Four reasons to grow Turnips

Turnips without leaves

Turnips – even the name is a bit of a turn-off.  So why would anyone want to grow them, right? Well, as it turns (ha!) out I have FOUR reasons why you should. And as a bonus a lovely recipe for you to try… Europe Turnips are one of those vegetables that are well known [...]

Rosehip Syrup Recipe

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We made rosehip syrup from homegrown and foraged rosehips.

Honeyed Hazels Recipe

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After seeing nuts forming on my own plants I suddenly saw a wild ones growing not far from my home. As soon as the nuts turned a bit yellowy brown I went back to pick a few before the squirrels got them. Honeyed Hazels was the next logical step.

How to Make Rhubarb (and ginger) Cordial

RHUBARB-CORDIAL-feature

We’ve had a great crop of rhubarb this year and I was wondering how best to use it…

Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Elderflowers ready for champagne making

Don’t you just love the smell of elderflowers? Did you know that next to elderflower cordial you could also make a delicious elderflower champagne? And that it is extremely easy to do?

Stuffed Vine Leaves Recipe

Stuffed vine leaves (1)

What to do with all those copious leaves keeping the precious sun off the developing bunches of grapes on your vines? Yes, you could compost them (I have done in previous years) but how about using them in the kitchen …and stuffing them!

Globe Artichokes – how to cook AND how to eat …in ten steps

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I think people are generally nervous about trying them in the kitchen – admiring them at the supermarket or glancing at their preserved hearts in tins or dainty little jars at the deli is often as far as it goes.

Tropical Friday; Caribbean Tiramisu

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The tradition for Tropical Friday was started two years ago. It was the first Friday of December and it was raining ice water. I was remembering the intense heat which I experienced in India earlier that year and wished I could be back there right at that moment. Unfortunately the transporter has not been invented [...]

Recipe; Quince Jelly

Quince jelly

Neighbour’s Back Garden My mother’s next door neighbour has a large quince tree in her back garden. In fact I can remember her planting it as a young sapling back in the 1980s. Then, in the 1990s I recall my young son scaling the garden wall and scrumping a big, beautiful quince; taking a bite, [...]

How to Make Capers from Nasturtium Seed Pods

Nasturtium seed pod 2

Nasturtium One of the most versatile flowers to grow in your garden is the Nasturtium for a few simple reasons: Everything is edible, pollinators love them and it attracts black fly and aphids keeping them away from your veggies. Tropaeolum, common name Nasturtium, was named so because the plant produces an oil similar to watercress [...]

How to Preserve Figs

Figs freshly harvested

A good year for figs 2013 has turned out to be a good year for figs at the Villas, making up for the fact that our five year old tree tree only offered us a somewhat-less-than-grand total of just three fruit last year! Due to the fact that the fruit all reached ripeness at roughly [...]

Recipe; Courgette, Ginger and Lemon Jam

Courgette, ginger and lemon jam

Overgrown Courgettes After baking 3 chocolate courgette cakes and 2 savoury courgette cakes I am still finding overgrown courgettes through the thick foliage. It was time to do something drastic with these whoppers. I searched the net for a jam recipe that involves courgette. I tried one last year but failed miserably because I was [...]

What To Do with Overgrown Courgettes? Make a Cake!

chocolate courgette cake

Glut It is that time again when courgettes grow out of control before your very eyes. The large leaves often conceal even the whoppers and in no time you find you just can’t keep up with harvesting. Hating waste, I have been searching for new and unusual recipes to help deal with the courgette glut [...]

How to Make Lavender Cordial

LAVENDER Basket of lavender

Summer A delicious, scented drink that is perfect on a hot summer’s day, diluted with chilled water and served on ice. Needless to say, avoid flowers that have been treated with insecticides and pesticides or polluted with traffic fumes. What you need; Lavender flowers (as many as you can muster) 1 kilo sugar 1.5 litres [...]