Now this may look to you like a pile of mud and knobbles, (did I make that word up) but it is in fact part of my harvest of Jerusalem Artichokes. The toughest vegetable that the Good Lord ever created, there's a million of them in my veg patch, please come round and get some it you want as I seldom get round to eating any of them. My dad used to grow them on his allotment as windbreak, and occasionally would peel one and give it to us to eat raw, which was ok-ish, but they were never thought of as gourmet treats. But in recent years around this time of year celebrity chefs and food writers produce vast column inches about the wonderful culinary joys of the Jerusalem Artichoke. But I'm afraid it escapes me - try as I may, I can never get past the slightly watery gluey thing that seems to go on with them. I must be doing something wrong, because as sure as eggs is eggs, Hugh will be delivering a recipe for an unmissable artichoke salad/soup/pie, in the Saturday Guardian in the very near future, and since I'm lucky enough to be going to River Cottage HQ on Tuesday for a Day of Meat Curing and Smoking I feel Ishould be making at least an effort to join in the enthusiasm.
Here's a picture of my hens having a look and you can clearly see that even they don't fancy them.
It was lovely to get out in the garden though today, now that the snow has melted at last. I let the chickens and ducks into the veg garden, as there's not much growing in there just now (I've netted the Purple Sprouting Brocolli), and they had a good dig around in the leaf mould and the mud, and clearly enjoyed themselves no end, and helped dispose of insects and pests for me into the bargain.
I'm very much looking forward to my day of Curing and Smoking, at RCHQ down in Dorset - never been there before - I've done loads of courses over the years- Pig Keeping, Beginners Smallholding, Beekeeping, Sheep care, - I must be the best qualified farmer who hasn't got a farm ever. Never mind, at least I have my lovely garden, it could be a lot worse, I could be in a 4th floor flat in Droitwich. (Sorry if you live in Droitwich)