Of course it’s cheating because these are the winter pickings of last season’s sowings, but it was nice to be able to take these off on the first day of the new year. We took the last of the beetroot partly because I was reconfiguring the patch it was growing in as a raised bed this morning, but also because the weather forecast is predicting some severe weather with temperatures some way below freezing. There’s even some suggestion that this winter might exceed last winter in severity, so we dug these and they’re cooked already.
The other green vegetable aside from the savoys which are doing well this year is the cima di rapa – turnip tops with a college education. We read about them in the late summer and sowed a few just to see what they were like. The leaves, eaten raw, are quite mild with just a hint of horseradish like heat. They’re most often used in a pasta dish and are apparently much liked in Italy but sadly Anna del Conte, one of my favourite writers says she doesn’t like them at all. Still, we mustn’t be slaves to fashion. It’s rermarkable that they’ve grown steadily through the diminishing days and are just coming into flower. Once they’ve done that they don’t last long before breaking into flower.
The other main job of the day was covering any growing crops with fleece to stop them from checking when the temperature goes down to -3 or -4C.