Harvest Christmas vegetables

Many of them store well in advance of the big day.

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There’s nothing nicer than home-grown vegetables fresh from the garden or allotment and through the winter there’s a good selection to choose from. Not only do they taste good, you can pick what you want, when you want. With Christmas not far away, it’s worth having a look around your plot to see what will be ready to harvest and enjoy over the Christmas period.

The good thing about most winter vegetables is they will stay fresh for several days without losing their flavour, if kept cool. This means you can harvest your veg a few days before it’s needed, with the knowledge that you’ve got it all gathered in ready for Christmas lunch.

A cold shed or outbuilding is perfect to store your harvested produce. Alternatively, keep the veg in the fridge where it will last even longer. Brussels sprouts can be picked as buttons, or you can cut the whole stalk and remove the leaves. Remember also that leafy top of the plant can also be eaten. With cabbages, remove the tough, outer leaves to prevent wilting and if picking kale several days in advance, stand it in a pot of water to keep it fresh. Leeks store well, but trim off the green tops to keep them firm and with root crops, wash off the loose soil.