Monday, 29 September 2008

A Nice Green Leaf: Spoiling the plot

Dsc_3077By Emma Townshend

Gardeners spend a lot of time getting their gardens to look nice. There are even those eccentrics who will expend hours and valuable energy improving the attractiveness of their totally utilitarian vegetable plots, for example, salad expert extraordinaire Charles Dowding plants red and green lettuces in alternating stripes for best effect. A more extreme case occurred in recent allotment cookery book Using the Plot, where ultra-anal chef and allotmenteer Paul Merrett confessed to pulling up a whole line of baby spinach simply because he realised it wasn't quite straight.

However there is a downside to getting it all to look picture perfect. You don't want to eat it. I wandered out to pick lettuce on Friday night, and then found myself staring at the gorgeous, perfect little plants, their bronze and bright green leaves contrasting so very nicely, and then thinking: "maybe I'll wait till the photographer comes on Monday".

So I knew exactly what Alex Mitchell was on about it in this very funny piece from the Telegraph web feed. Sometimes, it all looks so good that it's just too heart-breaking to actually eat it.

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