hello it's the 28th of November today it's been a little while since I have been up the allotment because I've just been working so much or if I have had a day off the weather hasn't been brilliant so but it's been fairly quiet up on the allotment anyway most of the stuff has come up I've got a few bits and pieces but it's not like it's busy busy time but I've come up today because I'm not working the sun is shining and yes it is a little bit on the chilly side but I have come up here firstly to dig up myself safai now this is the second year I've grown South fire the first year they did okay they were all right but they weren't as big as I would have hoped so I I left them for a few years and then I sowed some more this year I think I sowed them in about April time you need to space them quite a distance away from each other they're a good sort of three inches or so there weren't many in the pack but they managed to I sort of spread them out enough now not all of them germinated but I suppose about half of them did the leaves on the tops have grown really well so I'm hoping fingers crossed that they would have grown beautiful inside they should be fairly long they shouldn't be fat like parsnips but they should be about the size of a carrot thickness so hopefully if I'm lucky about an inch across but hopefully about sort of nine ten inches long but only time will tell when we dig them up they've been sitting in the ground you can start harvesting them from about October onwards but they can stay in the ground until you need them just make sure that you have them up before say like January February the following year so let's dig up the first salsify and see what we've got so this is the salsify here and if you follow the line up you can see that there are quite a few that have grown so as these there are actually two right down here so I'm actually going to dig those ones up first okay so first of all let's get the fork in you will find that usually if you do leave them in over the winter most of the leaves will die down but if if they stay green if you have a fairly mild winter don't worry about that okay so I'll try and get both of these up together but obviously it depends so put your fork in a couple of inches away from where all the leaves are coming up because obviously you don't want to spear it so you will need a big fork so push it down as far as it will go let's remove the fork and then we'll grab hold of the leaves just give them a shake and hope as much of the soil as we can yes it's got lots of legs on it but then I've grown it so of course you've got lots of legs on it so that's one and if you can see that there we go you take off all the extra legs there and then you can see then it is about an inch across and about the length of the carrot so that's one let's take this one up and see what this one's like the soil even though I haven't dug this soil since I put them in the soil is absolutely beautiful because I've got so much muir in there and loads of worms as well and there there's another good-sized one as well I'm really chuffed with those I really am so these are the best ones I've ever grown so I'll carry on digging up the rest and then when I've dug them all up then I'll show you right well I've dug them up they all vary in size okay excuse me I've got one here that seems to be criss crossing its legs um I've got a lovely little diddly-squat one here which I seem to have lost the end of when you're digging them up you could you put the fork in you pull them back and then you can actually hear the smaller roots breaking inside the soil a little bit like when you sort of harvest your carrots or your parsnips and this is what they're supposed to look like okay nice and straight okay but clearly mine haven't because why would they they're mine and then these are lovely sized ones I'm really pleased with those yes they have got lots of little legs on them but the main body of the South safai is really good and then these are the first two that I I pulled up they look like they look like Groot don't they okay so most probably start dancing or something I don't know anyway but there we go so that's else if I I am I am very pleased with those the best way to eat those is to just chop off all the spare little bits and if you're making stock then the spare little roots you can actually stick in the stock because they'll give it a nice flavor but the main body of it and if you just give it a good old wash and then I don't know whether you should peel them or not I'm going to try peeling some and not peeling others I think if they're new out then the skins are nice and soft and then you can you don't have to peel the skins off but if they've been in for a while you might need to remove the skins because they might be a little bit hard but I will try that and then I will let you know and the best thing to do with these is to roast them they have like a a very delicate oyster ish flavor now I don't like oysters it's the texture but these I do like so they're lovely so that's those now let's go and dig some Jerusalem artichokes right now here is the bed of Jerusalem artichokes as you can see the stems are still there they have gone completely brown and they do stretch up a long way before you start digging your Jerusalem artichokes up you need to remove all of the stems because therefore it makes it much easier so let me start clipping those now it's very simple when you come to cut the stems off you just need to get your secretaries and just cut them off as close to the ground as you possibly can I do remember last year when I was doing this I had a frog that was making it home in a month please so again we'll just have to see so all ends all clear a load of this sometimes if they're quite small you can actually snap them off but if they're still damp then you won't be able to you'll just have to clip them so I'll clear a load and then we're nice clear delays then we'll start digging them out right so you can see I've cleared a patch here I've still got a lot more to do but it's best if you sort of clear a small patch and then you can start digging because it just takes twins how large your patch is my patch here from where Jerusalem artichokes is actually quite large and so if you once you've cleared an area if you get your big Fork push it down as far as you can and then just pull it back and underneath the soil you should have some Jerusalem artichokes growing there's one sometimes they vary in size sometimes you get really nice large ones and other times you get ones that are fairly small this one down here as you can see is really really quite quite tiny whereas this one is quite large if you find that they are too small for what you would want then you just pop them straight back in the soil okay and then you leave them to grow for the following year so just this is also a good time to then sort out the Jerusalem artichoke bed because I tend to find that it's quite difficult to to weed during the season so now is a is a good time to give it a good old turn over so just keep going along taking out any weeds that you find as well as you as you go the Jerusalem artichokes will come in very strange shapes but don't worry about that just make a little pile and then carry on until you've got enough you can leave these in the soil until you want them it's entirely up to you but I'm gonna dig a few up today and then as and when I need them I will I will come back and I will dig up some more so I'll just keep going for a bit and when I got enough then I will show you
