From plot to plate
There’s something very special about a meal grown by my own hands
The festive season is in full swing and soon the turkey will be half eaten and the allotments on the barred list for a day or two!
Still, there will be the family gathering and a chance to share my home-grown produce. The Walton Christmas meal is a great tradition, with all the vegetables on the plate being grown with my own hands, and gathered as close to the big day as possible. In my father’s time these were dug up on Christmas morning and on the plate mid afternoon!
Nowadays, the harvesting takes place on Christmas Eve. I guess my wife knows me too well and, if I disappeared to the allotments, who knows what time dinner would be ready! But they are still from ground to plate within 24 hours and free of all air miles. That’s fresh enough for me.
There is another long-time tradition in our household. In addition to growing, gathering and bringing home the goodies, this is the one time of the year when I actually prepare them. Although the complicated bit, the cooking, is left firmly to my wife.
We eat a wide variety of veg to accompany our turkey. This is filled with homemade stuffing made of bread seasoned with sage and onion from the plot, of course.
The potatoes are fresh from store and the runner beans come from the freezer. The swede, parsnip, brussel sprouts and leeks are straight from the ground.
My Christmas gift to myself has arrived – my seed order, ready in anticipation of next season!
I love opening this box and putting them in some semblance of sowing order. I never heed too much the sowing time shown on the packets but sow according to my area’s weather conditions. But, regardless of where you grow around the country, the same crops follow in the same order.