Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Camas Cabbage

The story of the Camas Cabbage It all began in the spring of 2014. The cabbage seed was planted; it was nurtured and raised until it was a good sized seedling, then in early summer, it was planted out into one of the polytunnel beds. Here it lived, tenderly loved and cared for by the many hands that keep the gardens growing. Over the summer months it took hold in its new home, growing big leaves and eventually forming a head. By the time Camas was shut down for winter, the cabbage was looking strong, healthy and tasty and I left Camas happy in the knowledge that the cabbage (and the rest of the winter crops) would keep Jon and Avril fed over the winter months. At this time, the lush green grasses of summer had rolled over, dried and dormant for the winter months. There was not a lot to eat for the wildlife– particularly for the bunnies. And as wild creatures do, they searched for something to keep them going through the long winter days. They must have felt like they struck gold as they found themselves inside the polytunnels, munching and crunching their way through the winter crops - including the Camas cabbage, leaving it no more than a chewed stump in the ground. Returning to the gardens the following February, I was downhearted to see the rabbits had eaten everything but had a strong resolve to try again this year. I left the cabbage stump in the ground, thinking it will rot down over time having collected a whole host of micro organisms, bugs and worms to turn back into soil. As spring began to peep its head from behind the clouds, new life came shooting out of the ground and the gardens began to grow once again. The cabbage, having sat there dormant and ignored all these months began to grow new shoots and I left them, curious to see what would happen. As the days rolled by, spring turned into summer and the cabbage had re-grown into the most beautiful and well formed cabbage I have seen yet! And here it stands today, loved and admired by all those who come and lend a hand in the gardens. This story of the cabbage is about continuing to grow when you have been pushed down, standing tall and strong and following your own path – however hard it can be at times. Here’s to lessons from nature, here’s to the cabbage, and here’s to the Camas gardens and all those hundreds of hands who make it possible!