March 2016

Oh how March has flown by!

The first week of March was just as hectic in work as February was, however, the second week of March found me unemployed and fancy free so I had plenty of time to do a little catch up! First thing I did was to get my sow on!

I planted up the remaining onion sets into little cardboard tubes to give them a head start before planting out in April. I also sown my two varieties of Broad bean (1 red, 1 green), potted on my peppers, aubergines, cabbages and broccoli/calabrese and sown some herb seeds, mainly chives, basil, oregano and lemon balm. I also had a chance to start my big pea experiment with my first sowing of peas (only a month later than I had planned!)

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Onions are nicely growing away. They will be planted in the allotment soon.

It also left me time to visit the allotment, I finally moved all my herbs down to plot three to start my herb garden, and finished digging over the leek bed and as I have written in a previous post, we finished building all the raised beds in plot 1 – finally completing the planned structure!

The third week of March saw us planting out onions and the plum and cherry trees as well as the free Honeoye and Florence strawberry runners I received in the post. And finally, we have dug the pond beds and gotten rid of all the grass! Cross that off my to do list!!

I also have to commend Sam for the brilliant bonfire he got going! That weekend was a particularly cold one and it was nice the eat our lunch next to the warmth of the fire (even though we reeked of smoke afterwards)!!

First early potatoes were planted into potato growbags (International kidney and Annabelle) so wont be long until we will be tucking into some delicious new potatoes! We also planted ginger into a large pot which will be kept indoors as I am a little unsure of what I am supposed to do with this!

The fourth week of March saw us sowing grass seed in the little orchard we have now established, and planting up the pond beds with some lovely fragrant perennials including Lavender, Borage, Aquilegia, Foxgloves and Hollyhock. We have also managed to get some plants into the pond! Some rushes around the edge and some marginal plants such as Marsh Marigold and Water Mint. We also spent out on a beautiful yellow waterlily which I am looking forward to watching it bloom! The pond still needs a bit more improvement but once all the plants get established. it should stop looking so bare and the pond liner shouldn’t be so visible. Frog spawn is in (thanks Stacey!) so hopefully in a few months time little frogs will be hopping around!

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Pond has been planted up and frog spawn has gone in!

Other than that we got a start on digging over what will become the bean and pea bed. The asparagus bed is at the bottom of this bed and it was covered in nettles. I started trying to gently remove the nettles so I wouldn’t disturb any growing asparagus but quickly came to the conclusion that this was impossible so Sam and I started digging up and hacking away at it! If the asparagus survives and hasn’t been chopped up or dug out then that’s wonderful, if not then I guess I am going to have to have another go at planting up an asparagus bed (because the last one worked so well)!

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Some sowing has finally been down out in the allotment, I have sown leeks, radishes, lettuce and spinach as well as planting out some lettuce plants I procured from Wyevale garden centre. (My new job is next to a Wyevale Garden Centre!!!) At home, I  re-potted my two banana trees and removed the extra suckers. The suckers have been potted up and will be given new homes.

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Banana suckers.

And whilst we had a four day weekend this last weekend what with it being Easter and all,  only one and a bit of those days were actually spent at the allotment!  Instead, I attended the rather fabulous wedding of my two occasional allotment helpers – Jenny and Adam! I watched my beautiful friend get married to the love of her life! And don’t they make a beautiful couple!

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I wish them all the best on their journey through life and may they grow many vegetables together!

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March Recipes!

I am not very good at planning for a year round supply of veg although every year I get a little better. So whilst I am out of veg from the allotment, I still try to eat seasonally when shopping at my local Tesco and where possible I make sure it is British produce! I also try and make vegetables the main focus of my meal and the recipes often revolve around them but sometimes I am partial to a bit of meat and there is nothing better to complement this than some well cooked vegetable side dishes.

So here are a selection of seasonal vegetable ‘side dishes’ that will give your dinner a bit of a lift!

If you are pulling up the last of your roots before they start sending up flower heads then this recipe is a good one to try!

Skinny Carrot Fries

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It is quite easy to swap out the carrot for parsnips, celeriac or even beetroot or a mixture of root veg chips! What a lovely healthy alternative to potatoes especially if, like me, you have come to the end of your store. This BBC Good Food recipe can be found here.

