The soil's too cold and wet at the allotment to do anything, yet the shallots are demanding to put down their roots and settle in to this year's growth. So I've decided to start them off in seed trays this year. Here's some Pessandor I saved from last year's crop. It's a large and long shallot with a lovely sweet flavour that keeps well. I also saved some Pikant: a round shallot with a little more bite and slightly red in colour. Another good keeper, from which I've managed to save seed from every year since my first crop in 2004.
As usual I've over bought in everything. Despite saving my own shallots, I bought some more (a round, yellow type) at Malmesbury potato day. I also have masses of garlic started in pots because they hate the cold winter's clay up at the plot. In addition to my saved Albigensian Wight and Cristo, I have Music, Sweet Haven and Kransnodar Red which Patrick kindly gave me from his massive saved garlic stash at the Food Growing Bloggers get together last October. Then there's the elephant garlic...
I had a quick look at the potatoes I have chitting on the windowsill. How on earth have I managed to acquire so many potatoes? Ahhh yes, I'm trying lots of new varieties this year for a massive potato trial:
- 3 kinds of Mayan potatoes - new in the catalogues, derived from Peruvian stock and said to cook more quickly than our usual potatoes. Judging by their willingness to sprout, they're not going to be good keepers, but their bright purple and red sprouts from chitting are very cheerful
- Rudolph - a red potato, which I believe is also new this year
- Blue Danube - a blue potato from the Sarvari institute's blight resistant breeding programme and available for the first time this year
- Will - given to me by Ben at Real Seeds and meant to be blight resistant
- Swift - I'm curious to see if they really are quick to produce and crop well in a container
- Vales Sovereign - a free gift because Threadspider and I combined our regular Vivaldi and Pentland Javelin order via our allotment society's seed scheme