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You know it’s a good start to the day, when wondering to the bottom of the garden to harvest a lettuce for lunch you can stop to snack on freshly podded peas and the odd alpine strawberry.

My vegetable garden is really starting to produce now.  This week I have pulled the first spring onions and the first proper harvest of carrots. 

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The spring onions are Paris Silverskin onions, which bulb up for pickling, and are I have discovered quite mild in taste.  They are so beautiful and perfectly formed.

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The carrots are Paris Market Baron’s which are (like the spring onions) bulbous.  Rather than growing downwards they plump up into tubby round orange roots.  They are beautifully sweet and have matured much quicker than my Rainbow carrots which are still developing.

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Here are the first thinnings of the Rainbow carrots.  I was them under the outside tap and munch on the tiny sweet roots.  The carrot tops and any carrots too tiny for me are given to the lucky bunnies.

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And here is Lovage wondering why I keep trying to take his picture…

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I’m going to start my weekend posts with a fresh, vibrant salad that will help you spring into summer.  This salad was dreamt up from standing in the aisles at my favourite grocery – it uses the produce that was freshest and just said ‘eat me!’

It is so simple – just peas, radishes, cherry tomatoes and spring onions.  Now I know that my cherry tomatoes are way off even flowers forming, but these cherry tom’s were from Sicily, which I appreciate isn’t very local, but they were ruby red and calling to me.  So anyway, less rambling, more recipes and I hope you try this one out – especially if your radishes are bulging out of the soil like mine.

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Pea and Radish Salad

Feeds about four hungry mouths

Couple of handfuls of fresh peas
Bunch of radishes (about 10)
200-250g cherry tomatoes
3 large or 5 small spring onions
Cider or white wine vinegar
Salt

Finely slice and chop the spring onions and place them into a pretty serving bowl.

Sprinkle over the onions a good scattering of salt and a couple of glugs of vinegar – mix well (the vinegar and salt pickles the onion slightly, which takes the edge off that strong onion taste).

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the onion – you can also sprinkle a touch more salt over the tomatoes (it intensifies their taste).

Set the onion and tomatoes aside, grab a bowl, find a comfy seat and take your time to pod those peas. This is a job, which is not really a job, it is a moment to yourself, a chance to slow down and dream. Sat on my granny’s terrace, podding peas and preparing string beans are some of my best childhood memories.

Cut the radishes into quarters, and add them and the peas to the salad. Give the whole thing a good stir and serve. You could add a grinding of fresh pepper, a glug of extra virgin olive oil, but it really doesn’t need adulterating. If you use fresh, quality ingredients then this salad will sing without any extras.

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I must admit that although I did have time to post last night after the stinky boyfriend went to bed, I instead curled up on the sofa with a very cuddly bunny to watch recorded episodes of the Great British Menu.  Borage was unusually friendly last night, and even relaxed enough to rest his chin on my arm – he even had a little snooze and did lot of eye fluttering and paw twitching…I can only guess he was running through lush green meadows in his dreams.  Funny bunny.

Borage watching tv

Borage watching tv

It was only two weeks ago when I posted my April garden update and yet the garden has changed so much since then – the photos were in fact taken at the beginning of the month, but still the changes are notable.  The incredibly warm sunny weather we have experienced recently has probably has something to do with the growth spurt.  I realise my last garden update was pretty dull, so I have taken lots of photos this time – I do enjoy documenting the changes that the garden goes through as things sprout, grow, fruit and eventually die back.

Those delicate little lettuce seedlings that I bought and carefully protected under improvised cloches are doing really well, with gorgeous glossy leaves.  You might notice I’ve suffered two losses of the green batavia (one rotted early on, and the other snapped off, but left a couple of tiny leaves which seems to be recovering well if a little behind the others):

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It is becoming very difficult to resist picking these luscious frilly leaves:

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The first set of radishes are starting to plump up nicely into small rubies:

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These are small cos lettuces that I have sown from seed:

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And beautiful burgundy coloured red oakleaf lettuce:

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This is one of my raised beds.  I have planted to rows of peas, and in between them rows of different salads – some baby leaf, some whole lettuces. 

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The peas are doing so well and I can’t wait to shell my first pod and pop the first pea into my mouth:

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I adore the way they curl their tendrils around the pea sticks and twine.  You can almost watch them stretching out their delicate tendrils, and wrapping their fingers around whatever they can find.

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I have sown two types of spring onion – ‘Guardsman’ for salads and ‘Paris Silverskin’ for pickling.  Both rows are looking healthy:

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The tiny carrot’s have unfurled their frothy green foliage :

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The rows of oriental saladini and baby leaf salad are starting to form their individual leaves – some round, some spiky, some lush green, others deep purple:

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Enough of salads and onto fruit.  My strawberry and raspberry ‘jungle’ has transformed from just a month ago:

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The wild strawberries are flowering and the raspberry’s have sent up lots of new suckers:  

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I will certainly be netting my blackcurrant bush this summer – last year the birds got most of the fruits:

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In the ‘greenhouse’ the seeds that I have sown are coming along.  There are sweetcorn seedlings:

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Uchi Kuri squash:

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Jack-Be-Little pumpkins:

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And my first cucmber seedling has sprouted:

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I will leave you with this lovely shot of Mr Blackbird sitting on ‘his’ spot as he does every evening as the sun sinks, singing his beautiful tune to us.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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