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Celeriac, Potato and Rosemary Gratin

If you are a celeriac fan then try this delicious creamy recipe. It is a lovely rich warming dish. I have swapped some of the potato out for swede before and it still tasted lovely! This is also a BBC Good Food recipe which can be found here.

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Cabbage and Ham Hock Hash

Brassicas can be found at any time of the year but they are of particular importance during the hungry gap! Swap out the potato mash for this cabbage and ham hock hash! A perfect accompaniment to some sizzling bangers and caramelised onion gravy! Use cabbage, spring greens or kale! It’s all delicious! The recipe can be found here

If you are looking for a easy one stop recipe for your sunday roast (and to cut down on the washing up), I found this roast chicken tray bake type recipe from a Slimming World recipe book. It was absolutely delicious, uses some lovely seasonal veg as well as being healthy and low fat!

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Garlic Chicken Roast

Ingredients:

  • 750g new or baby potatoes scrubbed and halved if large
  • 300g Chantenay carrots, scrubbed and halved length-ways if large
  • 3 red onions, quartered
  • 1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated
  • 200ml boiling chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into chunks
  • low calorie cooking spray
  • small handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 4 chicken legs, skinned
  • 300g butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into pieces.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Cook the potatoes and carrots in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water over a high heat for 6 minutes then drain well.

Put the potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic in a large roasting dish, pour over the stock and season to taste. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon and add the squeezed lemon chunks to the dish. Lightly spray with low calorie cooking spray and toss everything together, then cover with foil and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove the foil and stir through most of the rosemary. Season the chicken legs and make a few slashes in each one with a sharp knife, then arrange them on top of the vegetables along with the squash. Respray with low calorie cooking spray, return the dish to the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until the potatoes and vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

Scatter over the remaining rosemary sprigs and serve hot!

Getting crafty!

So far my blog has been dominated with tales of the allotment and my quest to be as sustainable as possible. However, there is another side to me and that is my ‘crafty’ side!

For once, I am am not referring to my diabolical plot to take over the world (Oh wait…I haven’t told you about that yet have I? Maybe in another post!) but am instead talking about my desire to knit, sew and generally make pretty little things.

Now, I have one problem when it comes to crafts and that is I rarely finish what I start! I have half knitted jumpers, one knitted doll’s leg (don’t ask), a bag of knittted squares for a blanket and so on. I am certain I will finish them one day!

That’s not to say I don’t ever finish things, I have knitted a lovely scarf of which I am very proud of, a tea cosy for my brother (he likes to drink tea!), a doll for my niece and a rather bad attempt at a Princess Elsa dress (also for my niece!).

I have now got two projects on that I want to share with you. I have started to take up cross-stitch which I find quite therapeutic just to sit for an hour in a quiet, clam and reflective mood stitching away!

Both projects also kind of relate to the allotment/flower/nature in some way.

Project 1 is to put together a few small allotment related cross-stitches with some photos of my allotment in ‘full bloom’  to hang on the wall. We don’t have much on the walls that is really personal to us so I thought I would try and change that.

The photos I will take this year when the allotment is in full swing on a lovely sunny day, but here is a picture at some of the cross stitches I have done/plan to do.

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As you can see I have finished one pattern, almost finished another and have started a third.

Project 2 is a larger cross stitch which I also plan to hang on the wall! It is called ‘Bluebell Haven’ and reminds me very much of where I lived when I was younger. The woods at the end of our road were always filled with bluebells in May and I loved to walk through them and pick some to take home with me!

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What the finished cross stitch should look like!

I am about an eighth of the way through this and my aim is to get it finished before Christmas!

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Bluebells are one of my favourite flowers and it would be lovely to get some on the allotment plot one day!

Happy crafting!

The Big Pea Moth Challenge

I have been attempting to grow peas now for 3 years and each season I always have pods of peas infected with the maggoty larvae of the Pea Moth!

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Is the dreaded Pea Moth caterpillar lurking inside?

Last year, early sowing of peas gave me a harvest free from pea moth caterpillars but later sowings led to an infestation of epic proportions! And there is not much I can do in terms of biological or chemical control either. One book I read suggested spraying with general insecticide when flowering to prevent the moth from laying its eggs. I did try this but it didn’t seem to have an effect and I would rather not do this again as I worry about the harm it will do to beneficial pollinators! I have also read about using pheromone traps as a warning system for when to protect your crops and then covering the crop with netting or fleece. I did try covering the peas but the little buggers still found there way inside although after a particularly windy day – the fleece was no more.

