This time of year is what vegetable growers often refer to as "The Hungry Gap". Outdoor winter vegetables are just about finished, summer ones are not yet cropping and the stores are all but empty. We have 3 rather sad pumpkins left, no potatoes, no onions and no outdoor leeks. The remaining parsnips, kale and brussels have gone or are going to seed. In the past this was a very bad time for people who had no shops supplying vegetables and fruit of every conceivable type all year round. We take it for granted that we can have what-ever we fancy but this really is a new concept and in years gone by people often went hungry at this time of year. They supplemented their diet with what they could forage for and would have preserved what they could in salt but pickings were meagre and stomachs were rarely full.