WHY ARE LEEKS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN MEAT?
I want to tell you how the traditional garden set - cabbage, potatoes, beets, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, herbs - is gradually supplemented by rarer, but no less useful plants.
LEEKS - THICK LEGS
A few years ago I started growing leeks. The reason for this was my youngest granddaughter Anya’s passion for cooking. It has already become a tradition in her daughter’s family: every year on January 1, Anya prepares leek soup.
One day she asked: “Do you know how expensive leeks are in the store? More expensive than meat! And I decided grow it in your garden, especially since by that time there were several recommendations on its agricultural technology. I consider leeks to be the most picky crop. I sow the seeds at the end of February, and the seedlings (photo 1) require almost no attention before planting in May. I only water occasionally and trim the tops.
Then I dig a trench the width and depth of a spade bayonet and sprinkle the bottom with humus. I soak the container with the seedlings in water, cut it, trim the roots and feathers, separate the sprouts and place them in the trench, leaning them against the wall. I fill the roots with humus, lightly sprinkle them with soil and water them. During the season, I add soil from its walls into the trench several times (photo 2). When the ground level in the trench is equal to the soil surface, I shovel the soil onto the stems, hilling them (photo 3).
Several times a season I trim the ends of the leaves, and when there is no rain, I water them.
I harvest leeks in late autumn, wash the lower part in water, dry it (photo 4), trim the roots and leaves above the fork. I place it in a pan with sand, add more sand, and in this form I take it to the cellar. It is stored well until the New Year, and then, due to the high humidity in the cellar, the leaves begin to rot.
I planted different varieties: Elephant, Winter giant, Siberian giant. But most of all I liked Karantansky – although not the longest, they have powerful thick legs.
In winter, I often prepare a delicious puree soup from leeks, the recipe for which I offer.
THE LEEK DOES NOT NEED CARE AT ALL
I planted another new thing for the first time last year - root celery. It is rich in vitamins and microelements and, like leeks, turned out to be completely unpretentious. At the same time as the leek, I sowed two or three seeds in separate cups, then left one of the strongest plants. When the seedlings grew a little, I added soil. The rest of the care consisted only of timely watering.
In May, I planted seedlings in a bed according to a 30x30 cm pattern (photo 5). Subsequently, celery required almost no attention (photo b), except for watering and weeding. Just like with leeks, I did not find any pests or diseases in it.
I harvested the crop in late autumn at the same time as the leeks. Quite large root crops have grown (photo 7). I cut off the roots and tops and placed the celery in a sugar bag in the cellar. It can be stored until the new season without any problems.
At first, my family was not very impressed with the new vegetable: it has a specific spicy taste. I like it, especially in a salad with other vegetables and apples.
I would also like to say that every year in early spring it is warm in my greenhouse, the snow that was piled up at the beginning of winter and in March melts in April. On the 12th I sowed greens and radishes. I was afraid that nothing would sprout, but imagine my delight - it’s frosty outside, even during the day down to -5°, at night it’s generally 10-12°, and my salads, spinach, arugula, and radishes are turning green with all their might! A week later they sprouted.
MISTRESS ON A NOTE
Winter leek soup
I cut 2-3 leek stalks into half rings, add chopped onion and sauté in 50 g of butter. Boil 3-4 diced potatoes in a small amount of water, add sautéed onions and leeks and cook until fully cooked. Then I beat with a mixer, pour in 200 ml of cream, bring to a boil (but don’t boil!) and salt - the puree soup is ready.
Vitamin salad with leek
Vegetables and apples, grated on a coarse grater, are placed in layers. The bottommost layer is grated hard cheese, then the layers in this order: apple, celery, raw carrots and the top layer is boiled beets. I coat the layers and cover the top with mayonnaise (you can use sour cream). A very healthy salad, indispensable for older people.
HOW TO GROW LEEKS IN SIBERIA - VIDEO
© Author: Valentina Ageeva, Tomsk
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