So this year, I am conducting an experiment (this is what happens when you put a scientist in the garden!) to try and ensure that I don’t waste my time growing peas that I will inevitably be unable to use!

A little bit of background on my small yet mighty foe…

The Pea Moth

The Pea Moth is a very small brown moth that overwinters in a cocoon in the soil. They emerge from this cocoon in May and June and lay their eggs on pea flowers June-July. The larvae hatch from the egg and move into the developing pea pod where they munch their way through the peas leaving trails of excrement (frass). As the larvae mature, they burrow out of the pod (if left unpicked) and drop to the ground where they will over winter – completing the cycle.

It is unlikely that you will spot the eggs on the flowers and the first sign that there has been an infestation is when a pod is opened to find the creamy white black headed caterpillar munching away.

Although this tells me which period the moth is active, what I want to know is how this relates to sowing time. Which sowings will lead to pea moth infestation?

Armed with this knowledge, I am going to set up the following experiment:

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Aim: To determine when pea crops are most likely to be infected with pea moth larvae in my area

Method: Peas will be sown at 7-14 day intervals between March and August up to a total of 20 sowings. Each sowing will be of 20 peas and will be labelled with the variety and the date of sowing. Once peas are 5-7cm tall they will transplanted to their final growing positions and plants will be labelled with their date of sowing. Peas will be monitored for signs of flowers and the date recorded when peas first start flowering. At harvest time, pods will be picked and kept in groups according to their sowing date. Peas will be podded and the number of pea moth larvae present will be recorded.

This is just a simplified version of my experiment. I know it is going to be far more complex to carry out. What I hope to achieve from this is an idea of which sowings and/or flowerings are likely to result in an infected crop so that I can take precautions to avoid this from happening in the future!

As I will have a lovely new polytunnel by the end of the year, I hope that by identifying which sowings lead to pea moth infestation means I can plant these plants in the polytunnel which may afford greater protection from the Pea Moth.

I also hope to gather quite a bit of data from this experiment generally on peas and their growth characteristics as well. It will interesting to see how their germination rate differs throughout the six month period!

A second experiment may be conducted if I have the time and space to do so as I would like to know if pheromone traps can be used to reduce the likelihood of infestation.

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A pheromone trap!

Aim: To determine if pheromone traps will  reduce the number of pea moth caterpillars in pods.

Pea plants bought from a garden store will be planted in the beginning of May to ensure a flowering period during pea moth activity. They will be planted in a separate plot from the first experiment and a pheromone trap will be placed among the peas from Mid May to July. Traps will be monitored every 2-3 days and numbers of pea moth found will be recorded. Pods will be harvested and numbers of pea moth caterpillar recorded and compared to numbers found in experiment 1.

I’ll keep you updated with the experiment as it progresses!

Vegetable of the Month

MARCH – SPRING GREENS!

No matter what time of year it is there is nearly always cabbage available! For those who plan ahead, they will be starting to tuck into their first helpings of spring greens (I am not yet one of these people!). This is one of the veg that will see us through the hungry gap of April and May, full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, it can be eaten as a side to your main meal or can be the main  focus of your dish.

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Spring greens are part of the Brassica family and are like cabbage leaves. Technically, spring greens come from plants that don’t form a head or form a loose one unlike most other cabbages which forms a tightly packed head. They can also refer to young cabbages that haven’t had time to form a head as well as thinnings and leaves from other Brassicas such as kale, turnips and swedes. In the US, collard greens are similar to the UK’s spring greens. Like any Brassica, they are subject to the same viruses, diseases and pests; cabbage white fly, club root and pigeons being the main culprits for losing these tasty leaves.

A very short history!!

Cabbages are believed to have been a part of our diet for over 4000 years although not much is known about it as a food source before Greek and Roman times. (As I live a stone’s throw away from Stonehenge, it’s nice to think that the people who built it were possibly growing and eating a similar thing as me!) The greens that we eat now are believed to originate from two or three common ancestors that resulted in the wide variety of Brassicas we eat now!

