East Midlands Food

East Midlands Food

November in the garden and the hen house…

Time to store the scarecrow away?

It’s still as busy as ever in the garden according to the Tit-Bits Yearbook of 1931. As well as continuing with the digging and manuring of vacant land, you should be picking off the side-shoots from late tomatoes and lifting a supply of Jerusalem articholes and parsnips to store in sand before the ground gets too difficult to dig them from the bed. Cover frames every night now ‘whether frost threatens or not’, and plant potatoes in a cold frame for a very early crop. Plant parsley roots in pots and put them in a greenhouse or frame for a winter supply. Broad beans and early peas can be sown in borders, along with carrots and French beans in a heated frame or in a heated greenhouse.

Now is the time to plant outdoor bulbs and new rose trees. Give the rose beds a mulch of manure, and cut away any suckers springing from the roots of existing rose trees. Plant your new fruit trees as soon as they arrive, in the following order: gooseberries first, followed by peaches, currants, plums, cherries, pears, and apples. Finish pruning all your fruit and store the latest fruits. Plant English and Spanish irises; and look out for ‘opportunities to mow the lawn, but do not roll when turf is sodden’. 

That’s not all of it – but life is a little easier in the hen house. Here you should be encouraging ‘backward’ hens (not pullets) with a small quantity of a proprietary spice. Serve the evening mash hot but ‘not too sloppy’, and start to incubate eggs for producing table chickens ready for killing in early March. Newly moulted hens should be fed on a mixture of equal parts of wheat, oats and kibbled maize. (Yes, I had to look that one up… It means coarsely ground, usually with some kind of machine).

On the same page of the Yearbook there are some proverbs and quotations – nothing to do with food or gardening so far as I can see, and most of them are not particularly original: but what do you make of ‘A living dog is better than a dead lion’ or ‘A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue’? Well ‘Honesty is the best policy’ - and I haven’t a clue…

 
 

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About this Sponsor

A research project that looked at various aspects of food in the East Midlands, linking them with museum displays and objects in the region, and making the results available to as many people as possible in different formats.

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