Saturday 25 April 2015

Eats, shoots and leaves part 2

What is ready to eat just now, sprouting broccoli, rhubarb, peppers in the house, salsify.

Eats, shoots and leaves part 1

Some pictures of the vegetables starting to pop up in the allotment.

First potatoes coming up, leek seedlings, asparagus, carrots.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Household veg and fruit

Although most of the fruit and vegetables are grown in the allotment, some of them are grown in the house or started off in the house.


This tomato plant is an rooted offshoot of the five year old one that finally keeled over at the end of last year after one major fling in late Autumn.

As with it's parent, this one is producing tomatoes at unseasonal times of the year, which is a great show-off really, as we have had home grown tomatoes straight off the plant for the past few years in the middle of winter and at Christmas!

It is right next to a radiator - ironically its predecessor was more active when the heating came back on in the Autumn - and next to the window and gets regular feeds and rainwater.



This is the first home grown pepper of the season, picked around the end of March

Peppers can be grown all the year around indoors, this is a bell pepper but there are chilli pepper plants on the windowledge as well. 
There's a succession of plants to give a steady supply.
Recent pepper seedlings

 Meyer Lemon tree. This tree was given as a present, with about 9 lemons on it.

It has sulked a little since the lemons were taken off but now it is in the sunniest window it is starting to produce flowers again.
Lettuce seedlings. These will be grown in a window box on one of the windowledges but there are others that will be going into the allotment or outside pots. Also (out of shot) are some mini carrots designed for window boxes.

Sunday 12 April 2015


Recipe for Mexican Tortillas


3 chicken breasts
1/2lb frying steak
3 peppers
1lb mushrooms
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
3 mugs full assorted dried beans (red kidney, butter, blackeye)
1 can plum tomatoes
Tortillas and/or tacos (8-16)
Vegetable oil for frying.
2 chillies or a teaspoon of chilli powder - reduce or increase to taste, can use red, green or jalapeƱo chillies. 

Serves 9 portions, ingredients can be increased as necessary.

Important: Dried beans must be soaked in cold water overnight and then the water changed before boiling for 45 minutes.

 Wash hands thoroughly after handling chillies or wear clean plastic gloves.

While the beans are cooking, wash and slice up the peeled onions, mushrooms and de-seeded peppers and peeled garlic. Core and slice the chillies if using. Place these in a large saucepan with some vegetable oil and start frying up, stirring occasionally.

Whilst frying the vegetables, slice up the steak and the chicken into strips and the put in the pan with the vegetables

Cook until the meat is cooked right through, this is usually 10-15 minutes to be sure, it won't harm if kept stirred and turned over and prevented from sticking with oil.

Add the tomatoes and chilli powder if using. Warm through.

Warm or microwave the tacos or tortillas.

When ready, serve beans and other ingredients inside tortillas/tacos.

Toppings include melted cheese, salsa, iceberg lettuce, chipotle sauce

Sunday 5 April 2015


Today was, I think, the warmest day this year. At least 15degC. So, it was time for the peas to leave their home in the greenhouse for the allotment.

A row of peas had been planted already, but the birds seem to have had a nibble, well more than a nibble and some of them are little more than shredded stumps, so a bit more protection was needed.

I can't take credit for the construction, my youngest daughter and my wife were busy as well with the CDs and the mesh, though I went round after this photo was taken to put in lots of twiggy sticks for the peas to climb up.

Some of the peas are already flowering! So, I have sprayed with an organic garlic spray to stop pea moths from laying eggs, and therefore peas getting maggots in.

Also, as well as a generous compost dressing (manure was spread over the patch at the end of last year), and then some organic, wildlife friendly slug pellets.