Thursday, 30 July 2009

Mint the remarkable

A couple of weeks ago I gave the apple mint a bit of a trim - hacking bits off left right and centre in the hope of making it look somewhat tamer. Unsure quite what to do with the bits we stuck them in a glass of water, thinking in a couple of days we'd feel a bit less guilty about throwing them out when they were all wilted.

No, 2 weeks later and the stems have rooted and all look supremely healthy, still in their glass of water! I've taken some smaller cuttings now to do the same thing.

If only all plants we so forgiving!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

You're right ...

We did in fact pick so much stuff in the last 2 weeks it weighed as much as a shetland pony...


Monday, 27 July 2009

Finished at last ...

Finally the border at the front has been finished off... for now at least!

Resplendent with all the pesky weeds gone and a lovely top dressing of bark, we found all sorts of lovely things growing there, and put in a few extras as we went too. Hope you agree it looks a bit better now...
When we moved in:

Friday, 24 July 2009

A snozcumber? ...

So excited ... We have our very first spiky cuc!

Hopefully plenty more on their way soon.

Beans, peas and courgettes still coming in significant droves, and the freezer is filling at a speed of knots. Tomatoes still not ripening, but hopefully we'll get some sunshine soon to kick things off...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The world's longest runner bean... FACT!

I thought we had some great looking long 'uns. So I thought I'd find out what the record is for bean growing. Check these out! ...

* The runner bean world record (Source: Guinness World Records) is held by an American, Harry Hurley, who grew a bean that was a whopping 1m30 cm (4ft 3in) in 1997.
* The UK record for the longest runner bean was set in the same year at 86.5cm (34.6in)
* UK champion gardeners regularly grow beans around 63.5 cm (25 in)

I think we have some way to go yet ... the longest of ours are about 30cm ;) !

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Fruiting fabulous!

With the veg in the tunnel almost ready to take over the world and the currants and raspberries in the field really coming into their own, we are in a frantic bid to pick as many beans, mangetout, courgettes and currants as is earthly possible!

Last year we had good success freezing the runner beans, currants and raspberries so this year we are frantically blanching and freezing. Already the freezer is brimming, and as ever we are keeping our eyes open for interesting things to do with your surplus courgettes.

I made a chocolate courgette cake the other day - and it was really good. In just a few tweaks time I'll bring you an improved
recipe. Honestly it is really good, and not like its made out of courgettes at all - you'd never know... Can't wait for the tomatoes to start ripening now, they smell sooooo good....

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Delicious strawberry ice cream

If you're not normally a fan of strawberry ice cream, you have to give this the benefit of the doubt! Its dreamy and sooooo simple, go on give it a go ...

600g fresh, prepared strawberries
200 - 300g caster sugar to taste - if your strawbs are lovely and sweet you may not even need that much!
600ml double cream

Puree the strawberries, and the sugar and gently whip in the cream until fully combined.
Put in a freezer-proof container, and place in the freezer for 30 mins to 1 hour. Give the mixture a good stir, and return to the freezer. Repeat this as the mixture gradually starts to freeze, probably 3-4 times.

The more you mix it the smoother the end result will be. When almost set you can stop the mixing and leave it to freeze fully. Next, eat it ..... just not all at once!