Dig for Victory Monthly Guides

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Crops for the lean period

Crops for the lean period

Lean Period Crops

Kale and sprouting broccoli should be put out about mid-July, savoys later in that month or in early August. Though it is rather late to plant Brussels, there is just the chance that you may get a fair crop if you put in the plants at once.

During July, too, you could sow a row of spinach beet that, given favourable conditions, should give’ you a crop of excellent green leaves next winter and right on through the spring.

If you like leeks and have not sown seeds in the seedbed, you can get some plants and put them out in July.

As to root crops, main crop carrots can be sown in June to early July, swedes at the end of June, turnips in July.

The experts tell us that we need some of that precious body-building stuff—protein—in our diet. Now dried peas and beans are a valuable source of protein, and it is worth while saving some of our crops for the purpose, as well as to provide seeds for sowing next year—always assuming that we save our own seeds, a subject which will be dealt with in a later Guide.

Dried Peas & Beans

Dried peas and beans were a staple winter food from pre-Roman times. High in protein, calories, fibre, vitamins and minerals they provide excellent nutrition.

The drying process doesn’t require any complex equipment – although good weather helps, of course. This made dried legumes a popular food in many areas of the world. Pease pudding or porridge is the best known dish made from dried peas and still popular in some areas of the country.

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;

Do your saving systematically, however. Don’t just leave a few late pods on each plant, but reserve a number of plants at each end of the row.

Having looked ahead and made sure—at least in our minds—that we are not going to be caught napping in the few months from next February, let us come back to the present for a bit and concentrate on essential jobs of the month. First, thinning—and no apology is made for returning once more to this important operation. And don’t forget to keep that hoe going regularly.