Thursday 28 April 2011

How to make a wild spring salad

There are lots of wild spring leaves around at the moment and although many people regard some of them as weeds, some can be used to make wild salads.

In this video I use dock, dandelion, cow parsley, raspberry, blackberry and hawthorn leaves we found growing wild. I added sorrell and angelica grown on the allotment.

Dressing was made from white wine vinegar, olive oil and homemade hawberry ketchup. Fillings for the hard boiled eggs are the yolkes mixed with chopped wild garlic leaves.

I also added pink fir apple potatoes. These are great for salads. I topped them with a little bit of chopped fried bacon.

Monday 25 April 2011

Thinning and weeding the strawberries

Fruitcage Apr 11

We have had the fruitcage on the allotment for 2 years. When we installed it, we transferred the strawberry plants into it that were growing on 2 different beds on the allotment. They have taken well to their new plot - too well infact. They have spread across the floor of the fruitcage so I have had to go in to thin them out. Competing with them for space are raspberries and buttercups. I have now weeded out the latter though given the quantity, it took quite some time. I have also thinned out some of the strawberry plants.

The above photo was taken 2 weeks ago when I had weeded only one side of the fruitcage. I finished the other side yesterday.

The strawberries taken out have been transplanted to bags we used to grow carrots last year. The final destination of these bags is our garage roof. This is a large flat space that catches the sun so it is ideal for spreading plants like strawberries. We can put the bags around the edge of the roof therefore avoiding putting weight on the beams in the centre. We will also be planting nasturtium plants in pots to grow on the roof as well. We use nasturtiums as a salad crop - the leaves and seeds have a lovely peppery flavour.

strawberries Apr 11

How to make a wild garlic omelette

Spring brings one of my favourite foraging foods - wild garlic. It has a strong smell but the taste is mild. It grows mainly in woodland areas and goes through its life cycle mainly before the trees are fully in leaf. That way it gathers the sunlight before it is blocked by the tree leaf canopy.

In this recipe I make a wild garlic omelette. This is a very simple recipe:

1)Beat some eggs and mix with milk.

2)Chop some wild garlic leaves and add them into the eggs and milk mix.

3) Add seasoning to taste.

4)Put a bit of oil into a frying pan and heat to a modest temperature.

5)Pour the mix into the frying pan.

6) When it is cooked on the base, fold over one half of the omelette to cook the inside.

Then eat and enjoy!

Saturday 2 April 2011

North East Beekeepers' Convention

It may be a busy time of the year but we still decided to take a day out to go to the North East Beekeepers' Convention in Newcastle. We had discussions and presentations on beehives, pollination and the history of beekeeping. All good stuff. All we need now are some bees. We have two hives and colonies on order so hopefully sometime soon they will arrive.

Talking of things arriving, our henhouse arrives on Monday. Also on order is a poly tunnel for our raised bed. Not sure when that is due to arrive.

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