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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Growing vegetables
...Timing your veg
...In heavy Soil
...In light Soil
...With Organic Manure
...Your enemies & friends
...After germination
...Presenting the product
...Specialist veg
...Sprouts to Endive
>..Eggplant to Salsify
...Sea Kale etc

Egg-plants (aubergines) grow remarkably well if they are well manured. We have tried egg-plants under glass and out in the garden and found that they preferred a sheltered spot in the garden where they grew enthusiastically. They look very decorative and like being used as patio plants in pots as long as the bottom half of the pot is filled with rotted manure.

Fennel is another decorative vegetable to grow and its aniseed flavour is very refreshing. Garlic grows well in good soil but not to the enormous size of Italian bulbs unless you use a giant variety. Usually we grow ours from healthy garlic cloves bought wholesale. There is a variety of giant bulb on sale from one of the specialist seedsmen and we are going to try it this year apparently it has a mild flavour. If you edge your vegetable area with nasturtium, you can pick the seed heads and pickle them like capers.

Shallots are worth growing because they are often not available from ordinary greengrocers and are necessary in many recipes. Peppers grow well, especially under polythene tunnels. If you pick some of them while they are still small, it gives the keen cook a chance to preserve them in oil and vinegar.

Salad potatoes have a waxy flesh and make the most delicious potato salad; they also sell for a lot more money than ordinary potatoes. Growing several varieties of radish offers your purchaser a wider variety; French Breakfast are our favourite ones. Winter radishes are cooked in the same way as turnips.

The farmer's name for kale is fodder but for humans it provides greenery at a time of year when hardly anything else is available.

Salsify and scorzoneras are similar in appearance, both being long tapering roots with a green growth on top. The main difference between them is that salsify is a brown-skinned root and scorzoneras have a black skin. They have different flavours but are cooked in the same way. You can eat the leaves chopped in a salad; the roots should be cooked in acidulated water and are delicious in cream sauces or deep-fried. They grow rather like carrots and as they are hardy, you can leave them in the ground until you wish to lift them.