What’s Growing at the EATS Bed?
ARCHIVE: September 2013
By Jennifer Bain
Back in June you may have noticed the sudden appearance of a new flower/fruit/vegetable bed just inside the main entrance to Ravenscraig Park. This was created by a team of several volunteers from our own Greener Kirkcaldy bunch as part of the Kirkcaldy EATS (Edible And Tasty Spaces). Click here to read about the day of planting.
Since then, the plants have grown and established themselves and the area has literally blossomed into a lush little garden of flowers and produce! The flowers add a touch of beauty and have been attracting bees and lots of hover flies to the area to pollinate our crops.
Summer will soon be heading into autumn and flowers will gradually fade but autumn crops will be in their prime! Among the vegetables, we have runner beans, cauliflowers and carrots. You’ll find the runner beans climbing up the two teepee structures in the centre of the bed.
The cauliflowers have clearly had their leaves munched by something (pigeons?) leaving them looking rather straggly and a little sorry for themselves and it looks as if a few of them have already been harvested but there are still some survivors, struggling on despite their lack of bushy foliage.
The cauliflowers planted at Ravenscraig are still growing at this stage and are not ready to eat just yet as their heads (the central edible white parts) are still developing. To get the most out of cauliflowers, it’s best to allow them to reach full maturity before harvesting. A little patience goes a long way!
Carrots also need time to grow. Luckily, this is exactly what they have been doing and they are nearly ready to be picked and beetroot adds an unusual touch of colour to the garden:
If you’ve never eaten fresh beetroot before, now’s your chance. Don’t miss the opportunity to pick and cook one for yourself! Only a few left! Ever wondered what to do with fresh beets? Click the link below to get my top tips.
And it’s not just veg growing here. In our Ravenscraig patch we are lucky enough to have other tasty treats growing in the form of soft fruit. There are blackcurrant bushes for those of us who have a taste for this intensely flavoured (and exceptionally healthy!) fruit. This being the first year, the bushes are still fairly small and we may have seen the last of the blackcurrants this season but in the years to come we can expect to see many more fruity clusters as they branch out.
Did you know? After currants have turned black they will keep on the bush for up to a fortnight or so and can, in fact, continue to sweeten and grow even after the colour change! As with most berries, the deeper the colour, the sweeter the taste. Excellent for a vitamin-rich fruity snack!
There are still a couple of lovely ripe raspberries growing on our young raspberry canes:
How incredibly fortunate a wanderer must be to chance upon these deliciously tempting fruits! Grab ’em quick or they’ll be gone! And finally – drum-roll please – the strawberries!
These have (not surprisingly) proved very popular indeed. This one was just beginning to ripen when I took the photo, so keep your eyes peeled! (Shh… Don’t tell the slugs! If we keep quiet, they may not notice…)
The fruit and veg grown as part of the EATS project is intended to provide just a taster of the kinds of food we can successfully grow up here in our Scottish climate to help encourage us to spare a thought for where our food comes from. And who knows? It may even inspire a few extra people to try their hand at growing their own…
Of course, whatever is here ready and waiting today may not be here tomorrow… Perhaps that’s what makes it so exciting!
Don’t forget to check out what’s growing at the other EATS around town.
You can also follow EATS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FifeEATs|