January: Winter Garden Harvest


Yesterday, after several days of rain, I trudged, stick in hand, clad in big hat and waterproof – (looking a bit like Gandalf, I thought, but definitely without any concealed fireworks) along a very squelchy field-path to the allotment. To say the plots are not looking their best is an understatement. All seemed dank, dreary, waterlogged, weedy, and downright dismal, and certainly not worthy of a photo – not even a moody, atmospheric one. BUT there was produce, much of it still thriving in the mild, wet weather. So here we have it – on the kitchen table my winter harvest, a humble ‘still life’ tribute to the Flemish masters who created such scenic wonders out of lemons, melons and grapes. And also inspired by Jude who kindly said we could interpret her winter garden challenge any way we liked.

So please pop over to her garden photography blog for more Winter Gardens

47 thoughts on “January: Winter Garden Harvest

  1. That is a work of art, that composition! I may have my sources off, but the reference to Flemish masters and rustic kitchen scenes like this reminds me of those featuring game, and some rather gory images at that, that scarred me as a young child my first time in a museum…a good scarring. Best to you and yours, Tish!

  2. I’ve been knocked off your list of followers for some reason. I just remedied that fact, when I found that I’d been disappeared from Jo too. Hence silence! I’m glad I woke up to my exclusion in time to enjoy this wonderful still life. Your garden is a source of great pleasure to me.

    1. I’ve not been here much either, Meg. AVG did something to my PC and I lost sight of the internet altogether. But it’s remedied now due to super whizzo-computer-fixer man, Gary. From time to time I find myself dropped off people’s lists. I think it’s one of those inexplicable WP things. Thank you though for enjoying my garden so much, at least in its virual form – which is good deal more sightly than the actual just at the present.

      1. J’s charmed his awful rocky soil into a domed garden that has been keeping us supplied with herbs, zucchini, cucumbers, beans and a variety of lettuce. A godsend in a crowded summer house. And you’re back in my world. So 2016’s off to a rollicking start.

      2. A mound garden sounds brilliant, a sort of variation on meso-American gardening too – where squashes are grown with beans, everything in together which is the best way to grow things really. And I’m so glad you’re back. And I’m back 🙂

  3. A beautiful winter garden link Tish 🙂 And a wonderful veggie still life too, very low key effect. Shows off the colours well. Now I am imagining a wonderful aromatic vegetable soup, or maybe minestrone?

    1. Mmm. An orange straight from the tree. All those volatile orangey oils escaping as it’s plucked from the branch. Heaven I think. I’m sure an Arizona winter will give you both a great boost. January can be such a lowering month in the north.

  4. I can almost taste the soup/casserole whatever… amazing what’s still around in the garden in this mild weather!

  5. Delicious harvest Tish, I can taste those sweet little carrots, and leeks are so versatile and I can see a couple of sprouts, one of my favourite veggies and now they have been elevated to super food status, maybe by sprout growers to encourage more people to eat them. I remember when kale got that distinction, I even planted some kale in my small plot and the caterpillars moved in to demolish them all…

    1. The carrots are such a treat. The ones out on the plot have been much eaten by slugs, but I put a couple of big buckets of young carrots into the polytunnel at the end of the summer and they’ve kept on growing. But yes, sprouts. They’ve not done terribly well this year, but I shall persist with them next year. The tops have been the best bits.Russian kale (there’s a leaf in the top right), is a new crop I’ve been growing. Very worthwhile and rather pretty. More frilly than curly and with a hint of pink! I’m very sorry the caterpillars got yours. It’s so dispiriting when that happens, even if one is feeding the wildlife that something else might eat 🙂

  6. What good company I’m in! Just saw that you’d been bumped from the folk Meg follows too 🙂
    I admire your resourcefulness. I was intending damp hellebores from my own garden for Jude but I’m short of someone to hold the brolly. It’s teeming again 🙂

  7. Simply gorgeous, Tish.
    I doubt I will manage to grow anything to rival this bounty but I did pick a couple of home-grown chillis from a (very) small bush I transplanted a short while ago.
    Are those leeks in the foreground?

    1. Yep. Leeks indeed. They’ve done well this year, despite onslaughts of allium beetle which is a newish pest in the UK. But I can’t grow chillis. Or at least they grow but have no heat. Not enough sun here 😦

      1. Serious question: Things like chillis notwithstanding, are you able to grow enough basic veg. for you and G or do you still have to buy some things?

      2. Ark, I would love to say we are self-sufficient in veggies, and it really should be possible given the amount of ground I have at the allotment, but no, we still buy a lot as well – especially tomatoes, celery and peppers. And I can’t ever grow enough onions with the amount we eat. We don’t often do big supermarket shops, but today we went to stock up organic fruit and veg that I can’t grow or is out of season here. I was a bit shocked by how far it had all travelled – Chile, Israel, Italy and Spain. We should of course eat seasonally,and locally, but as you may remember to well – English winter veg is rather unappealing. Swedes and turnips anyone?

    1. I have now got several veggies on the grow, including tomatoes, potatoes and beans. Have also recently planted a few, carrots and some squash.And I have spinach seeds in a small raised bed and cabbage and broccoli seeds in two old ice cream tubs in my office.
      This will be a sort of trial run – mostly for me now that I have gone vegetarian, this was why I asked about how much you could grow.
      If I may also ask,how large is your allotment, more or less?

      1. Oh blimey. The main full plot I think is 70 feet long by 15 wide. And then I have a half plot, although that is shared with someone else, and we both have polytunnels on same. Good on you with all that cultivation.

      2. 70 feet by 15.
        97 sq metres.

        Phew, then that’s an impressive yield, you have managed. Well done. You have green fingers like my old grandad.

        Well, let’s wait and see how all this ”cultivation” pans out?
        After the Boss told me how much tomatoes were per kilo I nearly went spare and set to! It;s the drought we have been having , of course. But the rains have come and things are sprouting.
        We’ll see ….

    1. Cheers, John. I agree, so many crops in Jan. is definitely strange. We’ve only just had our first bit of snow and frost this week.=, but it’s been too wet to trudge up to the allotment to see what’s going on.

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