All posts by Sarah

Nature lover, mother, foodie, healthy living, photographer, wanderer

Ruth’s top tips for July & August: Yielding

  1. Keep on top of weeding and watering.  It’s hot and dry out there so water well once a week.  Water at the base of the plant and try and avoid waterting during the heat of the day.

  2. Harvest beans, peas, courgettes, cucumbers etc. regularly to ensure on-going production

  3. Lift early spuds and use the beds to either plant out leeks and winter brassicas or sow with green manure; lift garlic and autumn planted onions

  4. Sow lettuce, beetroot, chard, oriental greens, rocket, carrots Feed tomatoes and peppers with an organic seaweed tomato feed or diluted comfrey liquid; spray everything with diluted liquid seaweed

  5. Summer prune trained apple and pear trees and cherries and plums in late August.

Our community allotment: The allotment in the community

In addition to the wonderful Sunday sessions at our Weald Plot, we enjoy inviting vulnerable groups and healthy volunteers to our community allotment.

Friday 22 June was a fabulous day when 16 students and teachers came from Hurstpierpoint school and rebuilt some of our beds, moved a large raised bed and reconstructed our large wooden containers that had rotted down with the compost. Thanks especially to Steve and Alan for transporting the wood and clearing the rubbish, and all those who helped on the day Phillipa, Barbara, Pete, Andre and Paul.

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If any groups (especially vulnerable groups) would like to come to our community allotment please send us an email info@bhogg.org.

Solstice Pick & Cook with Caroline

Those long sweet summer days have arrived; we enjoyed one of those on 24 June when we celebrated the summer solstice on the Community Allotment. It was too hot for most people to do any gardening, so chilling out, chatting, drinking Sarah’s cool, homemade, elderflower pressé and the fabulous food prepared by the evergreen Caroline.

 

Caroline was excellent as ever, working hard and chatting sociably with everyone as she cooked delicious food.  It was difficult to find seasonal food on site for cooking in June but Caroline rustled up a feast seemingly out of nothing.

Gorgeous vegetable pakoras and frittatas, garlic bread, salad with nasturtiums and home baked treats were the reward for the hard working gardeners (Jenni and Steve mainly!)on a beautiful summer’s afternoon.

 

Review by Jenni and Alan

Love Lavender: Shortbread recipe

Lavender is renowned for its healing properties and is one of the most popular essential oils in aromatherapy.  French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who coined the term ‘aromatherapie’ did so after noticing that lavender oil relieved the pain from a serious burn, and a subsequent accelerated the rate of healing.   Lavender is also often recommended to help with insomnia.

Lavender comes from the same family as rosemary, and can be used in culinary dishes as well.  This is one of my personal favourites – it is easy to make and so tasty.

Ingredients

2-3 T of lavender flowers – freshly cut, chopped
300g Butter
1C icing sugar
3C plain flower (you can swap for gluten-free alternative)

Note: you can use any part of the plant but I like the flowers for the bright flash of purple they add.

Method

Cream butter, sugar and lavender
Mix in flour
Form mixture into a long sausage, wrap in plastic and put the fridge for 20 minutes (this part is really important for good results!).

 

Once the dough has chilled, cut into 1cm thick slices, place on lightly greased baking tray

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes 160 (fan) 180 (regular), the shortbread should have a little colour for maximum flavour.  Put the kettle on!

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SAVE THE DATE: Sunday 24th June. Solstice Pick & Cook with Caroline Whiteman

We are delighted to have Caroline Whiteman from Brighton & Hove Food Partnership come along and cook for us using fresh ingredients from our community allotment.

Come and enjoy some tasty bites made using seasonal produce grown on the plot. Vegan and gluten free options will be available.  Please bring a plate to share as the seasonal cooking will just be a small taster for attendees.

11am at The Weald allotment site.  Find us at plots 238 & 239 at the Weald Allotments, Neville Avenue, Hove, BN3 7NA

Ruth’s top tips for June

1. Plant out seedlings such as beans, courgettes, sweet-corn.

2. Sow successional salads, dwarf beans, peas.

3. Feed with seaweed meal and organic potassium, homemade comfrey and nettle liquid or organic tomato feed.

4. Water well once a week in dry spells (little and often causes shallow roots).

5. Harvest first early potatoes, broad beans, salad crops.

Want to know more about planting out and successional planting?  Ruth will be running her Urban Gardening Courses: Planting Out and Successional Growing.  Saturday 2nd June for Planting Out & Saturday 16th June for Successional Growing.  Both 2-4pm at Phoenix Community Centre.

