Garden


One of the great things when growing your own vegetables is making things with them once they are ready. This recipe is typical of the things you can make.

These Beetroot Wedge’s are tasty and will melt in the mouth especially when you use your own home grown beetroots.

Ingredients

  • 500g beetroot
  • 200g spinach
  • 70g Cheddar cheese
  • 2 squares of puff pastry
  • 2tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sesame seeds

Method

  • Clean the beets and cut the ends away but DO NOT PEEL.
  • Cook them in lightly salted water until soft and tender then rinse under cold water.
  • Scrape away the peel.
  • Fry the spinach in olive oil until all the water in the spinach has dissipated then let the spinach cool.
  • Cut the beetroots into cubes and mix with the cheese and spinach. Season with black pepper and salt (if required)
  • Set the oven on 225C or gas mark 6.
  • Take the puff pastry and roll out into small squares. Remember you will be turning them into triangles so not too large.
  • Fill the squares with the mixture.
  • Take one edge of the pastry and fold creating a triangle. Firm the edges with a fork.
  • Brush with the egg and sprinkle sesame seeds liberally over the triangles.
  • Cook in the oven for 18-20 minutes depending on the type of oven you have, or until light brown.
  • Leave to cool before enjoying.

These beetroot wedges are great with honey baked red onions!

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Are your strawberriesready yet? If not a well known supermarket in the UK are selling them for £1 for 227g. The strawberries are also grown in the UK so you will be eating our wonderful produce and keeping our farmers and growers in business. I won’t name the supermarket but the first letter is A. The name is also very short, 4 letters to be exact!!!

Strawberry’s and chocolate are the food of love so why not mix both and create a lovely dip to dip the strawberry’s in?

Ingredients

100g bar of chocolate like Dairy Milk or other quality chocolate

500g home-grown strawberries

1 carton of double cream

Method

1. Break the chocolate into smallish pieces.

2. Heat a pan of water on the cooker. As the water is heating up get a Pyrex or other ovenproof dish and place on top of the water.

3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put into the ovenproof dish and allow to melt. As the chocolate is almost melted add the cream and gently stir the ingredients together.

4. Stir both ingredients together until creamy. Don’t let the mixture boil or go lumpy.

5. Remove from the cooker and allow to cool for a few minutes. Don’t let the chocolate set!

6. Serve in a bowl with strawberry’s on the side to dip in.

Another way to use this recipe is if you have kids round and you want to give them something different. Or at the end of a dinner party strawberry’s and chocolate are a great way of finishing off the evening with friends. How about after a romantic meal for two? Now that would give you a few good points, need I say more chaps?!

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Now that spring is around the corner many of you will be thinking about the garden. Looking outside at your garden now, all you see is a mess and you wonder how on earth you can change your garden into one of stunning beauty without spending a fortune doing it.

It is possible to create a garden to die for, to have everyone who sees the finished outcome stop and admire your wonderful, flower filled garden, it is possible without having to re-mortgage the house. Frugal gardening is the way forward, it’s easy to do with no shame involved and is really fun too.

Frugal Gardening

Frugal gardening isn’t hard to do especially if you follow a few simple ideas. Some are listed below for you to try, then purchase my book The Frugal Gardener which is packed full of more frugal hints, tips and ideas on how to have a garden the neighbor’s will be jealous off and it won’t cost you much.

Frugal Gardening: Start by Looking Around the House

So how can you be frugal in the garden? Well for starters have a look around the house. What you are looking for is any containers that you could use. Plastic containers that once contained food from supermarkets are great for this and can be used as seed trays. If they have lids then you have a simple propagator which will help the young tender shoots grow big and strong.

Glass jars are great for storing things in. maybe you have markers, pens, bits of string or other small items scattered over the greenhouse or house. Well using glass jars to store them in are wonderful and just look in the kitchen cupboard. In there you are bound to find some whether it contains coffee, sauces or jams.

