Our allotment is now divided into beds and this year we have divided one of the beds into nine sections each about 1 metre square, to grow some herbs and more unusual plants.
The rhubarb takes up one of the squares and lemon balm another. I pick the lemon balm regulary and keep it in water in the kitchen to use in salads and for herb teas. I will also plant out parsley in another plot. I have been growing the parsley in pots to get a good root system established so that it has a better chance of surviving once it is planted out. The rabbits will love to have a nibble but if the plants are big enough they will produce well enough for us both.
I’ve planted dandelions in one square which I will use in salads, for juicing and as dandelion tea. Dandelions are very therapeutic helping to cleanse the liver but need to be used in small amounts so as not to overwork the body.
Landcress is new this year though we have grown it in the past. It’s similar to watercress in taste but obviously grown on land. It seeds well and once the plants are established we should have it for a few years.
Purslane is another new crop which we grew for the first time last year. It has the highest omega 3 count of any vegetable produce. It has small succulent leaves which can be used in salads and I will probably add the odd sprig to juices. I will hopefully remember to post pictures of the purslane and landcress later in the year.
Perpetual onions and perpetual cabbage brings us up to eight squares with one free in case I find anything else that appeals. Both these as the name suggests grow perpetually. The cabbage becomes a tall plant with individual leaves which just keep growing as fast as you pick them. It is tender and delicious, overwinters well and provides a crop in spring when there is little else to pick. Perpetual or Welsh onions grow into bunches and are just like spring onions only a lot less expensive. Once a clump has grown you dig it up and plant one onion back into the soil to repeat the process. Isn’t nature wonderful!