14th to 21st February 2015 on Plot 44

PersonAuthor: Paul1shCalender February 26, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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This last week has been spent seed sowing as well as doing plenty of research from past masters and their methods (often contradicting each other.) with the hope of being more productive . Not so much "on the plot" but that has a lot to do with the stormy weather and rain that we have had here last week. On February 13th I placed a 60 cell seed tray in the propagator and filled each cell with different seeds and began my sowing in the smallest of spaces . I am monitoring how well they perform as this is the second year of me using a heated propagator and I feel I have must to learn and that's it's being greatly underused. Anyway here's what I sowed : Row 1 : Dill , Thyme , Chives , Onion (White Lisbon) , Celtuce , Swede (All The Best ) Row 2 : Cauliflower (All The Year Round

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Celeriac and thyme soup

PersonAuthor: MaaikeCalender February 23, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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 Serves 4-6:Olive oil for the pan and decorating100grams of smoked bacon lardons (pancetta)1 cube of butter for the pan1 big onion, chopped1 bayleaf3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaf separated from stalk but keep both1 celeriac in cubes1 liter of water2 cubes of (chicken or vegetable) stock125ml of double cream or crème fraiche2 cloves of garlic, finely choppedSalt and pepper Method:Heat oli in a large pan and  bake the bacon with the garlic Brown and crispy.Remove bacon and garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.Add the butter to the oil left in the pan, add onion, bayleaf and the sprigs of thyme, cook until onions have softened (ca 10 minutes).Add celeriac and cook for 2 minutes.

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1st -14th February 2015 on Plot 44

PersonAuthor: Paul1shCalender February 15, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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My apologies to the delay in my update (yet again!) . I have had several distractions mainly since following the strong winds a couple of weeks back I have had to carry out repairs to my garden fence and am currently in the process of obtaining quotes for repairs to be roof . So amongst all that and everything else that life throws at us we all forwards towards the spring and the summer . The hope is that the more we put in to our gardens and allotments now then the more we shall be rewarded when the summer arrives .Firstly I will catch up with what I have wrote about previously . Of the seeds that I had placed in the heated propagator on the 18th January by 13th February only the Habanero pepper and the mixed Aubergines appear to have germinated .The Aubergines were looking ver

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18th January to 31st January 2015 on Plot 44

PersonAuthor: Paul1shCalender February 1, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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Firstly my apologies that my weekly update has taken two weeks but this has more to do with life and the weather getting in the way . I'd managed to fall ill which my wife said was caused by digging up at the allotment in the wind and rain which naturally I disagreed I said I must have definitely picked up the chest infection at work . After all everybody knows that once you get several plot holders together work stops and you end up having a social gathering in the shelter of somebody's shed .  So I guess we've established I've been a bit lazy so far this year and on the days when I've been able to go outdoors the snow or hailstones have been falling. January is a very frustrating month in the gardening calender and yet I always feel I should be doing something and that what I have done

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Valentine open apple turnover

PersonAuthor: MaaikeCalender January 30, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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For 10:4 eating apples50grams of raisins, reconstituted in hot waterHandful of flaked almonds1 tablespoon for sprinkling2-3 tablespoons of sugar for the filling3 teaspoons of cinnamon1 lemon, juice of25grams of butter1 pack of 10 small sheets of all butter puff pastryWhipped cream to serve (optional)1 table spoon of water Method:Put the sheets of pastry on a board to defrost slightly.Heat oven on 200degrees.Wash and cut up apples, leave skin on.Drain the raisins.Put lemon juice in a bowl, add the apples, stir well to coat them.Add the raisins, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of sugar to the apples.With a cookie cutter cut out a heart from each sheet of pastry, you can save cut offs or roll it out for more.

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Making heart shaped carrots

PersonAuthor: MaaikeCalender January 23, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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Because Valentine’s day is almost upon us, I thought I’d share you some ideas to make the evening meal extra special.It doesn’t require a huge effort, but the impact  is guaranteed….Of course you can use these also on mother’s day or father’s day an engagement, or wedding etc. You’ll need:A large carrot  (winter type)A peelerKnifesAnd a cuttingboard.  Method:Cut top and bottom of the carrot and peel the carrot.Cut the carrot in lenghts of 4-5cm so it’s easier to handle.Stend the carrot up and cut a V into it.That’s the dip in the heart.Keep the V at the top and cut  the sides opposite (also a V).This will give you a heart shape of some sort.Doesn’t have to be perfect!Cu

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Valentine’s day soup with Heart shaped carrots

PersonAuthor: MaaikeCalender January 23, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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 Serves 8 as a starter:4 large carrots heart shaped4 onions sliced (crescents)2 liters of water4 cubes of chicken stock or ready  made2-3 chicken filets whole1 chili pepperSalt and pepperHandful of soup pasta Method:To see how I've cut my carrots into hearts, see this.Put in a large pan the water, onions, carrots, chicken, chili and the stock cubesBring to the boil (but don’t let is boil harshly as it will toughen up the chicken, just a simmer)Cook until vegetables and chicken are cooked.Remove chicken from the pan and let cool slightly before tearing the fillets into chunks, add the chunks back in the pan and add the pasta.Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook until pasta is ready. 

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11th – 17th January 2015 On Plot 44

PersonAuthor: Paul1shCalender January 17, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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This week has been very much about sorting out my Jerusalem Artichokes . I originally began growing them back in February 2013 when I purchased 2 different varieties ( Fuseau and Gerard)  from a farmer's market and then received another variety from a fellow plot holder. I duly planted them and in May the plants began to grow and grow . By August they were all close to 8 feet high with yellow mini sunflowers at the top . I waited and looked forwards to my very first harvest . Sadly it seems that the wireworms liked to munch on the tubers and with that being the second year that the ground had been cultivated since the 1970's there were plenty of wireworms in the ground .  So my first harvest wasn't too pleasing with the surviving edible tubers being fairly small and knobbly making i

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Super quick lentil soup

PersonAuthor: MaaikeCalender January 16, 2015PostedNo TagsComment No Comments
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serves 3-4 people:1 tablespoon (sunflower) oil1 onion, finely chopped1 carrot, finely diced1 stalk of celery, finely chopped1, clove of garlic, finely choppedSalt and pepper1 litre of (chicken) stock1 can (400grams) of brown lentils, drained1-2 tablespoons of vinegar (to taste)1 tablespoon (or little can) of tomato puree   Method:In a large pan heat up the oil.Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.Soften the vegetable for 3-5 minutes on low heat (no colouring).Add the stock and bring to the boil,  boil for about 5 minutes.Add the lentils and heat through. Add vinegar and the tomato puree and check seasoning. 

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Grow Cabinet Light Box

PersonAuthor: MarkCalender January 14, 2015PostedTags: , , , , Comment 1 Comment
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My how i made my light box grow cabinet for £40.Originally i wanted to use an old chest of draws and convert it to a light box. However i do not have a garage or shed suitable so i had to think about having one in the house. This was not a problem but i didn't really fancy a scrappy lump of wood with wires sticking out in my office. So i did some thinking and came up with my build. Hope you like it as much as i do.I started off with a canvass wardrobe, A simple light weight structure that allowed a large space for my plants and also gave me the additional shelves for storage.It did not take long to set up and for a mere £17 including delivery i really think it was a bargain. After all a tin of white gloss paint was going to cost around £15 just to make the first idea of a w

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