Taking a few moments to check up on the garden. Lots of watercress, salad seedlings and Wasabi Rocket growing. Also strawberries in the hanging baskets have started their lovely little white flowers. The Spring Onions are popping up, the Cornflowers are growing slowly and the Sorrel is being useful in sauces. Woodruff has been fantastic in sweet early Summer cocktails and the Chamomile is useful in teas with honey! Phew, all in all a successful, steady session the garden.
A quick recap of what has been happening in the garden. I have worked from scratch in an overgrown, weedy garden trying to create flower beds and making a sustainable, crop producing place. Below a few photographs of some of the beds – the Lemonbalm has blossomed – lovely for tea making and fish dishes! Also the French Lavender ready for biscuit making, and other flowers to brighten the space and provide cut flowers for the house. Moreover, the chives are blooming ready to be added to a number of dishes to brighten them up. The Raspberry canes are doing well – hoping to get double the produce this year!
The currant and new Gooseberry plants have become more established and I can’t wait for fruiting season. Also, Mr Podge the cat has been loving the more active growing season – with me out and about in the garden gives him more of an excuse to sleep and sunbathe in the grass outside.
The mint varieties I have gone for are a bit random but I love trying the different types in tea. Grapefruit Mint, Chocolate Mint and Apple Mint simply smell delicious!
So I made a batch of these loaf cakes as they can be easily made into gluten or dairy free *(or both!) in a stressfree way.
250g plain flour (gluten free mix if wanted)
2 tsp baking powder (gluten free if wanted)
230g caster sugar
30g ground almonds
120g butter/margarine melted (dairy free if wanted)
120g Soya plain yoghurt (dairy free)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
-Preheat oven to 180’C.
-Mix all ingredients apart from raspberries in a large mixing bowl.
-Line and grease a loaf tin ready for mixture.
-Add raspberries to cake mix – gently fold into the mixture.
-Empty mixture into tin ad place in middle shelf of oven.
-Bake for approx. 50 minutes. Insert a knife to centre to see if cooked through – if sticky mixture on it when taken out give it another 10 minutes and recheck.
-Leave to cool, cut into thick slices. Best served with crème fraiche or custard!
Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx
Myself and Dad got the opportunity to attend a local Museum event with the Suffolk Smallholders Society stand. It was a World War Two reenactment event and thus we dressed up in our WW2 gear and set up our stall! We had articles, posters and news bulletins all about food in World War Two – including rationing, grow your own and different popular breeds of livestock of the period. As you can see from the photos we took along some eggs from the chickens and bantams to show. Additionally, we had a taster for people to try- Carrot Jam!
This was made up to an original recipe from the period and was surprisingly nice – more like a mild Apricot jam. My Grandad Basil used to love this but after the war had finished my Grandma refused to make anymore of it as she wanted to forget wartime food! My dad was intrigued to crack open the recipe to see for himself.
We had a photo of my Granma Joan up too of her in her Land Army uniform – looking very smart! She came up from Kent to work in the Land Army on a farm in Yaxley, Suffolk. This was where she met and started going out with my Grandad Basil (a tractor driver on a local farm). And the rest, they say is history! They got married and set up a smallholding near Ipswich.
We gave out free recipes of the classic Rabbit stew and the Carrot Jam. I hope to out the recipe on this blog soon. Overall, it was a good, busy day and we got to talk to lots of visitors.
Another few hours on the new allotment trying to get it started and ready to plant in. It looks like something is happening now in the ground – exciting! Again, I had some helpers with me thankfully!
Now the crops planted are as follows: Potatoes, Red Onions, Peas, Broad Beans, Peas, Rhubarb, Sweet Peas flowers, Strawberry plants and another Currant plant.
Below a few pictures with notes on progress made; please let me know what you think. The Good Life In Practice x
Had another quick session working on the new allotment this week. Managed to turn over a bit more of the soil ready for planting and getting the plot back to a good shape. Have planted the potatoes and red onion sets (Red Baron).
The hope eventually is to make wooden pallet fencing, get a shed on site and really make it perfect as an additional space to grow produce on and to spend time in. As well as produce I hope to have a section to grow cut flowers for the house and a wild flower section for Bees and other wildlife.