Monday 4 January 2016

Harvest Monday - 4th January 2016

Well, here we go again - the start of a new gardening year. In January I don't typically have much in the way of harvests to show off, but on this occasion I do have some Leeks:

My photos are taken from the back doorstep because it was pouring with rain and I didn't want to linger outside longer than necessary. I just grabbed the Leeks and ran inside.

I have three different varieties of Leek this year - Apollo, Toledo and Winter Giant - but to be honest, they all look the same to me. These four are a mix - there are two of Apollo and one each of the others, but don't ask me which is which! I don't think any of them justify the name Winter GIANT.

You can see in the photo above how long the leaves were. Some of them are nearly four feet. Unfortunately those big green leaves are not so good to eat, and it is just the "stem" of the vegetable that we eat. I think it is sometimes referred to as the shank, or the barrel.

Traditionally, the lower part of the Leek is blanched by burying it deep in the soil.

Small, but perfectly formed!

You may wonder why I was out harvesting in the pouring rain. Well there are two reasons: first, it hasn't stopped raining for days so there was no point in waiting. Second, we needed the Leeks to go in a Leek-and-Turkey pie to finish off the turkey from our New Year's Day meal. That definitely wouldn't wait!

In addition to the Leeks, I have also harvested another small batch of Purple Sprouting Broccoli.

This is PSB "Red Spear" (in the rain)

I cut the main flowering head first.

This will oblige the plant to put more of its energy into the production of side-shoots, like these:

Much as I love PSB, I am concerned that it will all be over too soon, and I will have no vegetables at all in the early Spring. On the Plus side though, I suppose it means that I will be able to clear the bed in which the PSB is growing a bit earlier than planned, which will be helpful when I come to make the new raised beds. Every cloud has a silver lining, they say.

This is my contribution to Harvest Monday, hosted for the time being my Michelle at From Seed to Table, so please drop by her blog and see what other people are harvesting.


  1. I've been planning a chicken and leek pie but we have to get tithe plot first.

  2. That PSB plant is beautiful. The leek and turkey pie sounds delightful too!

  3. Nice harvest.

    The little bird sticking out of the pie reminded me that several years ago my mother in law gave me one of those but I've never been sure how to use it. Maybe next time I make chicken pot pie I should put it in the middle. Sounds crazy to do though. Why not use slits in the crust?

  4. Your Turkey and Leek Pie looks fantastic. Is that puff pastry on top? Yum. And the leeks look good to me, so much better than the rust infected specimens that came from my garden. I wonder if your PSB will produce over a longer period or if they will indeed you a chance to get something in their place earlier.

    I'm taking over for Dave as host of Harvest Monday for the month of January, so if you want to link up you can do so on my blog.

    1. Yes, Michelle, that was Puff Pastry on the pie, and just for clarity let me also say that Jane made the pie, not me!

  5. Lovely harvests, especially the PSB. You never know - it may surprise you and keep pumping out the harvests for longer than you anticipate.

  6. Your leeks look rather dainty. I was going to join in the week but my sprouting broccoli is still on the small side - nothing like your purple beauties.

  7. We used home grown leeks in our left over turkey pie. I sent Mike out into the rain though to pick them for me!

  8. Yummy, that pie looks wonderful (and elegant!). That sprouting broccoli has served you well from what I recall!

  9. The leeks are beautiful and the PSB amazing. Hopefully it keeps producing side shoots for a long time. I assume it is going to get colder before it gets warmer so maybe it won't bolt.

  10. Nice to have some of your own leeks Mark. I lifted a few too. I do actually eat some of the better quality dark green parts aswell <usually the inner leaves), they are a bit tougher but I find they have a good flavour and just need to be cooked a little longer than the main part so add them to dishes before the rest.
    I remember your amazing PSB last year! That plant looks lovely, there's no sign of any spears on my one plant yet.


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