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January 29, 2015 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

All you need to know about leeks

2015-01-24, Musselburgh leeks in Farm Shop

Musselburgh leeks in Apley Farm Shop

2015-01-24, Musselburgh leeks growing in AWG

Musselburgh leeks growing in Apley Walled Garden

I know Apley Walled Garden is getting a lot of coverage this week, but that’s just sometimes how things happen – there’s more news from one department or part of the Apley Estate than another.  Sometimes it just depends on who’s sending me the most news & photos – Phil’s very good at sending both regularly, which helps me keep up with what’s going on in the garden.

Before January is out & before I eat all the leeks currently in the bottom of our fridge, I must share with you these leeky facts Phil (Head Gardener for any newcomers to this blog) has just sent me:

Traces of leeks (allium porrum) have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. The Greeks & Romans also ate them as part of their diet. So they have been around for a bit. It’s the national symbol of Wales. Legend has it that the Welsh wore Leeks in their hats when they went into battle against the Saxons in 640. They beat the Saxons that day, so the ploy seems to of worked. Here at Apley we grow a number of varieties to get a succession of leeks for most of the year.

Zermatt leeks: Grown in cells in the polytunnel & then planted out in Spring to supply small sweet leeks early in the season.

Musselburgh leeks: Possible the oldest variety still grown, dating from before 1834. It’s named after the town on the Firth of Forth, just east of Edinburgh. Main crop with medium thick stems.

Jolant leeks: This is another early cropper & has a nice mild flavour. It’s harvested from August onwards.

Blue solaise leeks: This is an excellent, French variety, very hardy for Winter cropping with deep blue/purple leaves which will stand until May.

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