If you are stuck for plant pots and want to start off some seeds there is another alternative and that is the metal can you get things like peas, carrots and other foods. You will have to give them a good clean out then put holes in the bottom, but they are great for emergency plant pots when you have none and stuck for money.

If you have lots of plants, seeds or herbs in pots but don’t have any identifiers so you know what’s what then this method works. Take a plastic margarine tub and after cleaning cut the plant identity markers out of the tub and lid. Ok so there will be writing on one side but the inside is white and perfect for you to write that plant name. Just remember to use a permanent marker!

These are just a few of the frugal gardening tips you can use in the garden but even there’s more inside my book The Frugal Gardener. The book is packed full of gardening tips including tips on vegetable gardening, herbs, and many other topics every gardener should know if he is to become a frugal gardener.

Why not purchase it now and see what frugal gardening will do for you and your garden this year? One thing is certain, you will have a garden that’s full of blooming flowers, shrubs, herbs and vegetables which will be the envy of everyone.

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I came across this article earlier about gardening from Computer Active:

Use your computer to help you with gardening tasks and ideas – Computeractive – PC help.

It’s a really good article giving you hints & tips about what to do in the garden, you can use the computer to help you with the tasks too.

Depending where you live the weather this week has been really nice. Reasonably cold but clear nights have given way to warm and sunny days, just perfect for getting out and about in the garden and doing things.

Flower Garden

DSC00183In all beds mix homemade compost with the soil which will improve it and the flowers thank you for.

Do you have snowdrops? If you have and they are a little bit overcrowded lift them then divide into more manageable and tidier plants. Only do this after they have flowered which they should have by now.

Herbaceous perennials can be planted too. What is a Herbaceous perennial? Well it’s a plant that dies back in winter and reappears again next spring. There are some wonderful plants including the Geranium, Delphinium and Campanula’s being just a few.

Veg Garden IMG_4458 (Small)

Plant onions, broad beans and parsnips weather permitting.

Other veg you can plant include radish, lettuce, beetroot, cabbage, leeks, carrots, turnips and peas.

Make sure the beds are well prepared first by mixing in your own compost or manure if you can get it.

Greenhouse

100_5300You can prepare those soft wood cuttings you have taken like Dahlia.

Strawberry runners can be potted up to.

Now is the time to plant Pansies and viola seeds. Keep them under glass for now.

Tomato seed can be planted as well under glass. Make sure the greenhouse stays warm to aid germination.

Around the Garden

Make sure all plants are ordered if ordering from mail order.

You could mow the lawn too but first make sure the lawnmower has been serviced with all parts that need oil, oiled or sharpened.

 

Just a few of the things one can be doing now in the garden. Hope this helps!

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I have spent an hour this morning assessing the damage after the wet and windy weather we have had over the last couple of days. I have lost a load of apples from the apple trees and 1 of the roses has been snapped at the stem. It seems to be alive still but it’s the only stem I have on this old rose so hopefully I can fix it up and secure it too a trellis.

I have been seed collecting too and collected a few poppy seed pods, sweet pea’s and also Pot Marigold or Calendula officinalis. These are German seeds and they call them Ringelblume.

I love these as they have beautiful yellow and orange flower heads which the insects love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One other thing I have done this morning is pick plums from one of the trees we have. I didn’t go up any ladders this time as last time I fell off! Instead I took the one’s I could reach. I managed to get 3 kilos of plums and there’s still more higher up in the tree. Add them to the 3 kilos we got last week and we have picked 6 kilos of plums from one tree. I am pleased with that as I am sure the other half will be too.

Happy Birthday to You.

Squashed Tomatoes and Stew.

Bread and Butter in the Gutter.

Happy Birthday to You!

It’s also a very special day today for someone who I know. Yep the old timer has a birthday today! No not me but the boss, she is 21 again today so Happy Birthday to her!

Oh well that’s enough fun for one day, better get back to writing now!!

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