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My Garden Successes of 2011

Kale

KaleMy biggest success is my Redbor F1 Kale. The purple color looks amazing in the garden. Because of the color the bugs more or less leave it alone and this time I was smart enough to plant a few plants so they could grow big and magnificent.
A few weeks ago after the first frost I made a typical Dutch winter dish with mashed potatoes.
The kale turned green while cooked and left the purple color in the mashed potatoes which gave it a unique perspective on the dish.Here is the recipe for this typical Dutch dish.

Chard

ChardThis year it was the first time for me to grow chard and what a great success it has been. The fantastic colors brightened up the garden and the growing season is amazingly long. Cut and come back again works really well with Chard.
I have used chard like I normally do spinach, or asian style stir fry it with garlic, chili peppers, ginger and soy sauce.
Another great recipe is Chard and new potato curry from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.

Early Potatoes

Potatoes CharlotteAlso this year for the first time:  Potatoes!. The bed I grew it in was not dug deep enough but the plants still gave me plenty of new potatoes until well in the summer. It was a real treasure hunt to dig for these pale golden wonders. The creamy young potatoes could be cooked with the skin on, serve with a little olive oil and butter HMMM!
Next year I am definitely planting early and late potatoes!

Sorrel

SorrelI saw a recipe for sorrel and wanted to try it out so half way into summer I sowed some sorrel seeds. The plants soon started to grow and gave plenty of lovely light green leaves with a lemony taste. Even after a few days of frosts it is one of the only plants remaining in the garden. Sorrel tastes fantastic with creamy young potatoes or you can put a few leaves in a salad.

Courgette

CourgetteAfter a disaster of planting my first plants out to soon ( even with a cloche they still died of frost) I soon started sowing a few new plants. Not wanting to take any risks I sowed a few to many. I planted some plants out on the place where I had the compost heap last year and the plants went crazy for that. It left me with more then enough courgette so there was nothing else to do then experiment with them.
I made a chocolate courgette cake which was amazing, courgette- lemon jam which I kind of screwed up  (it didn’t set well but tasted really good), we had courgette on the BBQ, in  pasta sauces and to be honest I left a few courgette for the mice because I was sick of them.

Of course with successes there are also the failures and mistakes I made but I will post that another day. I am already looking at different seed catalogues for next season, can’t wait to start ordering!

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