Monday, 28 February 2011

Harvest for St David's Day

The Welsh have claimed the leek as their national symbol (they also have claims on the Daffodil -but the leek is more reliably available come 1st March) My patch looks a bit raggedy but they clean up nicely. Leek and potato soup is on the menu tomorrow!

The story goes that many years ago when the Welsh were fughting off the Saxon invaders they wore a leek in their headgear. This was a very effective way of identifying friend from foe! To this day Welsh regiments are ceremoniouly handed out leeks to celebrate this event. (I think they must have won).

I don't think the Welsh are big parsnip eaters but I might be wrong:

Curly Kale has a definite Scottish connection. This is Pentland Brig and Its coming into its own.

Last but not least the chervil has decided winter is over and is putting on a spurt! One of my favourite herbs!

Call it at Daphne's for more harvests from around the globe:


  1. WE harvested some leeks too this weekend and we even have a mini daffodil open - only one but it's a start!

  2. Love the story about leeks in headgear, what a sight that must have been! I think leek and potato soup is a far better use for them, although I doubt the Welsh had access to potatoes back when...

  3. I agree with Michelle. THough maybe they made soup and feasted after the battle? LOL

  4. Oh those leeks Mal! They are great, so far all I've been able to produce are some very sad and sorry looking leek seedlings that the chickens promptly scratched up when they got out one day.

    It's actually leek planting season here now, any tips? I want to run down my street with a leek in my headgear this year, it would be great if it were a leek I could be proud of :D

  5. Well as it happens, Ali, someone else (Hi Bren)asked about that recently and I remembered posting this:

    What it doesn't make clear is that you trim the roots before popping each one in the holes you've made with the dibber and then the fun bit is 'puddling them in' by filling each hole with water from a can. And as the rulebook says - you should not attempt to wash soil down the hole! Other sources say you should dig a trench and then fill it bit by bit as the llks grow. I would try this for fear of getting soil between the leaves - one of the last things you want to do with leeks. Hmmm, perhaps I should have done a new post.

  6. Those are some mighty fine looking leeks!! I still have a few left in the garden for one last batch of potato and leek soup.

    I've never had good luck with Chervil. It seems to bolt on me. Does it like a little shade?

  7. Dear Mal...well those leeks look fantastic compared to mine which had so little white. Why I wondered, and so posted what I had recently discovered on my blog re planting leeks. Now, I have not tried this trenching yet, but mine have germinated and are growing in the summerhouse. This year will be the big experiment. If you do decide to give a little more detail on your dibbler planting, I would appreciate that.

    Thanks for following my blog and Happy St. David's day.

  8. Beautiful leeks! I love leek and potato soup. Nice to visit your blog.

  9. Those leeks look stunning. I've never gotten mine to grow that big. And leek and potato soup is one of my favorites.

  10. Yours leeks are superb. I haven't heard of Pentland Brig before, I must look for seeds. He's a handsome looking kale.

  11. Gorgeous leeks! I haven't dug any in weeks, but you're making me crave a big bowl of potato and leek soup.. I'll have to slog up to the garden tomorrow to dig a few..

    I also have chervil tucked into our cold frames and it's doing wonderfully.. what do you use it for? I toss it into eggs or soup, but don't use it widely.. any ideas? :)

  12. I've never grown chervil...maybe I'll give it a try.

    I am going to be making some soup using leeks this week.

    I am very jealous of your parsnips...maybe I will do better with them this year.

    I never knew that about the irish..but now I do so Thank you for the history lesson.. :-)

  13. Chervil is one of those herbs you have to grow yourself - I've never seen it in a shop. Confusion seem to surround it. Some sources say the roots are poisinous while others refer to varieties grown for their root! Some say that it is a frost sensitive annual, but I've found the new spring growth to be earlier and stronger than anything else at this time of year. Yes it goes to seed in hot and/or dry conditions so it won't last through the summer of it's second year - like any bienniel. Comparisons with parsley are ubiquitous but odious (IMHO).
    Picking - make sure you use scissors or else you could disrupt the roots and send the plant into a purple shock. (The frond like stems are, according to the books, called "pluches", which sounds like the Scottich vernacular for acne, unless you adopt an appropriate French accent.)
    When it comes to eating it is best raw or cooked for a very short time. Chervil soup is potato and leek soup with the addition of several handfuls of chopped chervil added just before eating. But my favourite use aside from adding to the salad bowl is added to soft cheese (along with some garlic crushed wih salt and some parsley thyme or whatever is to hand (commercial brands boursin or roule cant match home grown fresh chervil). It is said to have an affinity to eggs but I'd broaden that to dairy produce. Ooh I've made myself hungry.

    (I see I have failed to mention that it has a subtle anise flavour, so those of you who hate fennel should try some before growing it)

  14. Welsh Tany, (Irish used shamrock???)

  15. We're raising some mighty healthy lookin' snowbanks 'round these parts!

    Those leeks look gorgeous, and i'm missing my kale, maybe it survived the snow? I think i planted chervil (or something very similar looking)last year but never did anything with it.
    I'm a big fan of parsnips, but 3 feet of snow is a bit intimidating to paw through....

    Snowbound and planning to do it all over again once it melts,

    icebear from Maine, USA

  16. HI Mal.. I just realized that I hadn't added you to my blog list! So sorry about that, as I've been enjoying your blog for months! I just added you.. Have a great weekend! Niki

  17. Stonking leeks. Mine are jet-lagged, having been planted too late.

    Chervil always seems to me to be such a refined herb.

  18. Well it is a "fine herb" ingredient!