Why we should eat Spring Greens?

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Spring greens are a lovely nutritious vegetable that are chocked full of vitamins and minerals! Their open-hearted form means that the leaves are able to produce more chlorophyll (more photosynthesis) hence the dark green of the leaves and like all dark green leafy veg this means more vitamin K! Vitamin K is very important within the body and is involved in synthesis of blood clotting proteins and help build strong bones. In fact, spring greens can provide you with nearly 600% of your RDA per 100g! Amazeballs!!! They are also high in vitamin A and C as well as calcium

Since they are part of the Brassica family they also have cancer fighting and anti-inflammatory compounds such as sulforaphane and indoles (As I am a scientist by trade, I used to be part of a project that investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane and so I can seriously vouch for the goodness of brassicas!)

The table opposite shows you how deliciously good this vegetable is for us!

How to grow Spring Greens.

Seeds can be started off in a propagator, in a seed bed or where they are to crop depending on your preference. To start getting a lovely harvest of loose headed, dark green cabbage leaves in spring, you need to think about sowing seeds mid-late summer so you won’t have to worry about frosts killing your seedlings!

Prepare the ground or a good seed compost and sow seeds to a depth of 1cm. Sow the seeds thinly and cover lightly. If you are planting outdoors in multiple rows then make sure you leave at least 15cm between each row. Seeds should germinate in 7-14 days.

Transplant young plants when they are approximately 10cm tall and have 5 or 6 leaves on them. Try and avoid doing this on a really hot day to avoid water loss! Plants should be spaced at 25-30cm intervals when transplanting. Being careful not to damage the stem, firm down around the pant to anchor the plants in.

Mature loose or open-hearted heads can be harvested from March onwards and should be used quite quickly after harvesting. They do not keep for long. The best quality greens can be blanched and frozen if you have a glut.

Cooking with spring greens

Springs greens are fantastic as a delicious side dish lightly steamed or stir-fried. They can also be added into soups and stews.

Here are a few recipes for your Spring greens!

Wilted spring greens with wild garlic

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Spring greens and Gammon soup

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Zesty Spring Fish

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A Finished Allotment? – Plot 1

Ok, so maybe the title of this blog is a little misleading as i doubt an allotment plot can ever be finished but, excitingly, after 3 years we have finished putting the structure of our first plot together! And what a lovely weekend to finish it! It was so lovely and sunny this weekend that you could almost imagine it was summer!

So a history of plot 1…

When we got the allotment plot in May 2013, we just concentrated on getting as many plants into the ground and didn’t really think much about the structure of the plot and how we wanted the allotment to be. We essentially had a blank canvas to work with and with little or no research on our part we just started willy nilly putting plants into the ground.

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Our allotment was a blank canvas. The first thing we did was to dig trenches for potatoes (far right ).

Realising that I hadn’t really though much about structures and plans I set about trying to draw up some plans that incorporated what we had already done. The original plans include 4 very large beds with a greenhouse at the back. We did actually manage to get a greenhouse for free on Freecycle and we managed to put it up without too many problem – just a few broken panes of glass!

Having dug over two of the four beds, I had done some further research and decided that raised beds were the way forward for our plot and also decided that they should be a much more manageable size of 8′ x 4′ so it would be easier for us to be able to reach into the middle without having to step on the soil and compact it.

I made these changes to the plans about July/August so decided to work from the back of the plot first so the crops could finish cropping at the front of the plot. We went to work marking out where the first raised beds would go. I had seen an interesting idea on pinterest using wine bottles as a way to build raised beds. So i decided to start collecting wine bottles to do this! 100 bottles of wine and some hungover colleagues later… i had enough bottles to build to two beds.

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One of the raised beds out of wine bottles!

I soon realised, after bashing so many wine bottles into the ground, that as much as i liked this idea maybe using bottles for all my raised beds was probably not such a good idea (and I think I was endangering my colleagues livers)! So this idea was abandoned for traditional wooden raised beds!

Unfortunately, some severe winds in the winter of that year, crushed our greenhouse to a pulp! There was broken shards of glass and twisted metal all over the allotment! So that was the end of our go at having a greenhouse! It was removed from the plan!

