Thoughts from our smallholding in the province of Lugo, Galicia, in the north-west of Spain.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
We have had a very long run of bright clear sunny days and freezing nights. Heavy frosts have become the norm and we haven't had any rain for a few weeks now. Galicia looks very beautiful in the sunshine.
The pansies are continuing to bloom but the nasturtiums have yielded to the frosts.
I planted some chard in a container for winter vegetables but the freesia foliage started to grow amongst it, luckily the frosts have stopped them developing any further.
I am now eating brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and parsnips from the garden. I am carefully preserving the last few leeks for Tims homecoming next weekend and our Christmas Lunch. In Spain there is a pest called a mole rat. They behave like moles except they eat vegetables and mine are very active and enjoy leeks amongst other things. They eat them from underneath and all you see is a stunted plant with yellowing leaves. When you pick it up you realise there is nothing left just the top leaves in a hole.It is looking like I will have to grow vulnerable root crops in containers or raised beds with netting over the bottom next year. Having looked at the weather forecast it looks like more blue skies and freezing nights.
I feel very fortunate compared to northern Europe which is still clearing up after the recent storm and flooding.