The leek belongs to a family of vegetables called the alliums which also includes onions, red onions, scallions and garlic. Leeks can be in season for quite a lot of the year, but we like to try and put them in the boxes during this month as other crops can be getting a little scarce at this stage. Leeks can take quite a long time to reach maturity and we have been harvesting our crop for the last couple of months. It is important if you are planning to have leeks through out the winter that you choose a variety that is winter hardy and will survive the winter frosts.
When planting leeks they need to be well immersed in the soil so that the bottom part of the plant blanches. When you are cooking with leeks it is typically the white part that you use although you can use the green part as well. The smaller the leek the tenderer and better the flavour. Again as with all vegetables the fresher the produce is the better. We will be including leeks in the boxes until the end of March.
Typically leeks are a hardy vegetable that do not succumb to disease. They can get a fungal disease called leek rust that will manifest as orange dots on the outer leaves; cold weather will generally clear this up. They do not take up much space and can be left in the ground over winter. Their strong root system does wonders for soil structure.
Green Earth Organics is based on a family run farm in Corrandulla. We run a box scheme that delivers fresh organic produce all over the Galway area and we also have a stall at the Oranmore and Moycullen market. If you are interested you can get more information by contacting Jenny at [email protected] or phoning 091-793768.