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Seasonal

  • The Hungry Gap - What it is and How to fill it

    The Hungry Gap is the in-between-seasons period after winter vegetables but before the availability of early spring crops - normally April to June. Of course we can now go to the shop and buy whatever our hearts desire but in the past this would have been a time of want and hardship. The hungry gap reminds us of the seasonality of fruit and veg. While no-body should go hungry, I think we should all stand back and question the logic of strawberries at Christmas or peas in April. How to fill the Hungry Gap Careful planning and storing, in theory, means that you will
  • Planting & Growing 'Flavor' Softneck Garlic in Spring

    Flavor Softneck garlic is a an organic Garlic for Spring planting. Flavor Garlic has lovely ivory/pink cloves of fine flavour.  Can be used green in salads or left to mature for cooking.  Wonderful roasted whole in olive oil with new potatoes and rosemary. Choosing a Site and soil for your garlic Choose an open, sunny site and well-drained soil. High humidity around the foliage and wet soils make the crop more prone to disease. Prior to planting, improve the soil’s structure, moisture retention and nutrient levels by incorporating organic matter. Apply about two
  • January Seasonable table - Parsnips

    Parsnips are a very reliable winter root vegetable.  They have a distinct nutty flavour and sweetness and are very versatile in the kitchen.  In Roman times they were believed to be an aphrodisiac and they were often used as a source of sugar before cane and beet sugars were available.  Parsnips are a member of the cow parsley family along with carrot, dill, fennel and parsley.  Treat as carrots in your rotation. How to Grow Parsnips Sow parsnips from February to May.  On light soils Tender and True are a very good variety whilst White Gem would be better for
  • December Seasonal Table - Brussel Sprouts

    There are two types of people in the world – those that like sprouts and those that see sprouts as the vegetable that spoils Christmas.  This is probably all down to cooking so perhaps I should have started by saying there are two types of cooks in the world – those that respect the sprout and those that boil it so long it transforms into a little fart bomb! Why do sprout plants look so odd? After the construction of the second wall of Brussels in the fourteenth century, market gardening developed outside the wall. Vegetable growing took off so much so that space
  • All About Turnips and Swedes

    The History of the Turnip & Swede Turnips are a cruciferous vegetable (member of the mustard family). Turnips thrive in cool climates. The turnip that we know is thought to have descended from the Wild Turnip which is native to Central Asia, the Mediterranean and the Near East. The turnip was a well-established crop in Roman times. Fast forward to Viscount Charles Townshend of Raynham - Turnip Townsend - No, this man did not have a turnip shaped head! He was often known as Turnip Townshend because of his strong interest in farming turnips. He promoted the Norfolk
  • Growing, Storing and Eating Organic Pumpkins

    The Fruit Hill Farm Guide to Organic Pumpkins - Growing, Storing, Eating and everything else you need to know! What’s not to like about pumpkin.  Easy to grow, fantastic colour, store well, very versatile in the kitchen, very nutritious, edible seeds and can even be used as a Halloween decoration!  That’s a lot of plus points. How to grow Organic Pumpkins Sow organic seeds in mid April in medium sized pots in good quality organic compost. They like a bit of heat to germinate so either put them in the hot-press or in a heated propagator. As soon as they have
  • September Garden Ponder

    I love my garden and just like this red squirrel I think it is the perfect place to chill out.  Your garden is probably in full swing at the moment  - and now in the middle of September is a very good time to have a bit of a ponder and assess your efforts whilst there is still shape and form there to look at.  It is very easy to forget what it all looks like by next February! Make a plan – take photos You really do forget how big things grow so taking a few photos is a good idea.  After a number of seasons you can see how the garden changes of its own accord -
  • September Seasonal Table: Apples

    We are getting reports of people having a good crop of apples in Ireland this year so we thought we'd take a closer look at what we can do with a bumper harvest of apples. Apples are delicious and they are nutritious! They are a good source of fibre and Vitamin C and are extremely rich in antioxidants, although most of the apples nutrients are found in the skin rather than in its flesh so it's wise to eat them unpeeled. Apples are a pretty versatile fruit when it comes to cooking with them and using them in the kitchen. They are good at breakfast, lunch, and teatime!
  • How to make Sauerkraut

      Cabbage drill Make sure your pot and all utensils are clean before you start. Give the cabbage head a good rinse and remove any insects or debris. Remove and discard the stump and chewy parts (inside) the cabbage head. This can be done most simply using a cabbage drill. Remove two large outer cabbage leaves for use later.   Mandolin for slicing cabbage. Before placing the cabbage into the crock for fermentation, the cabbage has to be cut up - this is best done using a cabbage slicer or mandolin. Thinly sliced pieces make it easier for the juice to be
  • What to do with late summer surplus produce

    It's the time of year when many people can have a glut of produce in the garden. You may find you have a bumper crop of beans, courgettes, carrots, cabbage, onions or kohlrabi....well we have a few ideas of what you can do with your surplus produce. Fermentation is our favourite way of dealing with a glut of food and we have some tips and recipes for you here. We also offer some alternative options for preserving food over winter. Fermentation Fermentation is (quite literally) one of the oldest tricks in the book. Put simply, it is the utilisation of naturally

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