Saturday, 5 February 2011

Parcel delivery and Purple Sprouts

The postman brought me a very welcome parcel on Thursday, it was from Stephen at Victoriana Nurseries  the Tayberry arrived and also the two Lemon Grass plants. There were also the Parsnip seeds 'Hollow Crown' and my tomato seeds as well.  The Globe Artichoke plants wont be delivered until April/May ready for planting out. This gives me time to choose and prepare the area that they will be planted in. I have to plan this wisely as they are perennial and will be there for some time (hopefully) Having only ever eaten Artichokes already prepared in jars from the shop I thought I had better buy some to experiment in preparing and cooking them. A friend kindly bought me and herself a couple each. We didn't have a clue what to do with them, so I turned to good old Google and found lot's of useful links and even video's on YouTube.

After chopping the stem off and taking off the sharp tips and removing the lower leaves, I them boiled them, I will steam them next time as I always steam all my vegetables.  When soft I then let them cool, cut out the heart and scraped the flesh from the leaves and then sauteed it all  in a little butter with garlic. I ate them cold the next day with a salad, delicious !! the only drawback was they were very small and didn't have much of a heart which is the part |I love the most.

The parcel which was well wrapped in straw and heavy polythene (which I then up-cycled and used to cover one of my raised beds.) the polythene that is !

As you can see the Tayberry is a really good size, I can't wait to get some fruit from it.  It also has loads of healthy buds.   I am so pleased with the quality of the plant.

The Lemon Grass, lovely for stir fries and so expensive to buy in the supermarket, so I'm hoping to get lot's of my own later on .

Purple Brussel Sprouts, at last a small harvest !

Just look at these beauties,they were more purple than this but I had to remove a lot of the outer leaves, so here they are ready to be steamed.  They were delicious and kept their unusual colour and well worth the wait. I would have had some before if  they  hadn't  been so badly infested with white fly. I had to reluctantly
spray them and just wait and see if they grew some more which they did and I have a good few more small harvests to pick yet and will be growing this variety again (Rubine)


Tessa @ Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots said...

I just love getting seeds in the mail- it makes me feel the season is coming, which it is! I love those purple Brussels where did you get the seed?

Happy almost spring to you!

Vegetable Heaven said...

Isn't it lovely to get a present (even if you pay for it yourself!) You won't regret the Tayberry. We bought one 11 years ago when we moved to this house, then 18 months ago I took over an allotment with 4 on! They make the most wonderful jams.

Maureen said...

Hi Tessa, thanks for the comment and for reading my blog. The seeds for the Purple sprouts are 'Unwins' called 'Rubine' I wasn't going to grow them anymore as the sprouts were covered in thousands (I kid you not !) of tiny white fly even though they were under 'Enviromesh' so I couldn't harvest any before Christmas. However I sprayed the plants and left them alone and although the bottom sprouts were horrible, I have lot's of tasty small ones to pick now. So they are back on my to sow list.
Hi Vegetable Heaven, it is lovely to get plants in the post I agree.
The Tayberry and other things that arrived are like a present as I am trialing and blogging about plants and seeds for Victoriana Nurseries, which isn't hard to do as their seeds and plants are first class, and I really mean that.

Damo said...

Those purple sprouts look great. Have you ever tried milk spray for whitefly. I know people have used it with success on brassicas although I've been fortunate not to have a bad infestation yet.

Maureen said...

Hi Damo
I got your comment as you can see so they are getting through, so that's good !
Thanks for the milk advice, I have used that on my courgette plants but didn't realise that it would deter white-fly. I will definitely give it a go if they get infested this year.

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Maureen, Fascinating post. Tayberry is new to me and I am anxious to see how it grows, and what sort of fruit it bears. I may have to Google it.

Sorry I haven't visited lately but I was in hospital. I'm better now, and busy trying to catch up on my favorite blogs.

Glad you've got a little taste of spring there. P x

Maureen said...

Hi Pam, thanks for the comment and I will keep you posted about the Tayberry.
I hope you are better now and that it wasn't too serious. I will be visiting your blog today, to see how you are
M x

Ali said...

Gosh you are going to be a busy bee!! I managed a visit to my allotment today - it's so exciting when it all gets going again isn't it??
Hope you are well xx

Maureen said...

Hi Ali, it's good to hear from you and I am so glad you have been able to get to your allotment.
I shall be taking a look at your blog to see what you have been up to. M x

Plantaliscious said...

Ooh, I just had a shiver of vicarious excitement! The Tayberry looks wonderful. Maybe next year... I've ordered seed for the same red sprouts, so hopefully next year I will be taking pics of my own. I am going to try growing lemongrass from seed, though I've heard it can be tricky.

Maureen said...

Hi Plantalicious, I hope you have success with your purple sprouts as they are delicious, but watch for the white-fly as mine got infested and the sprouts at the bottom couldn't be eaten, so I sorted that problem out and now enjoying the pickings from the top.
As for the Lemon Grass, they are easy to grow from seed and I got some to a good size plant, but never got more than a few tiny thin pieces to cook with. So that's why I decide to try the plants from Victoriana Nurseries.
Good luck with both and I look forward to seeing your results.
m x

Pam said...

They all look so healthy Maureen - obviously from a very good nursery. Will go take a look see.
Wish we had some sprouting broccoli - will make sure for next year.
P x

Maureen said...

Hi Pam
Yes the plants are very healthy and lots of buds on the Tayberry. It's in a pot, so safe at the moment to leave it until next week when I will get up to the plot to plant it.

I am hoping to have lots of PSB soon. The plants have done so well to withstand all that terrible weather. It's certainly worth growing as its a terrible price in the shops.
M x

Anna said...

It's always exciting getting plant parcels :) Your tayberry looks a sturdy specimen - will be interested to see its progress during the year. I tried Rubine a couple of years ago but did not have much joy. Glad to hear that yours are doing well Maureen and that there are still more little feasts in store.

Maureen said...

Thanks Anna, I almost gave up on the 'Rubine' sprouts but they seem to be ok now.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Hi Maureen! Somehow, I lost you and so glad to 'find' you again! Interesting post! Purple brussels are amazing!

Maureen said...

Hi Tatyana, thanks you for reading the post and commenting. I'm glad you found me again. I haven't been visiting all the blogs I follow (yours including) as regularly as I would like to, I always seem to be too busy to sit at the PC for very long. I hope you are well.