I couldn’t believe my ears – but, this was Gardeners’ Question Time and you do not disbelieve what you hear on Gardeners’ Question Time.
(In the same episode Bunny Guinness was singing the praises of ‘mineralised straw mulch’ – THE answer to snails and slugs – which got me very excited….. Subsequent investigation suggests that not everyone has found it totally successful but I am giving it a whirl. A 100 litre bag on its way now and I will report in due course…)
As part of the programme reporter Katie Rushworth went to visit the Robinson sisters, Margaret and Susan, in Preston, fifth generation seed growers and specialists in mammoth veg.
It was William Robinson the Second who started to started to grow the size of his veg and the family have been at it ever since, in the very same ground in which William R. the First grew his back in 1860. For more detail, check in to the history page of the site – mammothonion.co.uk – or read the articles in the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Mail, both of whom got very enthused about the Robinsons back in 2010 when they were exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Certainly, the ladies sounded quite delightful when interviewed on GQT – and insistent that the fact that their veg are massive does not mean that they are flavourless. On the contrary, over the generations the family has taken great care to ensure that only the most flavoursome, as well as the largest, specimens are used for breeding – and hoards of award winning vegetable growers across the country would attest to their success!
But no, I am not setting out to grow the largest leek – I have enough problems with my delphiniums as it is! But I am still gobsmacked by the thought that you could grow a cabbage that would feed 60…..