Starting in Spring 2014, I finally had a solid plan – all raised beds with three very deep raised beds for parsnips and carrots! The greenhouse was replaced with a small gooseberry bed and a seating area to one side. We were also going to put some small raised beds at the back fence for peas and/or flowers.

We appropriated a large crate from our work which became our first deep raised bed for carrots! We were also given some salvaged wooden doors from friends who were giving up their allotment plot and two of these doors were used to make the second raised bed for parsnips!

From here, our raised bed design started to take shape and by the end of the 2014 all but three beds were built. Most of 2015 found us focusing on plot 2 but we attacked plot 1 with renewed vigour at the start of this year. After winning a fruit cage from Grow Your Own magazine, we decided to expand the gooseberry bed and added a blueberry bed next to it. The fruit cage is easily put up and taken down every year and is stored in the shed over winter so will go up over the fruit bed in the next couple of weeks!

The first raised bed survived two seasons before rotting away, so with heavy hearts, this was taken apart a couple of months ago and put on the bonfire pile! We have decided not to replace it with anything but have instead increase the size of our seating area!

 This last weekend we really worked hard to get the raised beds finished! We used a broken bookcase as a raised seed bed which we dug in on Saturday and finally, we built the last deep raised bed, with the last of the old doors – 2 years after we got them! A job that has been on my to do list since 2014 can now finally be ticked off!

All the carpet and weed control membrane has been laid down around the beds and bark chip has been laid on top of that! We have refreshed the bark chip over the whole of the plot and I have to say I think the plot looks good!

So I am going to stop waffling on now and show you the photos of my ‘finished’ plot!

There are still a few things that I would like to do including painting the shed and getting some much needed colour into the plot in the form of flowers! I would also like to install a better water butt system but for now I can just sit back, enjoy my achievements, and just get on with the actual gardening!

I almost can’t believe the difference!

Jobs for March

March is upon us and the next six months will be full throttle at the allotment. I know it will be back to working full weekends at the allotment…and I can’t wait!

I never thought I would enjoy all the digging, weeding and general hard work on the allotment so much…maybe I should have been a gardener or farmer?

Having not got as much done in February as I would have liked due to work commitments, the list is even longer for March! Plus, it’s almost that time of the year where I can start sowing most of my seeds so basically, I better get a move on!

I had a little sort through my seeds this weekend to decide what should and shouldn’t be sown. In previous years I have been a little impatient and started sowing ealier than I should so I am trying to learn from my mistakes and will wait until April to do most of the sowing.

Plot 1

  • Build carrot bed – there will be no carrots without one so must get a wiggle on!
  • Build seed bed – a large bookcase of ours has broken so we are going to use the structure to make a temporary seed bed
  • Remove old compost pile from the side of the shed
  • Put up growhouse where old compost pile used to be
  • Mow the grass

Plot 2

  • Weed the fruit cage
  • Weed onions and garlic
  • Clear and prepare bean/pea bed
  • Get new cover for polytunnel
  • Weed asparagus bed
  • Clear grass from around the pond
  • Finish pond ‘wall’
  • Plant remaining fruit trees
  • Mow grass

Plot 3

  • Clear unwanted shrubs and weeds from herb garden
  • Plant new herbs
  • Clear away old bean plants and prepare bean/pea beds
  • Clear away old raspberry canes
  • Clear area where polytunnel will go
  • Sort out shed
  • Mow grass

At home

  • Pot on pepper, chilli and aubergine seedlings
  • Start off rest of onions
  • Plant first early potatoes in grow bags (end of March)

Although I am sowing most of my seeds in April, there are a few things I want to get started this month.

Sowing

  • Broad beans
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Spring onions
  • Parsnips
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts

I wanted to start the broad beans and peas in February and then a second sowing in March but I will just have to move that forward.

I was reading an article about Peas and it suggested that I stop sowing peas from early April to avoid the dreaded pea moth, which I get every year, but it didn’t say when I could start sowing again after this to get some late season peas? Does anyone have any ideas?

Or do I feel another experiment coming on?

February recipes

I don’t have much left on the veg plot at the moment – just a few leeks and a few parsnips. I still have loads of butternut squash in store (we have given away another 5 and have 6 left!) and we are coming to the end of our potatoes!

