In the Middle Ages, the months between the end of winter (when all root stores were almost used up) and late spring (when the first new veges were available in the garden) was referred to as ‘the famine months’. It can certainly seem that way as you wait for those first leafy greens to appear. In the meantime, though, we’re dining like kings on stored shallots, garlic, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and yams. We have frozen leeks, spinach, broad beans, peas, coriander and gooseberries, and preserved chutneys and relishes. Fresh from the outdoor garden come chives, parsley, daikon radish, cabbage, kale and rhubarb while in the glasshouse and under plastic cloches outside we have spinach beet and silver beet. Tie it all together with fresh eggs and stored honey and who could want for more! Planning makes perfect and when you live in the deep south, that planning has to be pretty spot on if you’re to live out of your garden. Now if only that lettuce would hurry along …!