boudoir was born. And with business booming, I’m in the midst of creating a second one for my guests.
Next year I want to build on our allotment success and grow even more, try new vegetables and keep it as organic as possible. But to do this I still need a little help. Right now, we’re continuing to enjoy our autumn harvest, so we must be doing something right by our little guests.
The lovely folk at The Dirt contacted us on Monday morning to tell us the rather splendid news that they had chosen Agents of Field for their inaugural Blog of the Week feature, and they wanted to interview us on their show.
The Dirt is an online radio show for budding gardeners, foodies and outdoor enthusiasts that broadcasts live every Monday from 7-9pm (GMT) on Fab Radio International and we were delighted to talk to Simon, Amie, Ricky and Paul for this week’s show and chuffed to bits to be chosen as their Blog of the Week.
For those of you who missed this triumphant occasion, have no fear. You can listen to the podcast right here (we’re on from about 13:17), and hear Agent Ade and I talk pumpkin invasions, cabbage failures, Save Farm Terrace, and our plans for world domination, all nicely rounded off with an appropriately-seasonal song by The Kinks.
There. And I bet you thought your week wouldn’t get any better.