Spring has sprung! Our tasks should have begun! The seasons do not wait for us to gather our wits, still anticipating the cold we venture into the plot, hesitantly. If you join us you will discover, amongst other things…the majestic Leek! These triumphant plumes of flavor have grown tall and proud for almost a year. Hmmmm… As we heartily tuck into leak and potato pie we should reflect on this magnificent journey.
A leak seed is similar to a grain of sand it sits in the palm of your hand jostling for safety in numbers you try your best to sow 2 per inch and scatter them haphazardly. Then you hold you breath until they poke up 2-3 weeks later, a tiny spurt of green.
Diligently you urge them on and on as they grow, painfully slow! Even with the steadiest hand will cast out too many little soldiers into the fertile ground and sure as eggs is eggs the day comes to prick the little ones out. Smaller than a piece of gass this is a heart wrenching experience! For the first time you feel truly part of their story, dealing out their fate mercilessly. However space must be made and the strong ones soon thicken up to the size of a pencil and are ready for the big wide bed.
Using a dibber you push into the ground and line the lonely, delicate stems one to each hole which seem cavernous, swallowing them up. Each hole is filled with water and then left, the belittled leek shivering in its murky bath isolated from its pals whispering fervent dreams to the sun of foliage and girth.
There they sit for months and months hopelessly at first. Once comfortable in their new home they gain confidence. Their roots venture cautiously out to find a new depth of nourishment previously unknown and their fellows can be heard proclaiming the joys of good food and open sky. They soak it all up shoulder to shoulder the neighborhood thrives. For a while now we had forgotten our worries and felt only pride, our beautiful community strong, healthy and wise. We never completely took our eyes off the troop and wrapped them up with straw to keep the bed bugs at bay.
As autumn drew on into winter we celebrated the year, round the fire we told tale of our escapades and celebrated the good crop. The leeks leaning in to judge the hmmm and the ahhh as their comrades transcend from stew to be poo.
Now we enter the hungry gap when stocks are running low, no plants are growing yet so our fate relies on our careful planning, our moderation and mother earths whim. Local organic is scarce in the shops a scary reality of our dependence on limited fossil fuels.
However we have done well! Their waistlines have swelled and they are full of their own pomp, extravagant décor, exuding hidden delights. All our love and care has provided a feast, the earth has displayed her abundance. The final stage will be a flower from which there will be a seed and the march will go on.
This has been my first crop from seed to plate and it has been a really great experience. We will be sowing seeds soon so if you want be the co-author of a new fantastic story come and plant a seed with us!