Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sunday dinner comes from the freezer?

Sadly this headline isn’t far from the truth of what our children think.  When I say our, I do not mean mine, mine have been taught from a very early age that peas come in pods which you pick, you remove the peas and eat, they can be frozen but far better straight from the pod.  My middle daughter has eaten peas raw straight from the pod, carrots straight from the ground and guess what she hasn’t been struck down with tetanus or any other life threatening illness the authorities come up with that means you should all buy pre-packed food that has been scrubbed within a inch of its life.

I remember when I was about 6 or 7 my Dad told me that if I ate the pips from the apples I would have apple trees coming out of my ears, I was distraught by this image and it had me in floods of tears. I know it sounds harsh but actually it isn’t because it taught me one of the basic life skills, that our fruit and vegetables grow from seeds, in the ground.  I always had a vegetable patch as a child as did my parents and their parents before them.  Generation after generation have been out sowing seeds, growing their own and eating fresh from the garden with no issues at all and suddenly it has all changed with processed food, fruit and vegetable wrapped in plastic.  So our children learn about sex at a very young age but they don’t learn the simple skill which is where their food comes from.  This article just proves the dire situation we have ended up in, where kids are distraught as to think their sunday dinner was once a live animal, their potatoes were once covered in dirt.  It is as if they have been programmed to believe the only way forward is to nip down to your local freezer shop and pick up your dinner, packed up in plastic and cardboard, shoved into the microwave for a couple of minutes and ‘Viola’ a meal.  Yes it is quick and easy, yes I understand parents are busy but I have three children, a job, two allotments, a garden, chickens, soon to be bees, I breed my own mealworms, I run a wormery and I am a freelance writer however I cook fresh every single day except Friday when I allow my children to have chips which quite often are our potatoes chopped into wedges with a fresh chicken, that is about as far as I go when it comes to processed food.


It terrifies me that children think pasta comes from an animal but cheese is from a vegetable, surely it is basic knowledge to know milk comes from a cow and therefore cheese comes from the cow also?  I am not saying they need to know the whole process but the basic knowledge should be the bare minimum we are teaching our children?  How can a child not know one farm animal from another and worse not know that, that farm animal actually feeds us?


It is a scary, scary world we are living in.


People are like plants, with the right amount of nurturing and guidance, some love and warmth they can grow to be a shining example of their species, beautiful in every sense of the word and more than ready to support the next generation

(Louisa Jones 2014)

Branching out

Pardon the pun but it had to be done!

So I have been gardening for several years, picked up information from my parents, my grandparents and read a ton of books myself so I have decided to branch out to new pastures.  I thought creating a blog was the only big step I would ever make, believe me for those that know my opinion on technology and all the problems that come with it you will know what a massive step this has been.  It has not been as regular as I would like but hopefully I can change that without it becoming a load of old gibber gabber and nothing of much use. I am still new to the blogging game so still learning some of the techniques and unfortunately one can write, one can garden, one can put the two together but if one is not an IT whizz one struggles with this next step! I want this blog to be informative, I want to be able to share my knowledge and on top of all that I want to take my gardening experience to the next level.

So with all this in mind over the coming weeks I will be putting up tips and tricks, tried and tested recipes to use with your home grown, a baby steps page to get you started in the scary world of gardening. Many people think it is so much hard work they don’t even start but with my baby steps you will be on the road to a successful first plot even if you choose that to be your first window box, baby steps become big steps when practised often enough.  I will be selling seeds, not the F1 varieties but the ones you seed save once the growing season is over and therefore use year on year, saving you a fortune in new seeds, my grandad swore by it and it really isn’t that difficult once you get a grip on it. I am hoping to launch information fact sheets for a nominal fee, bit of an A-Z and lots of other important information with a view to launch my first gardening book but that will be somewhere near next year now. Even I have big ideas but have to start with the baby steps.

Hopefully you will find this page get a lot more interesting as time goes on and hope you find it really useful

Annual Planner

I have put up a seed sowing guide but I found this on the BBC gardening website which I thought might be of use, week by week guide of what you should aim to do, what should be in, what you should wait for, tips and tricks.  I have a little diary I put notes in but I do find this useful.  I am aimng to compile something which combines all the information you find, or discover yourself, things you might change and have just one place to find it, just making some enquiries and conducting some research as we speak.  Otherwise any questions please shout

My pet carrot

My pet Carrot

My pet Carrot

I call this a ‘pet’ because the plant that re-grows will NOT produce edible carrots, only a new carrot plant. The taproot cannot re-grow but it makes an attractive flowering plant for the kitchen. It is fun and easy for children aged 0-100
Cut the top off your carrot, leaving about an inch of vegetable at the root. Stick toothpicks into the sides of the carrot stump and balance it in a glass or jar. Fill the glass with water so that the level reaches the bottom of the cutting. Leave the glass in filtered, not direct, sunlight and ensure water is topped up to keep the bottom of your cutting wet. Once you see roots develop, plant your carrot into a pot of soil, stick on the kitchen window sill or any other light and airy place and hopefully it will look as attractive as the picture.

Leggy swede

I put my swede in a few weeks ago after making the decision to start them inside.  Last year I started them in-situ and they decided to take ages to get going and then many of them keeled over. I believed it might have been the indecisive weather we had been having so I thought I would give them a good start inside.  However I now have 150 leggy swede plants.  I have not put them outside and transplanted 80 of them into new pots, planting them nice and deep to give them chance to strengthen up.

Anyone else had these problems?  I normally do not have problems with legginess but this year, and generally I go with the view of stick it in, water and feed it and off it goes.  This year I have spent many weeks meticulously planning my planting schedule, reading many a forum regarding how to carefully tend for young plants and instead of the excellent results I have ended up with leggy plants.  Maybe my slap-dash approach to gardening has its advantages?

Worm farming - Any thoughts

I have recent set up my wormery in the garden for the garden scraps. I keep looking at it and it doesn’t appear to be doing much, as in the scraps aren’t disappearing, however I assume it is doing what is suppose to be doing. Unless of course the kilo of worms I put in and have all pottered off down the street to find somewhere else to live. Anyone used a wormery and a bit more qualified than I am to provide information?