right well these are just some from well the area that I cleared about half of it I have dug over they have done unbelievably well this year if they were any smaller than sort of what I would class is a mouthful then I've put them back in the soil so we've got some ones stretching from that size all the way up to this size here you can see this is my favorite one I think it's actually joined together and it's like a little a little you hora hora see Asifa Claire so they and they're doing incredibly well so I'll just dig these few up today take these ones home as I say any small ones just stick straight back in the soil put down about three inches or so just to just make a hole with your finger and just just stick them in and then they'll get even bigger the following year so that's that's those when I cook these I do leave the skins on because I find that they are very awkward very fatty to to peel so I will just wash them thoroughly and I will then just sort of cut them up into sort of one inch chunks and then I will roast them at about gas mark 5 until they're done which is usually about an hour salt and pepper and a little bit of olive oil I don't boil them because I find that boiling them takes all the the flavor out of them roasting them is much much better but when I do do that I will actually do a video to to show you how I do them so that's some of my Jerusalem artichokes as I say I've still got a load more to do but I will do these first I will eat these first and then I'll come back another time and I will harvest some more right now here I've got the horseradish at the end of every season you'll find that the leaves all go Brown and they die and what you need to do is you just need to
but when you grow your own horse it's always best to give it its own area because as you can see it will spread I've got some growing over here the majority of it is here there's some it's sort of adopted itself about growing so it will spread so make sure you give it a decent amount of space now to harvest this is quite tricky okay because you'll find that good to go down an awful lot so just harvest as much as you need and now and I hope you don't break your fork I haven't so far but I'm sure there is a first and my harvested some last year and it was absolutely gorgeous so let's try harvest right now this section here this is the main section where I first sowed it where I first planted it out and it's gradually moved out and you can see these are the new shoots for next year and if you do get a hard frost and they they die don't worry about it new ones will come back the following year they are very it's a very very robust plant so it needs also an awful lot of feeding so if you've got manure once you've harvested what you wanted for this year then I would suggest putting a nice amount of manure on top and that will make it very very happy so I'm going to try and harvest some it's always best to start from the outside and gradually work in so it's trying to figure out which bit will be good I'm hoping that this section here might be quite quite well not easy to to dig up but it's on the outside and I've got a nice amount of roots down there so get your fork down okay pull it back oh okay you can see it's in an awful long way what I'm gonna have to do is I'm gonna have to a part of it it doesn't matter don't worry okay there's some okay let's take this little bit up there that's what you need okay so what you would do just take what you need just when you get home just chop the tops off peel the outside and then all you need to do is to grate the horseradish that's inside if you could smell this it is amazing oh my goodness it smells just like you know when you open a fresh jar of horseradish sauce it smells just like that as soon as it comes out of the ground so I'm gonna harvest just a little bit more whatever is left if there is anything that is loose just push back in and it will sort itself out so I'm just gonna have it's just a little bit more don't worry about the bit that's broken off as you can see it there which is where this don't worry about that that's absolutely fine and it will just sort itself out as to say it's a very robust plant and it's it won't alert it at all so I'll just harvest just a little bit more and then I'll show you what I've got right so I just harvested two little bits of root that's the one that you saw okay it's quite a small one and then this was the next let's just get the soil off this was the next section that came off okay you cannot be gentle when you are harvesting this you have to be really quite firm and robust okay unlike when you're harvesting carrots that you want to be sort of you don't want to snap at the bottom off and leave it in there this yes you know just get in there and just give it a bit of Willy literally and and give it a bit of them and rip a bit off that's the only way you're going to get any er out and the plant really will not mind it doesn't matter what temperature's you live in this it will go down to sort of - about - ten it might go even further but it is a wonderful plant so I will wash these when I get home I might give them a quick wash here I think I've got some water in my bucket so I'll I'll take these home and I'll use this and then when I've finished this then I can come back and get some more now don't just use horseradish with roast beef if you are doing say a pasta dish and and he wants just a little bit more oomph in it grate some of this and stick it in there as well in with the sauce because that will just give it a little bit more of a kick okay don't put too much in because it is hot so add a little bit try it if you wanted a little hotter then add just a little bit more but there are so many uses for horseradish don't be scared to try them okay but sticking them in with with a pasta sauce is a good thing okay well I'm going to see what else I can get up to here I don't really think there's much more but I'll have a look and if there is then I'll show you right well apart from a load of sort of weeding and just general tidying up there's not really anything else that I I need to show you today I've just harvested one more cabbage which has actually started to shoot go to seed so I'm going to take that home and I'll give that to the chickens because they're lovely for that because they they just love me anyway they're so sweet so I think that's going to be it for the day hopefully next time I come back I'll be able to show you something else but we'll have to wait and see well I hope you found what I've shown you useful and I look forward to seeing you bye-bye
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It's nearly the end of November and yes I'm still down the allotment. I've been so busy with work over the last month or so that I've been unable to get to the allotment. But today was work free, so off I went for a couple of hours. Today I harvested my Salsify which I was very impressed with, some wonderful shaped Jerusalem Artichokes, and some very strong smelling Horseradish.