grow it cook it preserve it eat it wendy pillar blog gardener grow your own in dorset
I've never been one for straight rows and rigid discipline in the veggie garden, but recently I've been relaxing the controls further and experimenting with allowing it to self-
I have extended that approach to some vegetables. I have had three seasons of picking of red orache salad leaves from one sowing, and I haven't had to sow parsley for several years now. Whenever I sow coriander it runs straight to seed, so I decided to let it, with the idea that if it sows itself I might have a regular supply of young leaves, and this is already working. I also sowed some fenugreek from the spice cupboard this year, which has re-
The Claytonia that I grew last year seeded itself into a huge patch, making the paltry tray of seedlings I grew this year thoroughly redundant and covering the soil at a time of year when it can stand empty. In the greenhouse, emerging seedlings have turned out to be lamb's lettuce, rewarding me for being slow to weed them, and particularly welcome since I neglected to sow lamb's lettuce this year.
I have a vision of a garden where harvesting is more like foraging, where there is less predictability perhaps but a constant and varied supply of food, where my role as gardener is more refereeing and guiding than exercising absolute control. Allowing self-
There is definitely a place for allowing self-
Taking a more relaxed attitude to allowing plants to seed themselves has changed my outlook on the garden subtly. If a weed is just a plant in the wrong place, defining 'place' less rigidly leads to less rigid definition of weeds as well. The other day I was about to weed out a dandelion, and then thought that they are actually quite good salad leaves, and I put a pot over it to blanch it instead. The same is true for plantain and several other edible weeds.
There is a continuum between foraging and gardening. It must have been a small and inevitable step for our hunter-