Bare essentials

January 5, 2015 // 2 Comments

When Flo posted this year’s “not buy anything new” thread, over on the forum, it occurred to me that it doesn’t mention personal care products. I assume they are covered under categories such as health or even food (groceries) and that most people buy them on a regular basis, as necessities, as they would food. When I first moved up here I opened a small business making [...]

Indoor Vegetable Growing

November 27, 2014 // 3 Comments

Many people grow pot plants on their windowsills, and they are almost always flower plants, so why not edible vegetable plants ? There could be a number of reasons why growing vegetables indoors might seem attractive, but the two most obvious are; growing early crops when it’s far too cold outside, or you simply don’t have anywhere outside to grow any. Growing herbs on your kitchen [...]

Become a vegetable “expert”

November 18, 2014 // 2 Comments

Sowing vegetable seeds, how difficult can it be? It’s easy, it must be, all you have to do is follow the instructions on the packet,don’t you? Well, yes and no, depending on where you live, it’s a different sort of “post code lottery”. When I gardened in the south east of England I had few problems with following the instructions on the seed packets, to the letter almost. Only now and [...]

Sloes: Not just for gin

October 27, 2014 // 2 Comments

If you’ve read MKG’s series, Taking the fear out of wine making – and if you haven’t, I’d recommend it – you’ll know that it’s possible to start making wine with very little by way of specialist equipment – just a bucket, in fact. Here’s a recipe for wine-in-a-bucket using foraged ingredients that might be more familiar in another drink. [...]

Foment in the ferments part 3

October 14, 2014 // 4 Comments

Well someone has to say it – if you’re going to make your own Christmas cake you need to start planning it just about now. I know no-one wants to think about Christmas yet (OK just me then) but it has to be done. They not only take time to make, but you also need time to feed it with alcohol, marzipan it and then ice it. Each step needs time before progressing to the next. And this type [...]

Rose hips: Why bother?

September 29, 2014 // 7 Comments

The hedgerows are dotted with the little red gems that are rose hips and they’re almost too pretty to pick, so why would you? For a start, rose hips are very rich in vitamin C, much more so than oranges. One 1940s study found between 200 and 1000 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of fruit pulp in samples of Rosa canina, the common British dog rose. Estimates for oranges are typically around 50 mg [...]

Hydroponics Explained

September 21, 2014 // 2 Comments

At first glance hydroponics is wrong, plain wrong, how can you grow anything other than water lilies in water. After all, read any gardening book about container growing and they will tell you that overwatering plants is a death knell for them, that a water logged pot plant will keel over in a very short time. Yet hydroponically grown plants spend their whole life in constant contact with water, [...]

Foment in the ferments part 2

September 19, 2014 // 4 Comments

………Although I live in Scotland I’m a born and bred Derbyshire lass and there’s one thing that’s dear to my heart that is common to both places. Oatcakes. Except that’s two things because they’re very different, of course. Scottish oatcakes are small crunchy biscuits that are eaten with anything from cheese to soup, or even on their own. One of the first people I became [...]

What to do if you get potato blight

September 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

If you grow potatoes, they’ll almost certainly get blight at some point. The first sign is brown spots on the leaves, which may have yellow borders. This quickly spreads and withers all the leaves, until the plant looks quite dead. If this happens to you, don’t panic, all is not lost! At least, it probably isn’t. Blight is a fungal infection that attacks the leaves first, but [...]

Foment in the ferments…

September 12, 2014 // 3 Comments

I try not to eat too many carbs – as in not too much bread, rice, pasta, spuds etc and I very rarely eat sweet stuff. Spuds and pasta were never my favourites, so I can take those or leave them (much to my husband’s chagrin) but I love bread and so the one loaf I bake each week has become truly precious. And it has to be sourdough. I’ve always loved sourdough bread. As a young’un I [...]
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