Nasturtium – Maharajah Mixed (Tropaeolum Majus)

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When I was in my local Garden Centre yesterday, I picked up some Nasturtium seeds, and chose the variety “Maharajah Mixed”

They were sown direct into the garden, the spot I chose for them was along the boundary fence, right next door to this is my eglu, so I think the chickens will appreciate a lovely splash of colour this summer 🙂

Nastrurtiums do best in poor soils and without feesing.   Flowers and foliage are edible and good in salads… so we can add a splash of colour in our summer salads too 🙂

  • Flowering Time : June/September
  • Cost £1.49 per packet
  • Planted : Saturday 25th April 2009

Vale’s Everest Potato (Maincrop)

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A new part coloured potato from Scotland, Vales Everest has a highish dry matter content and makes excellent chips and bakes well too. As a maincrop it’s ready from Setpember and stores well into the winter. Gives excellent crops of large oval tubers. A Maincrop variety. Skin Colour – White. Flesh Colour – Cream. Uses – steam, mash, chips, saute, baked and roast.

Tuber characteristics
Smoothness of skin   Smooth
Shape of tuber   Short – oval
Depth of eyes   Shallow – medium
Colour of skin   Red parti-coloured
Colour of flesh   Cream
  
Botanical description
Maturity   Maincrop
Height of plants   Tall
Frequency of berries   Few
Colour of flower   White
Colour of base of lightsprout   Pink

 

Plant : April / May

Harvest : August/September

Cost : £0.50 for 12 Tubers (at reduced counter in local garden centre)

Planted Sunday 26th April 2009

Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)

Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)

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I got an absolute bargin at my local garden centre yesterday, I picked up 3 x bags of seed potators for 50p each!    I will do a write up for each one individually, so here is the first one.

“Excellent resistance to the major potato diseases including blight scab and virus Y, it also has strong resistance to eelworm. The variety also gives very high yields even in soils with low fertility.”

“This means that in most seasons it can be grown without the use of chemicals and with little fertiliser making it easy to grow and ideal for organic culture.”

“The pink-splashed tubers are very attractive with tasty creamy flesh which is moist and firm meaning Lady Balfour is best suited to boiling and roasting.”

  • Yield: High
  • Shape: Oval
  • Skin: White/Purple eye
  • Flesh: Cream
  • Cooking: General Purpose – good for boiling, baking & roasting
Plant : April/May
Harvest : August/September 
Planted : Sunday 26th April 2009

Garlic Mushrooms on Toast

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Frugal Jumbo Garlic Mushrooms on Toast.

I popped round to my local supermarket last night as I needed to pick up some cat food, and whilst I was in there I spied some Jumbo Mushrooms reduced to 5p per packet, an absolute bargin! I bought 2 packs.. so on the way home I had plans whizzing round in my head of everything I could make with them…  Garlic Mushrooms on toast…. Cream of Mushroom Soup…. and a mushroom pilaf… yumm..

So.. today I have already made lunch (above) the Cream of Mushroom soup is on the cooker bubbling away as I type this and as for the mushroom pilaf, that will be made tomorrow 🙂

For the Garlic Butter I used :

  • Lightly Salted butter softened (at room temp)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • about a teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Mix all the above until combined well
  • Turn the mushrooms upside down and Spread the butter all over
  • Place in an ovenware dish and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for 15 minutes
  • Place a couple of slices of bread in the toaster
  • When the mushrooms and toast are cooked, place the toast on a plate, pour the excess garlic butter from the dish all over the toast, then place a mushroom on each slice and enjoy with a cup of hot tea

Enjoy!

Vegetable Savoury Rice

Recipe:

  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 8 Mushrooms, quartered (I quarter mine so the kids can pick them out easily)
  • A couple of handfuls of frozen peas
  • A small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 red chilli finely sliced, no seeds included
  • enough long grain rice to serve 4
  • Light and Dark Soy Sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method :

  1. Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet
  2. Put all the vegetables into a large non stick frying pan and saute until soft
  3. Once the vegetables are soft and the rice is cooked, add the rice to the same pan as the vegetables and stir in enough soy sauce to coat the rice and heat through until piping hot… and serve.

