It was lovely and bright up the allotment on Sunday morning. A very fresh autumnal morning where the sun was shining high up in the sky. I’ve not visited the allotment this early on morning for a very long time and it was lovely to see the detail that the frost left on the foliage of the leaves. Even the water in my small pond had frozen a little, just enough to give a few sheets of frozen ice, but none the less the weather was perfect for doing a few odd jobs in the allotment. With only my MP3 player for company, I happily weeded the raised beds to help keep on top of them.
Whilst I was admiring how my kohl rabi and cabbages were doing, a fellow allotmenteer, who I hadn’t met before, wondered over to introduce himself. His name was John and he explained how he had been tending his plot at this site for over 10 years and continued asking me what I had growing in my plot. I took this opportunity, to explain to him the produce that I had grown and what each vegetable was. I also tried to emphasise how I had grown the majority of these myself from seed just to show him that I at least had some sort of idea of how to grow vegetables, even if I didn’t have as much experience has he did. He continued to listen, smile and nod his head in agreement to what I was saying asking me all sorts of questions about my kohl rabi. I was happy to explain about what they were, how you cook them and how long they take to grow. I was glad that I had someone to share my enthusiasm with.
After about ten minutes or so, John went off to tend to his plot and I carried on pottering around. John returned about an hour later with a carrier bag in tow, where he then presented me with the biggest kohl rabi that I had ever seen! Now, you must bear in mind that the first ever kohl rabi that I had ever seen were the ones that I had grown from seed myself and all of the text books tell you to harvest when they are about the size of a golf ball. These size rules were definitely thrown out of the window where John was concerned!
The difference was staggering!!! Mine were tiny, but just as I thought that they should be. Kohl rabi, are apparently at their best around about the size of a golf ball, so I was obviously pleased with my tennis ball size specimens. That was until John gave me his. I stood there completely gob struck when he handed me a bag with his version of kohl rabi.
For people who know me on a personal basis will know that for me to be speechless is a completely unknown. But trust me, all I could say was wow!!!. I felt done over! An hour earlier I was like a chuffed robin explaining the best ways to grow kohl rabi and confidently explaining what they were and the best ways to cook them, then I was presented with the bag the made me feel about 1 inch high. I know that there was no malice intended from John’s point of view, and he was being very neighbourly, but I felt like a prize idiot. John, I reckon, chuckled to himself too.
To rub salt in the wounds he also gave the the biggest cabbage that I had ever seen in my life. After weighing the cabbage on the scales that I had at home, it was that big that it ended up circling the scales. The total weight was 10.5lbs!!! You also need to bear in mind that lots of the outer leaves had already been removed. That would take my family of 5 at least a whole week to get through even if we had it twice a day!
Looks like I’ll be keeping an eye out for John next year when he starts to sow his seeds as I could really do with growing veg as big as the ones that he has!