East Midlands Food

East Midlands Food

December in the garden and hen house

You’ll be pleased to know that, according to the 1930 Tit-Bits Yearbook, you needn’t do any planting in the fruit garden this month ‘unless absolutely necessary’. I’m sure it won’t be – but do continue pruning, ‘at all costs completing the work on peaches and nectarines’, and place forcing strawberries on a shelf near the glass of a cool greenhouse.

A snowman from warmer climes

In the vegetable garden, start to force outdoor rhubarb by placing boxes or barrels over the crowns with a covering of leaves or hot manure. When the ground is hard with frost, take the chance to wheel manure to the plots where it will be used. Draw up ridges of soil to each side of any seedlings now through the ground to protect them against winter winds, and in very severe weather provide extra protection by sticking evergreen boughs into the ground on the north side of each row. Mint and asparagus can be forced in a frame with a mild hotbed; but in the event of very cold weather pack some leaves or litter around the sides of cold frames and those on hotbeads (yes, that advice would have been even more useful a week or so ago…).

In the hen house, make sure the hens’ green food and mash isn’t frozen. Frozen mash will ‘invariably set up internal troubles’. Place drinking bowls under cover to make sure the water doesn’t freeze. Make up breeding pens this month and introduce the male birds into the pens – and watch the pens to make sure that ‘none of the hens is neglected by the male bird’. Now is the time to clear out any stocks of eggs as ‘the demand for preserved eggs is usually at its best this month’.

 
 

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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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