Free for BHOGG members and local Phoenix area residents, £3 donation for non-members.

 

Warm Allotment Salad

Here’s a simple, easy and tasty recipe with all of June’s wonderful produce in mind!   Thanks to Bhogg Chairperson Jenni for the recipe.  I can’t wait to try it out!

Ingredients

Potatoes
Broad Beans
Peas
Lettuce
Radishes
Any other seasonal veg
Smoked Peppered Mackerel OR Goat’s Cheese OR smoked tofu /tempeh

Quantities will depend on how many servings you want (and how much produce you have!)

Method

Chop lettuce and radishes into a large salad bowl.  Prepare strips of mackerel /cheese /tofu (you can heat these if you prefer).

Shuck peas and broad beans and place in a steamer. Boil the potatoes until they are just off being fully cooked, then place the steamer over the top to finish. Add the potatoes, beans and peas to the bed of lettuce, mix carefully and place your choice of mackerel, cheese or tofu on the salad.

Add olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.  Serve with crusty bread and a glass of something chilled!

 

Salad June

 

Our annual seedling swap Sunday 6th May

Our annual Seedling Swap is taking place this year on the Organic Community Allotments at the Weald allotment sites (238 & 239) on Sunday 6th May between 11 am and 12.15pm.

We will then have our own picnic lunch in the peaceful setting of the Community allotment – as ever please bring a delicious contribution! It’s a chance to see our three beautiful community allotments cultivated by over 20 regular volunteers.  The seedling swap is for members only, and we need you to bring along any seedlings to swap – any leftovers will be found a good home and bed! Those who have little or nothing to swap should make a donation to BHOGG.

If you need to drop off plants by car, the Weald Allotment site can be located just off the Old Shoreham Road on Weald Avenue, BN3 7JN.  Once through the gates turn right and follow the lane East and North to drop off your plants. The lane is too narrow to cope with parking so please park either in the small central car park or outside the site.

In previous years we have had a great time with the chance to chat to over 30 of us. Fingers crossed for glorious weather as well as great company! If there is rain we have a polytunnel to retreat into, where it will be warm and cosy!

 

Winter Greens Trial update and fabulous traditional Japanese Fuyuna recipe

The Winter Greens have provided the most amazing source of fresh veg over the dismal winter months. Visiting the poly tunnel has been like venturing into a tiny oasis even on the worst of the wintery days.

I have picked every week since the first harvest until at the peak I was almost unable to use all the crops as they reached maturity. As the weather has warmed and dried out the poly more, the plants have started to go to seed, but this has not prevented us from harvesting the tenderest parts of the huge plants and continuing to enjoy fresh, invigorating greens.

My Japanese friend Kyoko (who also provided me with some of the seeds for the plants) has given me a recipe from her mum for one of the Winter Greens – Fuyuna. Delicious!

Kyoko’s Mother’s Traditional Japanese Fuyuna Recipe

You will need:

Fuyuna
Oil
Abura-age (thin deep fried Tofu, you can buy those frozen in packs of 3-4 sheets in Japanese shop)
Carrots
Mentuyu (concentrated udon and soba noodle soup-made from fish broth and soya sauce and sugar)

Method:

  1. Wash fuyuna and cut them 3-4cm length.
  2. Rinse 2 sheets of Abura-age with boiling water in order to to rinse away the oil, cut them as little finger size.
  3. Cut carrots a little thinner than abura-age.
  4. You can add pork or chicken as your choice.
  5. Stir fry Carrots first then add Fuyuna. When those veggies are half cooked then add Abura-age.
  6. Add Mentuyu to half cover veggies. If the Mentsuyu is too salty then add some water.
  7. Put the lid on, cook it till carrots cooked – I quite like not too soft!
  8. Before serving it, cool it down a bit in order for the taste to go into the veggies.