Harri (son) Potter and The Three Headed Cabbage

We are in that time of the seasons at the end of winter and just before the beginning of spring. I heard someone call this period ‘Sprinter’. The early peaches are out in full bloom now and the almonds are just starting to burst bud and show their first flowers.

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Janine knows a secret place just behind the stone wall of the citrus grove. A sun trap in the mornings where the last of the self-sown tomatoes were growing wild. The frost has burned off all the leaves, but the last of the fruit has hung on and turned from green to yellow and red over the past month and a half. It’s amazing, but Janine comes into the kitchen triumphant with a small bowl of tomatoes in mid winter. We have them for lunches over the next few days. On toasted rye bread with some blue cheese, or in a salad.

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We have learnt over time that when we cut a cabbage and then leave it in-situ. The cabbage will re-shoot new cabbage heads, usually three smaller cabbages will replace the original one large head. The total volume of the 3 new cabbages is almost the same volume as the original.. If you cut these three heads off, then the plant will keep on trying to head up to seed and reproduce. The 3rd generation of multiple, small, cabbage heads rarely amount to much. They put out new shoots, but these rarely manage to form firm heads. They are however still good shredded up for stir fry and salads.

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We have also found that brocoli responds in this way, giving a larger number of progressively smaller Brocolinis with each picking. We have kept a few plants going like this for months. They don’t seem to mind growing through into the hotter weather. Cauliflower on the other hand doesn’t seem to react in the same way. I think that it might be because they take so long to grow, that by the time they are cut and harvested, the weather is getting too hot for them to continue growing?

The peas are looking good at the moment. In full flower and starting to set a nice crop.


I love sprinter. It is loaded with promises of warmer weather to come. I think that I can just start to feel the days getting longer.