A Place for Vegaholics

MORE AUTUMN SOWING AND SAVING

My friend John Tamplin likes to sow his over-wintering broad beans on Guy Fawkes day and I will be doing the same.  However, I first must clear squash out of one of my greenhouses to make room.  The F1 variety is a cross between Crown Prince and a butternut type and is called Autumn Crown and tastes fab.  They are great keepers too.  The fruit are a golden yellow and nice and ripe now.  I’ll store them in the potting shed where they should keep into late winter. In place I plan to sow home saved seed of the classic bean…

5 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

FAME AT LAST HA HA

Back in July I was filmed communing with my broad beans and runner beans for the next series of The Great British Food Revival.  I have just been told that my modest cameo part can be seen at 7pm on Tuesday 6th November at 7pm on BBC2. But to more prosaic matters.  Today I have been enjoying working in the warmth of my polytunnels transplanting Winter Gem lettuce and two brassicas, All The Year round cauliflower and Delaway, a delicious open hearted cabbage that I first got from the HSL at Garden Organic, but now grow from my own seed. …

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

A LOT OF SEED TO SAVE

It’s now, as we enter autumn proper, that much of my seed-saving activities peak.  This weekend I have completed drying and cleaning the seed from a crop of the loose cabbage Delaway – a Heritage Seed variety – I last saved in 2008.  Despite the wet summer I was able to get about 2 ounces of good qaulity seed from nine plants.  I was able to shake out most of the seed when I pulled the plants at the beginning of September.  I hung the stems up in my potting shed within fleece bags to air and for the last of…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

TOO BUSY GARDENING TO WRITE BUT I AM ON TWITTER

It has been a trying but very busy summer and it is with considerable guilt that I see it has been three months since I last blogged.  Quelle domage.  A number of people have been giving me a hard time, so now I shall do my best to make amends. Firstly, despite all the shite weather I have had more success than failures.  Last year I suffered terribly from white rot on my onions and garlic.  So awful was it that I thought I should abandon trying to grow these vegetables on my allotment for several years.  I then did some research and…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Great news for garlic-lovers

Back in March this year I visited Oman.  (see my earlier post). I had wanted to visit this corner of the Arabian Gulf to witness the great diversity of flora and fauna it is famous for. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.  The great surprise was coming across large amounts of garlic being grown on the Sayq plateau at Jabal Al Akhdar.  There I met a wonderful, hospitable and very enthusiastic garlic-grower, Nabhan, owner of the delightful Sahab Hotel.  He promised to send me some of his crop to both taste and cook with, but most importantly, to grow.  Last…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

FULL OF BEANS

A couple of weeks of decent May weather and sanity is restored.  The polytunnels are yielding a wonderful harvest of broad beans, peas, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, radish and beetroot and finally everything is growing like fury on the allotment.  The last few weeks have been madness, up with the sun to open the glasshouses and polytunnels, to water, to nurture, to transplant and to sow seed for summer and autumn crops. The garden at The Brockweir Inn is coming along really nicely. Check out developments. I am thrilled so far with my broad bean finds in Syria last year.  Syria…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR SUMMER CROPS

It may bea shitty, cold, wet day but that should not stop us from getting lots of stuff going for planting out in May when all danger of frost is past. At the weekend I sowed runner beans – an HSL black-seeded variety called Meesna, Borlotto climbing French beans and Ryder top of the Pole, all from seed I have saved in previous years. I sowed seed individually into root trainers and put on the greenhouse shelf to germinate. I already have squash, courgettes and cucumbers growing on in the greenhouse, but it is not too late to sow seed…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

A JOURNEY TO OMAN

It is now more than a month since I have returned from a very enjoyable trip to Oman; a country of mountains, desert, vast empty coastline, diverse wildlife, lovely people and some spectacular produce! There was one particular discovery I made that I hope will add to the pleasures of life in the kitchen. Oman has some of the most fertile and productive land in the Arabian Gulf. It is home to the widest variety of flora and fauna in the region and grows the finest dates I have ever eaten. The mountains are full of wadis and springs that provide…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

SWEET POTATO PLANTING

I have had some success growing sweet potatoes through black polythene in a polytunnel. Last year I found mice also liked my crop and I d to remove a number of very lovely nests and badly nibbled tubers. But even now I have some of last year’s crop to finish eating. Sweet potatoes are magnificent keepers if they are cured properly after harvest. To do this I put them in trays in the airing cupboard for about ten days! For reasons I do not understand other than profit, buying sweet potato ‘slips’ for planting up in May can set you…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

FULL ON SEED SOWING

In the last month I have not been idle.  Despite a very unplesant cold snap in February I have been able to keep on top of my sowing schedule and hope that you all will now be limbering up to get a load of veggies going if you haven’t started already. I started a second sowing of onion seed in mid-February.  It is certainly fine to sow more now.  I like Franchi Seeds who sell large packets of seed for a fraction of the price of their competitors.  I like to grow red onions which are as a easy to…

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL