Posted in cooking, Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Self reliance, Summer, vegetables

A Small but perfect Harvest

I do love growing things, it makes me very happy. Here’s an example of my small but perfect harvest ๐Ÿ™‚

Me and Mr O. love broad beans so they are a must. I’ve never grown the yellow beans before and they have done really well.

Delicious cucumber, really sweet,

and my first ripe chilli is being used tonight in dinner!

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Posted in Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Self reliance, Summer, vegetables

News From My Greenhouse

I just realised that I haven’t reported on how things are doing in my green house. Well they are doing grand!

I have two lovely aubergine plants with fruit and more flowers,

four chilli plants doing amazing, full of fruit,

and twelve tomato plants, several different varieties, performing quite well.

I am so enjoying growing. All my plants are being fed with organic seaweed plant food. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Polytunnel, spring

Tomatos and Chillies

Over the last month, as you know, I’ve been starting to sow my seeds.
I went down to water them today and not only did I have cayenne chillies and aubergines sprouting which I knew about

โ€ฆ.I have a Roma tomato

and a birds eye chilli as well!

I just love it when everything starts growing ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in challenges, Food, gardening, Greenhouse, Organic Gardening, Polytunnel, Self reliance, spring, vegetables

Exciting things happening in the green house

Things have definitely warmed up around here and the temperature in the green house is above 30 degrees. If you’re not used to British weather, that is exciting for this time of year!

I’m so pleased with how the things are growing. I have several varieties of tomatoes, red peppers, three varieties of chilli peppers, cucumbers, rocket and radish.

Green house 1 Green house 2 Green house 3 Green house 4

Some will be transplanted outside and some in the poly tunnel and some will stay in the green house. I’m especially pleased as I didn’t do very well with these last year! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Autumn, cooking, Food, gardening, Hints & Tips, home, Jams & Jellys, Organic Gardening, Preserving, Self reliance, vegetables

Chutney

I Love preserving and I hate waste.

Everyone knows who grows them, that courgettes are prone to be very prolific and grow very big very quickly. Chutney is one of the answers to not wasting them (another is chickens, they are happy to eat what you can’t manage!) This recipe is inspired by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Glutney’. Basicly you can through most things in and it comes out great! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s Hugh’s recipe with my pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

1kg courgettes, unpeeled if small, peeled if huge, cut into 1cm dice (or use pumpkin later in the season)
1kg red or green tomatoes, scalded, skinned and roughly chopped (or 1kg plums, stoned and chopped)
1kg cooking or eating apples, peeled and diced
500g onions, peeled and diced
500g sultanas or raisins
500g light brown sugar
750ml white-wine or cider vinegar, made up to 1 litre with water
1-3 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
For the spice bag
1 thumb-sized nugget of fresh or dried ginger, roughly chopped
12 cloves
12 black peppercorns
1 (generous) tsp coriander seeds
A few blades of mace

Put the vegetables and fruit in a large, heavy-based pan with the sultanas or raisins, sugar, vinegar and water, chilli flakes and salt.

Make up the spice bag by tying all the spices in a square of muslin or cotton. Add the spice bag to the pan, pushing it into the middle.

Chutney 1

Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours, uncovered, stirring regularly to ensure it does not burn on the bottom of the pan.ย 

Chutney 2

The chutney is ready when it is rich, thick and reduced, and parts to reveal the base of the pan when a wooden spoon is dragged through it. If it starts to dry out before this stage is reached, add a little boiling water.

Chutney 3

Pot up the chutney while still warm (but not boiling hot) in sterilised jars with plastic-coated screw-top lids (essential to stop the vinegar interacting with the metal). Leave to mature for at least two weeks – ideally two months – before serving. ยท

Chutney 4

Warning: Don’t mistake tea spoons for table spoons for the chilli flakes like I did!!! Mind you a nice hot and spicy chutney is nice ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in challenges, Flowers, Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, plants, Self reliance, Summer, vegetables

The Anticipation of crops

I spent some time yesterday tidying up some fruiting plants to let the air and sun get to them. It was a very satisfying afternoon and the plants look great too.

These chillies have been grown using my own home made compost and so need weeding, but making your own compost saves lots of money!

Chillies 1 Chillies 2
I’m looking forward to this crop of chillies as this is all I’ve got left from a bumper crop which I dried two years ago!Chillies 3
These tomatoes are grown in my compost as well and as you can see are doing fine.Tomatos
I gave them and the chillies a feed of organic seaweed fetilizer yesterday.

I don’t have any flowers in my garden really, at the moment I rely on my flowering herbs, so I picked myself a bunch as a treat after my good work! ๐Ÿ™‚
Flowers

Posted in Flowers, Food, Fruit, gardening, Greenhouse, In the garden, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, plants, vegetables

Chilli’s and squashes

I am really pleased to report that my 5op chilli plants that I bought in the summer are now looking like this.

Chillis

As I hadn’t time to prepare the beds when the plants were ready my squashes and courgettes went into a wheel barrow and some large pots. They are looking like this.

Squash

These are at an advantage being by the back door, watering is easy. I’m looking forward to the fruit now that I have got all those flowers ๐Ÿ™‚ By the way, these are all growing in my home made compost!