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First pepper

It’s tiny but it’s definitely a chocolate pepper!

chocolate pepper

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Allotment fruit recipe – gluten free blackcurrant clafoutis

First of all, I apologise for the delay in posting the recipe – we’ve had quite a few more gluts to deal with and I just haven’t had time to do anything other that water the plot and harvest and process all the courgettes, kohlrabi, cabbages, cauliflowers, broad beans, tayberries, raspberries and blackcurrants that we’ve been coming home with.

So, the recipe!

Ingredients

• 400 grams currants, washed and strung
• 4 eggs
• 200 grams full cream milk
• 125 grams caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 80 grams ground almonds
• 30 grams cornflour

Method

Heat oven to 180 Celsius.

Using a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly and when they are light and blended, pour in the milk in a slow stream, still whisking, then the sugar in a similar fashion, the vanilla, ground almonds and cornflour.

Grease a 22 to 25 cm cake pan, pie dish or quiche dish. Tip the dried currants into the base and spread out. Pour the batter over the top.

Cook, uncovered for 25-30 minutes and then sprinkle with sugar while still warm.

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Wordless Wednesday – foggy strawberry spiderweb

strawberry plant

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Allotment harvests, caring for overwintered plants and relocating perennial crops

rhubarb, purple sprouting broccoliSo the weekend’s haul from plot #103 was lots of purple sprouting broccoli, at last! Speaking to other plot holders it seems there are two problems affecting broccoli right now. The wind – which has been strong across most of the UK and has shrivelled or ‘crisped’ many of the florets, stopping them being succulent and the lack of rain, which has been a general problem. Snow and rain have different effects on plants – snow falls and if it settles, it doesn’t penetrate the ground, it actually compresses the surface layer, then when it melts, the compacted soil underneath often takes up none of the melt-water which just runs off. As a result, a winter where there are several snowfalls and thaws may mean plants don’t actually get to take up any water.

We’ve been bottle watering our brassicas, and it seems to have done the job, as they have, eventually, produced a wonderful harvest. Looking at the diary they are 3 weeks behind last year’s harvest which is exactly the same time lag that we’re seeing in germination of summer crops.

rhubarb plantWe also got a nice big bundle of rhubarb, which is great as we relocated all our crowns last year, so it was unclear how much we’d get to harvest this year. Rhubarb is often stuck in the corner of a plot which is a shame, as it’s capable of being a delicious fruit as well as a highly decorative allotment plant. We’ve split ours into two locations – two crowns on a mound of old soil under our neighbour’s elder tree and one crown by the pond (sunken bath) in the wildlife and medicinal garden. They are all doing well, probably because they too get watered very regularly. It’s easy to neglect perennials like rhubarb but given a little extra care you can double or treble your harvest as well as having some structurally gorgeous specimens to add interest to your plot.

lovageIn addition to rhubarb, we grow lovage, which is a stunning plant, a long-lived perennial which is cut to the ground every year and shoots up again in scarlet growth which soon becomes big green spikes. Lovage is a renowned digestive, which is made into a liqueur and has been known since Roman times as a good addition to bean and lentil dishes as it cuts down on flatulence!

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Sunday Shed Porn

gtd telbox shed

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