2012 – The Year In Dirt

Rain, wind, mud, rot, rain, wind, mud, rot… that was the veggie gardening theme this year! The summer was so wet and miserable and we went batty trying to stay on top of the weeds. Combined with a bit of slackarsery on our part, it was pretty slim pickings…

Remember those humungous parsnips of 2010, of can-sized diameter? 2012 yielded just 1.2 withered specimens.


Our beetroots came to nought and the salads didn’t do much either. We had another go at pumpkins but left it too late in the season, and there just wasn’t enough sunlight for them to do anything. But they were slightly bigger than the micropumpkins of 2009 so I’m counting it as progress!


The leeks didn’t seem to mind the quagmire – we’ve got quite a big haul of those. Hard to believe that a tiny, tiny seed could turn into something so huge. I’ve got my eye on Jamie Oliver’s Leek and Turkey Pie for Boxing Day.


One thing that really thrived was the rhubarb. I hacked it all back and stewed it up for the freezer then it came back again, so I made rhubarb and apple chutney. After three months in the jar it’s really deep and spicy and will be killer with leftover Christmas ham. Woohoo!


Remember my in-laws’ wild and woolly allotment? It’s been tamed after many many hours of labouring. We grew our leeks up there and my in-laws grew flowers, delicious potatoes and also raspberries and strawberries. They even put up a shed with Birds of Britain posters inside; it’s all very civilised!

On the left is November 2011 with the 3ft-deep weeds, and on the right is October 2012 (the weedy path has since been taken care of!).


After the diabolical weather this year I reckon the 2013 tactic will be to not bother with anything but the most grim, hardy and dull veggies that don’t mind a frequent drowning! I’m going to give a few kale varieties a proper go too – it’s meant to be robust. Anyone had much luck with that?

Happy holidays, lovely people! Hope you have a relaxing one and thank you gazillions for stopping by!

14 thoughts on “2012 – The Year In Dirt

  1. I suggest making parsnip oven crisps to go with your christmas meal since that ain’t enough for roasting!

    Good to see you still blogging along all these years later… have a fabbo 2013 DG.

  2. Pingback: HAM Plan – Day 24 | Up & Running

  3. Our vegetable garden failed due to no rain here in Canberra, and we never get around to watering. Oh well, next year. Merry Christmas!

  4. If it’s any consolation my veggie plot was a washout this year too. Slugs and caterpillars ate all the cauliflowers before we got to them, the broccoli has still not flowered, the strawberries rotted and the tomatoes too. The only good stuff was the herbs (bumper crop of parsley which is till growing), the runner beans and the chard (which I discovered I hate!). I’m going to try courgettes next year because we eat tons of those and I’ve got some elephant garlic which is, so far, growing. Can’t wait for that!

  5. Every year is likely to have different challenges. I say, plant the things you like. Herbs are easy to grow and they make everything feel fancy.

    We just have A few tomato plants and some herbs in our backyard, and a CSA subscription.

  6. My kale started doing well starting in December when we had some below freezing nights. Before that I could not keep the eggs/caterpillars from eating it as fast as it grew. Once they got frozen out, the kale took off. Won’t bother to plant this next year until October/November (I live in North Carolina)

  7. I say plant what you like, feed and water (and send positive thoughts), and hope for the best. If all else fails, get a CSA subscription to supplement whatever your garden and the allotment provide.

  8. Ah, parsnips. Your 2010 post was one of the first DG posts I ever read, and someone being so in love with their parsnip bairns made me want to keep on reading. Sorry to hear that this year’s were not such a success, every year is different in the vegie patch. Thanks for the last couple of years of inspiration that you have provided, I wouldn’t be where I am without you. xxx

  9. Sorry to hear of your gardening woes… I am prepping soil to start one on a new place. Just ordered the urban composter bucket to start saving scraps. Will start small and hopefully build up each year.

  10. Happy New Year! My friend bought me your book for Christmas. I couldn’t put it down! I tried to shame myself into losing weight by starting a blog a year and a half ago. I’ve actually GAINED weight. So much for that…. But I do find it as a type of therapy to get my thoughts out there, and I’ve found so much inspiration in you! You’ve helped me to realize that this is more of a marathon and not a sprint. Thank you. Here’s to a healthy 2013! Jen

  11. I am really loving your reviews of the DVD’s for exercise. I watched Jillian tonight on Biggest Loser and I am not surprised that her yoga video is more than intense! She can get fierce!

    As for knitting, I don’t enjoy that as much as other handwork. My wife quilts but I find sewing the pieces tedious. I am a killer at a hand loom and love to make the potholders!

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