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  • Fermented food for great taste and good health.

    Before frozen foods, refrigeration, and cheap transport from warmer countries preserving the bounty of summer for winter consumption was essential.  Canning, bottling, pickling, fermenting and drying were (and are) skills known to many who wished to preserve their harvest for winter. Of all these preserving methods the one that packs the biggest punch and really adds value to your food is fermenting. Properly made fermented vegetables contain very high levels of probiotics, much higher than the best probiotic supplements. This makes them ideal for optimizing your
  • Unusual Tubers

    Walk on the wild side this season and grow some unusual tubers Organic Yacon - Smallanthus sonchifolius  These perennial tubers from south America, look like a potato, grow like a Jerusalem artichoke, and taste a bit like a pear.  Easy to grow and store, high-yielding, super nutritious and crunchy like an apple. Growing Yacon Yacon is a perennial plant, so once you have planted it, so long as you look after it, you will have it forever.  It is easy to grow in most soils where there is reasonable rainfall and moderate heat.  They are large plants growing to a
  • Early Starters

    There’s a grand stretch in the evening and when it stops raining we should all be able to get out in the garden.  For the early starters it’s definitely worth covering the ground before planting to warm up the soil a little and protect it from the rain.  Either put up a small cloche or cover the soil with plastic or ground cover. All early crops will feel the benefit of protection with crop cover as this will provide some gentle heat and also increase light levels. Keep an eye out for slugs and use slug pellets  - those fresh new shoots are very tasty! As the
  • Spud you like!

    How do you like your potatoes? Soft and fluffy, pale and interesting or firm and flavoursome?  Whatever floats your boat we have a spud for that. Early   First up with the shortest growing cycle - no summer table is complete without a bowl of freshly dug tatties covered in butter!  New potatoes are quick off the mark and are ready 15 - 16 weeks after planting. If you have a polytunnel or greenhouse then you can plant them as early as January and have very early potatoes on the table in April/May - depending on the weather. Salad  Salad potatoes are ideal boiled
  • All about Tomatoes

    Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are the taste of summer - here's how to sow, grow and enjoy! How to sow Sow tomatoes indoors eight to ten weeks before your last frost date. The temperature of the compost should be approx 20- 22C for the seeds to germinate.  A propagator or heat mat is very useful here.At lower temperatures germination will take a little longer. Try to keep temperatures from fluctuating too much during he early stages of growth. Tomatoes can be sown in seed trays, modular trays or mini blocks and pricked out to larger 10cm pots after the third leaf
  • Healthy New Year

    Make a healthy start to the New Year and grow something fresh and nutritious without having to leave your kitchen (apart from going to the gym of course).  Sprouts and microgreens will give you a very literal 'kitchen garden' giving you attractive additions to a salad, extra crunch to a sandwich and lots of healthy, fresh food. Microgreens Plate of fresh microgreens Microgreens are tiny edible plants that are older than a sprout, but younger than a full-grown plant. Microgreens are harvested after the first “true” leaves have developed. They need compost and
  • Mills and Flakers for fresh flour and flakes

    If you want the freshest flour possible with all the nutrition intact then there is no substitute for milling your own. In whole-grain foods, the plant's cellular walls protect nutrients from oxidation. The process of oxidation begins to occur as soon as grain is ground, exposing the cell's contents to oxygen in the air. Flour that is several days (or more) old, has been exposed to oxygen that inevitably diminishes its nutritional value. The only way to get full nutrition from whole grain foods is to mill them when you need them, right in your kitchen. All grains
  • How to Dry Herbs

    You can dry herbs to make your own herbal teas and to use in cooking throughout the year. It's a relatively simple process and a great way to use up any excess or underused herbs you have growing in the garden.. Harvesting Herbs for drying You can harvest herbs throughout the season, but the best taste is obtained from fresh growth. Herbs grown for their leaves should be harvested before they flower. After they flower, most herbs tend to lose their flavour or become bitter. You also want to pick the leaves when they are tender and contain the highest amount of oil,
  • How to Grow Christmas Potatoes

    It does seem a little early to be talking about Christmas, but if you want to have new potatoes for Christmas dinner this is what you do: What to plant You need cold treated seed – the cold breaks the dormancy cycle and spurs the potato into growth again. By using your own homegrown seed potatoes, or those from an organic grower, you can ensure they will not be treated with any chemical to prevent budding.   Early varieties are best as they have the shortest growing cycle. You can carry out your own cold treatment on the seed potatoes by putting them in a paper bag
  • Is it cheaper to grow your own organic vegetables?

    We can all agree that growing your own vegetables has many advantages.  Nothing compares to home-grown for taste; growing your own means that your vegetables are very fresh, full of nutrients and taste delicious.  Then there’s the satisfaction – that sense of achievement that comes with picking your first tomato, or better still, when serve your first salad to a group of admiring friends!  Growing your own opens a whole new world to you and your family.  Children learn where vegetables come from and are generally more enthusiastic about trying them.  It creates

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