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May 19, 2015 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Walled Garden’s weekly crop report

2015-05-19, AWG PA mugshot

Head Gardener Phil Allen

 

Phil marking out planting lines

Apley Walled Garden issues a weekly crop report to our Shop supervisor in Apley Farm Shop (Andy), our own chef in The Creamery Café (Martin), the catering manager of the University of Wolverhampton & other local restaurants. It tells them visually (Lauren takes the photos) & in writing (Phil sends me he the details) what’s growing & when it’ll be available.

All this helps us 1) to eat seasonally & 2) to keep our food miles very low – both issues are at the heart of Apley Farm Shop’s ethos. To learn to grow these all successfully yourself, just sign up to one of Phil’s gardening courses: The next beginners’ course is on Wed 27 May & the second part (don’t worry if you missed the first part) of the Three Seasons Gardening course is on Wed 17 June.

Here are details (more photos to follow) of some of the crops produced in Apley Walled Garden this week:

‘Lobjoits green’ lettuces

1856. Originated in France. Once went under the name of Vauxs self-folding lettuce. None of the cos varieties have a finer flavour.

‘Marvel of four seasons’ lettuces

Before 1880. Also from France. Known as Merveille de Quatre Saisons. Large lax butterhead lettuce. It has shiny dark bronze outer leaves topped with red & crisp creamy heart.

‘All the year round’ lettuces

Before 1856. Also from France. Gives an all year round supply of butterhead lettuces from Jan to Dec.

Perilla lettuces

Perilla lettuces

Perilla lettuces

A Japanese herb for seasoning & garnishing. The whole plant can be used – sprouting seeds – flowers – mature leaves. The famous Japanese sour plum pickle, Umeboshi is made with perilla leaves. Perilla is both used to flavour cooked dishes & cooked in its own right. Red & green available.

Rhubarb – Timperly

Early 1920s. Can be harvested as early as Christmas. Has long & slender stems. One of the best

Rhubarb – Victoria

1837. A giant among Rhubarb. A single stem can weigh a kilo. The oldest variety still in general cultivation. Excellent for cooking, freezing, & making jam & wine. 

Rocket – Wild & cultivated

Originated in the Mediterranean region. The oil extracted from the leaves has been widely used since early times & was said to cure both major & minor ailments. Seed was mashed in honey to clear face blemishes. The flowers make a nice garnish.

Rosemary

Originated in Southern Europe & Turkey. Used to flavour meats & some perfume cosmetics. In ancient Rome it was used for garlands & coronets, & was thought good for head & heart. It’s been used as a cure for everything from bubonic plague to bad eyesight & jaundice

Mizuna

Originated in China & Japan. Mizuna can be used at any stage but mainly has a small leaf in mixed salads. The secret with Mizuna is to cut plants regularly so that a fresh crop of tender leaves is continually being produced. In the Far East Mizuna is mainly used for pickling vegetable.

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