However, that hasn’t stopped me from finding a couple of delicious recipes this month to enjoy! This month there is a special emphasis on leeks!

Both these recipes are recipes I have cobbled together on my own rather than finding them on various websites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! (Apologies for the poor quality pictures! I am not much of a photographer!)

Saffron and Leek Risotto (Serves 4)

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I really like this dish! It is great on its own but is also very delicious with a piece of smoked fish. I like to serve hot smoked salmon fillets with it but smoked trout, haddock and cod also works well!

Ingredients

  • 40g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 280g risotto rice
  • 1 tsp crumbled saffron threads
  • 1.2 litres simmering vegetable stock
  • 115g freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Melt 1 tbsp of butter with the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft. Add the rice and mix to coat in the oil and butter. Cook until the grains are translucent. Dissolve the saffron in 4 tbsps of hot stock and add to the rice. Add the remaining stock, 1 ladle at a time, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy. Season with salt and pepper

Meanwhile, stir fry the sliced leeks in a tsp of butter in a frying pan until softened and starting to crisp slightly. Be careful not to burn the leeks.

Remove the risotto from the heat and add the remaining butter. Mix well, then stir in the parmesan until it melts. Add the leeks and then season with lemon juice, adding a small squeeze and tasting as you go. Serve immediately.

Creamy Leek and Fish Pie (Serves 4)

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I cheated in this recipe a little bit as I used ready-made mash (I found a packet of potato mash and a packet of carrot and swede mash reduced at the Co-op!) but you can make your own mash if you want to. The leeks in this recipe elevate this dish from being an ordinary fish pie to something a little more tasty! I bought a packet of fish pie mix but you can substitute with any fish you fancy. I do recommend keep a third of the fish smoked as it lends a wonderful flavour to the pie!

Ingredients:

  • 50g butter
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 50g flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 1 packet of Fish Pie mix; cod, smoked haddock, salmon
  • 1 packet of King prawns
  • Two packets of ready made mash; 1 potato mash, 1 carrot and swede mash
  • 60g grated parmesan

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the leeks. Sweat the leeks in the butter until they are soft. Add the flour to the leek mixture and cook for a minute. Add the milk to the pan and stir until the flour has dissolved into the milk and it has formed a thick sauce. Add the vegetable stock bit by bit, continually stirring, ensuring that the sauce remains slightly thick (it may not be necessary to add all of the stock).
  2. Add the fish mixture and prawns to the sauce and cook for 15 minutes to cook the fish. The prawns will turn a pink colour. Pour the mixture into a pie dish.
  3. Mix the two packets of mash together and add a quarter of the parmesan. Spread the mash mixture evenly over the fish pie and sprinkle over with the rest of the parmesan.
  4. Bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling and the mashing topping should be golden. Serve with steamed vegetables fresh from the garden!

February 2016!

Wow! February has been cold! The daffodils are very confused!

For me, this has been a hectic month and none of that has anything to do with the allotment! I quit my job and have been hurriedly trying to finish off a piece if work (hello 70 hour weeks!) before leaving! So almost no time has been spent on the allotment 😭

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However, I have managed to squeeze in a few things! Sam and I spent one morning down the allotment and completely weeded the strawberry bed, gave the strawberries a tidy up and mulched around the crowns.

I did manage to squeeze two hours in at the weekend and dug in the green manure (finally!). This was a fairly easy job and the soil itself was quite a nice colour and very crumbly so I am hopeful that the green manure did it’s job!

At home, the chilli, pepper and aubergine seedlings are all growing nicely and will shortly be potted on and the potatoes are chitting away producing some lovely strong shoots. I have pricked out the tomato seedlings into little toilet roll tube pots and they are happily growing away on various window sills!

I also managed to sow some cabbage, calabrese and Tenderstem broccoli seeds in my electric propagator. I have to say I am over the moon with my electric propagator! Within two days of sowing the seeds I had tall seedlings!

I have planted one net of my onions up using toilet roll tubes (thank you ClairesAllomentBlog!) and they are starting to show some shoots. I still have two more nets to start off but I hope to get that done in the beginning of March!

Unfortunately, not much else has been done! This will make my March job list even longer but with more time available to me with the start of this new job, the lengthening days and the sowing season soon upon us…I am sure I will catch up!