Archive for March, 2011

Nineteenth-century spring

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Fresh from Pennard Plants’ recent Potato Day, we now have installed 20 Myatt’s Ashleaf Kidney seed potatoes. ‘First Earlies’, they were developed in 1804 by a man known as ‘J E’, employed by Arthur H Savory, author of Grain and Chaff from an English Manor. He sold the rights to the variety to a Mr Myatt. They are kidney-shaped, with light-buff skin and yellow flesh, floury, with blue-violet flowers. Not resistant to late blight, but hopefully that’s why they’re ‘Earlies’. Have given them a whole lower bed, following on from beans.


Also in, parsnip seeds, again from Pennard’s: Guernsey Demi-Long. “French, 19th century, medium length roots (8 to 10 in), broad shouldered, gradually tapering, white skin smooth & delicate. Considered to be the best and most productive, very sweet & delicate. May be used any time once big enough, but a frost improves the flavour.” That’s a frost presumably to the root, rather than to the seed: however, inbetween three days of full sun, these infants have had a frosty awakening two mornings running. Apparently minus 6º this morning. Other suppliers recommend a later sowing: we shall see. Even Pennard say germination is very slow and irregular.

first-mownFirst mowing today, and edging. All spruced up: a waiting stage.garlicky