My OH loves this rice with Scampi piled on the top

Basic Vinaigrette….

Prepare a basic vinaigrette with…

  • 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper

When I make this I use small clean jam jar (I keep all my jars for making jam in the summer)

Place all the ingredients into the jar put on the lid and give it a good shake until it emulsifies, then its ready to serve.

It also stores well, and because its already in a jar with a lid it can just be put straight into the fridge once you have dressed your salad.

Its cheap to make too, using basic storecupboard ingredients..also easily thrown together in a matter of seconds and a tastey addition to your salad.

Veggie Growing Update…

I have been busy in the greenhouse today, potting on the seedlings

Firstly we have the Courgettes, I have around a dozen plants, last year was so wet here that my courgettes were a bit of a disaster, the flowers came and the fruits formed, then, promply rotted away, so fingers crossed that this year is better and not so rainy!.   Its my plan to put 10 plants out into the raised beds and keep a couple in the greenhouse, just incase.

  

Next we have the Coriander or Cilantro as its known in other parts.   My daughter planted the seeds and they are thriving away nicely, i’ll be transferring this clump into a bigger pot this coming week.

   

My tomato plants are growing like mad, I have several different varieties growing here…

Gardners Delight

Microtom

Moneymaker

Totem &

Yellow ones who’s name has escaped me (my memory is shocking..will probably remember 2 days time) 🙂 

  

My early peas are doing just grand too, these will be hardened off over the next week then planted out into the raised bed.   I have another large batch on the go too which were sown 3 weeks later than these ones.

   

The chives look fantastic, tiny green spears shooting up towards the sky.. i’ll be re-potting these too next week, then hopefully find a space for them out in the garden somewhere.

 

My daughter’s sweetcorn is doing great too, i’ll be repotting these into bigger pots this weekend and wait for the weather to warm up before planting them into the garden.

 

Micro Tom Tomatoes

I bought a couple of these tomato plants from my local garden centre, and have been wondering why they have not been growing as well as my other tomato plants, so today I decided to do a bit of research on them to see just what they were all about….

No wonder they are not growing much, theyre a tiny tomato plant! doh! how thick am I?!  LAODS it would appear 🙂

MICROTOM TOMATOES

80-85 days to maturity

The smallest tomato plant in the world, the Micro-Tom reaches only 4-7″ high. Plants bear smallish red tomatoes, about the size of large cherry tomatoes. The plants are suprisingly productive, a 6″ plant can produce up to a couple dozen fruits. The Micro-Tom is an excellent choice for gardeners with little room, or to grow in a 4-6″ pot on the window sill. …

That’ll be why theyre not growing much then !… note to self, read the labels 🙂

 

Maxine Potatoes

This evening I’ve been out in the garden planting the first batch of Potatoes into my special growing sacks..

I ordered Desiree Potatoes form Marshall’s and they ended up sending me Maxine instead because they had run out.. so I did a bit of research to find out exactly what Maxine spuds were like…

Beautiful round tubers with smooth, bright red skin.
White waxy flesh which stays firm when cooked.
A heavy cropping variety producing large tubers whatever soil it is grown in. 
The flavour as ‘excellent’ and the cookability as almost perfect.

I’m a little bit late in getting them planted, but i’m sure they’ll be just fine 🙂

 

A Day in the Greenhouse….

I have spent the best part of today in my greenhouse, sowing seeds, organising things inside, enjoying the peace and quiet…

Here is an update on the things growing:-

Peas starting to sprout – Peas

Mixed Leaf Lettuce – Mixed Leaf Lettuce Seedlings

  – Climbing Flower – Morning Glory – the leaves on this are absolutely gorgeous!

Coriander – Coriander

Pink Champagne Rhubarb – Finally – Our Pink Champagne Rhubarb that I Picked this morning.