Home Made, Home Grown, Home Crafted

From Soil to Table: August

August 15, 2015
August arrives almost imperceptibly as July hands over the relay of good weather and bountiful fruits and vegetables. Tending a garden gives one crucial life skills which is dealing with the present and planning for the future.

Although this is a month to harvest, one can also still sow chard and leaf beet, so that you can have a plentiful supply of rainbow chard, Swiss chard and perpetual spinach well into the autumn.  Pick up fallen or damaged fruits as they harbour insects and diseases.  The diseased ones should not be put in the compost bin.  Also add comfrey to the compost as the green leaves are rich in nitrogen and break down dry material in the compost bin. Feed your annuals with fertilisers so that you can enjoy their last flowers.  Now is the time to build a cold frame to protect your seedlings in autumn. Also think about what bulbs you would like to plant in the autumn – iris, daffodils and tulips will give your garden good colour in the colder months.  Your roses should still be flowering.  Try to ‘dead head’ spent flowers on your flowering plants so that they continue to flower.  We have had a few days of downpours to alleviate the hot July.  However, the hot and dry weather continues. 

There is now an abundance of early cherry plums which make delicious puddings.

Recipe for roasted plums
  • 800g ripe plums washed
  • 11/2 tablespoon of caster sugar
  • Half a vanilla pod and 
  • One small cinnamon stick

Line a baking tin with foil and cut plums in half.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Split the half vanilla pod down its length and cut each piece in half again.  Arrange the cinnamon stick and vanilla pieces among the plums and roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, until the fruit is tender, juicy and starting to caramelise at the edges.

From Soil to Table: July

July 15, 2015
July rewards the gardener for their patience with a bountiful supply of vegetables and flowers.  

Orange hues from pomegranate flowers and runner beans flowers interspersed with vibrant poppies, fragrant sweet peas and nasturtium flowers bring joy to the eyes.  Dahlias and honeysuckle peer through the apple and bay foliage.  Now is the time to enjoy the ‘fruits of one’s labour.’  

The sight of fruit trees laden with apples, pears and plums fills the gardener with a satisfaction of what na...

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From Soil to Table: June

June 20, 2015
June brought a taste of the exotic and unexpected as I took a break in South Florida.

Sown seeds in my garden were left to grow and watered when necessary. Fortuitously, abundance and resourcefulness pursued me.  Stationed at my brother’s garden in Florida, I was surrounded by exotic and colourful flowers - frangipani, buttercups, and bougainvillea.  

But it was the sheer weight of hundreds of fruits on the trees that exploded on my mind. Pineapples perched in the centre of the plants. Avocad...

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From Soil to Table: May

May 9, 2015
May arrives with an enchantment and an expectation. 

Gardening work is intercepted for a few minutes as apple blossoms among wisteria flowers challenge my senses and my mind is stilled with appreciation and gratitude. 

I have started the interminable task of planting seedlings into the prepared soil ensuring that I have dug in enough compost.  Vegetables such as the brassicas and courgettes are hungry for nutrients.  The leguminous plants such as peas and beans have root nodules which convert a...

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From Soil to Table: April

April 20, 2015

April brings an array of seedlings ready for planting.  

I have learnt from past mistakes that labelling is essential to growing from seeds.  Cucumber, pumpkin, squashes and courgettes all belong to cucurbit family and look the same. The sight of hundreds of seedlings which need to be planted out may look daunting.  But any negative thoughts quickly dissipate.  

Greens are full of Vitamin K, folic acid and natural colourings of lucetin and beta-carotene.  Good for my brain. Then...

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From Soil to Table: March

March 28, 2015

By Rosemary Jeboo, a regular BCM producer

March is an awakening of the senses and a quickening in pace to sow seeds that will give seasonal produce for tasty meals.  My garden now has perennials such as sorrel, kale and spinach ready to cook.  These are all hardy crops which can withstand the winter and provide produce all year.  Rosemary, thyme, mint and nettle can be grown in containers and a small cutting will produce plants which will enhance any dish or salad.  

I have so...

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