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Home-grown Christmas dinner


by Lila Das Gupta

One of our Christmas rituals is to leave the wrapping paper behind and take a walk to the allotment on Christmas day to harvest some parsnips.


Snow-covered rhubarb forcerThere’s something wonderfully irrational about clearing snow in order to dig up vegetables. One of our Christmas rituals is to leave the wrapping paper behind and take a walk to the allotment on Christmas day to harvest some parsnips. I don’t know what my children will remember from their childhood – they always look slightly dubious at the prospect of having to forsake pyjamas for warm clothes – but I hope this is something that will indelibly stay in their minds. Who knows, one day they might even replicate the experience with their own children.

Allotments have a slightly abandoned feel to them at this time of year, and yet they become a storehouse of memories – all the triumphs (and failures) of the last growing season, the lovely picnics and glasses of wine with friends on the plot. Another year has come to a close but a new one is round the corner with so much promise ahead, whatever is happening in your life.

Whatever you are harvesting this Christmas, I hope it tastes delicious, and I hope the enjoyment is matched by the company of family and good friends. If you have one resolution for 2010, forget the gym or the diet – have a go at growing as much of your Christmas lunch as you can!



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Gardeners' World Web User 26/12/2009 at 23:10

I think i am going to follow in your footsteps and grow my own christams dinner for 2010. Just got my new allotment, cant wait to get on it! :) Merry Christmas

Gardeners' World Web User 28/12/2009 at 15:46

I went down to our allotment today to get greens and swedes, and the brassicas are a visual delight. The ground is frozen and the frost last night has turned each plant into a lace covered wonder. I have purple sprouting, sprouts (not very impressive), curly kale and pentland brig, like doilies, savoy cabbage and a purply green cabbage looking like frozen concentric silver circles, russian red kale and cavelo nero with ice patterns on their leathery leaves. What a beautiful sight. In the other bed the remains of the ruby chard glowed like a fire to try and keep me warm. Would recommend growing winter greens as much for the wonderful colours/textures/shapes in the winter weather as the great taste.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/01/2010 at 15:38

I can't wait to get started again this year. I missed out on growing my own Christmas dinner (2009) because the pesky pigeons go to my brassicas before I could net them (lesson learnt). This year I will make sure I am visiting my plot on Christmas Eve rather than the supermarket

Gardeners' World Web User 28/01/2010 at 19:40

We acquired an allotment plot very late last year. It was 4' high in grass and weeds & hadn't been cultivated for several years.My husband did most of the back-breaking work but, together, we managed to create some growing space (even using tyres in which to grow carrots) so that we harvested swede, carrots, lettuce, pak choi, herbs and a few potatoes over the winter. We now have lettuce and early peas under cloches which survived the snow, and are still cropping carrots from our tyres.Our compost bin is looking good, and to help us create more composting material I created small postcards which I put through the letterbox of all our near neighbours, asking them for all their, appropriate, organic waste and they've really come up trumps!! We are getting a large box full every 3/4 days.Maybe an idea for others to try? Can't wait to get growing this year. Best wishes to all fellow allotmenteers!

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:40

ITS WONDERFULL START TO A NEW YEAR CANT WATE TO GET DIGIN ON MY ALLOTMENT HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERY ONE.