Anyway, no sooner had my fifth addition to the patch been erected and filled with compost, I decided to re-house and thin out my French bean seedlings, which had almost outgrown my mini greenhouse. They used to live alongside the carrots, but I swapped them with some spring onions, (perfect for keeping carrot fly away apparently).
As Nicole is ultimately my main reason for growing vegetables in the first place, I was advised to plant some beetroot seeds in my new bed. The reason for this being that they grow pretty quickly, so impatient little monkeys, (and parents) get to see results faster. Sure enough, only four days after sowing, they are already beginning to sprout! Anyone within a close proximity of me must think I'm a little bit mad when they see me checking on progress. I actually start talking out loud and shouting praise at the little shoots just because they're growing! I didn't even realise I did this until I witnessed Nicole doing the same to her tomato plants and sunflowers!
On the subject of things growing, if you really want instant gratification for yourself or your wee nippers, then I URGE you to start growing rocket salad. I honestly can't eat it fast enough...it reminds me of the magic porridge pot. This may sound ridiculous, but I was terrified of cutting it the very first time. I was so proud of it's beautiful leaves that I was worried that it might not grow back. No need! I cut it back one day, and the next, it's like the magical rocket fairy had payed a visit during the night and replenished the stock. Amazing!
Little tip for you if you're not quite sure what to do with your surplus rocket leaves. Why not try making this yummy pesto recipe that I found. Nicole LOVES it with her pasta, especially as she knows that she's helped to grow it.
(Thanks for this suggestion too, Esther)
125g rocket, stems trimmed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
80ml extra virgin olive oil
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
50g Parmesan, grated
maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the rocket, walnuts, Parmesan, and a little salt and pepper, in a food processor. Blend the mixture until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the side occasionally. While the motor is running gradually pour in the olive oil until well distributed.
Storage: Place the Pesto in a sterilised jar and pour a little extra virgin olive oil over the top and seal well with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.
The Pesto will keep for up to a month in well sealed jar in the refrigerator.
I should take this opportunity to give my previous contributor, Matt, a little round of applause. He got in touch again to show me how proud he is of his strawberries...
Great stuff mister! x