Growing our own Well, we had toyed with the idea for a year or two but this year we made the decision to go ahead and rent an allotment when we saw some come up for rent in the local area. Renting a plot is a big commitment, one of time and effort and money that is tied up in the rent and in purchasing items such as seeds, plugs, equipment, tools etc. The latest food scandal with the horse-meat has really highlighted the difficulties in monitoring exactly where our food comes from, what’s in the food that we eat and the quality. At least when you grow your own vegetables or fruit you know exactly what it has come in contact with and how it was grown. The local butcher will be gaining a more regular customer too. Our vegetable plot The plot we are renting is a barren piece of land, once belonging to a farmer now dedicated to allotment development. Our plot is around 250 sq meters. The soil itself will need a lot of work, as you can see from the photo below, digging, hoeing, raking and fertilising, building raised beds, but first comes the planning of [...]… Read more →
Growing Rhubarb Rhubarb is one of those plants that can be grown most anywhere, needs little attention and provides your dinner table with a heart -warming dessert. In the garden it can hide an untidy corner with its large architectural leaves and provide a splash of colour with its long vivid red stalks. Planting Rhubarb The first thing you need to do is to prepare the soil, dig it over and add some mulch or rotted manure. We usually water the soil and wait a day or too before the actual planting. Rhubarb needs plenty of sun, a nice sunny corner is ideal.When you buy a rhubarb plant you buy what is called a ‘rhubarb crown’. Plant this just below the soil. This plant will grow and provide a large spread of cover with its leaves, so if planting more than one space them out, around 3ft or a large stride between them. You can plant between November and March. March here this year is cold, the grown is covered in snow and pretty solid. If I was thinking of planting out now I would be inclined to wait until the snow had disappeared and let the ground warm up [...]… Read more →
Allotment Gardening This year we have joined the ‘grow your own’ brigade like countless of others around the country to get more out of the land and to grow more of our own vegetables. When you grow your own its not just a matter of a fad or trend, it’s purposeful, relaxing and rewarding, a way of reconnecting with nature which we have grown so far away from in our industrialised society; and it’s all about ‘taste’. If you have ever grown your own or tasted a home grown vegetable you will know what I mean when I say, ‘It tastes good!’ The flavour is so much better as opposed to those supermarket vegetables. Home grown vegetables may not look ‘so perfect’ like they do in the retailers but that is the charm of home grown. Do we really care if vegetables are wonky or nobbly, I don’t think so! That sort of perfectionism, idealism is best left to technology, it doesn’t belong in nature. The side-effect of all this gardening is that you get some good fresh air in your lungs as well as some much needed exercise. Of course we mustn’t forget that we are also teaching the younger generation by our example [...]… Read more →
This category is all about Vegetable recipes.
… Read more →
Raspberry ripple ice cream To brighten up your cold, snowy, windy Saturday here in Essex is a photo of a beautiful rose I took during the summer of 2012 while visiting the Beth Chatto Gardens here in Essex. Last summer seems so far away now while we contend with this everlasting wintry weather. Beth Chatto… Read more →