Monday, 16th February 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
I planted a whole packet of swede seeds and you get plenty for your money. Perhaps we were a bit late putting them in but we haven't eaten any because every one we've tried looks discoloured inside, as if it has been frosted, while others have been nibbled by insects or perhaps by the rabbit that keeps hopping amongst them.
However they weren't planted entirely with the kitchen in mind: I planted them so that they'd reduce the fertility of the soil at the end of the garden, so that I can plant wild flowers here.
This utilitarian root vegetable, which I remember formed a staple part of school dinners back in the early 1960s, has a slightly exotic look: the shape of bulging stem, with leaf scars above and a crown of leaves reminds me of the shape of a tree fern or cycad (not that it's in any way related!).
Richard Bell, email@example.com