Tag Archives: grow your own

Winter Growing

While most of us are looking forward to curling up next to the fire with a seed catalogue, a few hardy growers are still sowing, tending and harvesting. For the beginner, winter growing can be a daunting thought, if one considered at all, but there is plenty of veg that thrives in cooler weather or even relishes a good chill.
Oriental and mustard greens are quite hardy, Mizuna Tatsoi  & Miike are all tasty though the Miike is too spicy to eat raw. Cabbages and parsnips both come in container varieties and stand well in winter and there are winter varieties of spring onions and lettuce available.
Don’t forget you still have time to plant garlic and onions both which grow well in containers.

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Roots

Root vegetables may not be the first vegetables that come to mind when planning an edible container garden but they do surprisingly well. Some of our most used vegetables are root vegetables. Carrots, turnips and potatoes all fall under this loose category. Yields are not as large when compared to vegetables grown in the ground but growing conditions are much easier to manage particularly for the beginner. This year we have grown baby turnips, golden beetroot and of course potatoes which we grew in flexi tubs. Onion, carrots and parsnip also do well or if you’re looking for something a little more unusual try Florence Fennel, Jerusalem Artichokes or Oca.

Cucurbits

courgette plant in flowerCourgettes are a member of the Cucurbit family, which includes squash, cucumber and melon.
Next to potatoes these are an easy to grow and prolific vegetable.  They don’t freeze satisfactorily but an easy way to preserve any glut is to incorporate them into soups sauces chutneys and cakes which can then be frozen. Here’s a couple of recipes

Courgette Soup
1kg courgettes
a large potato
1 l stock veg or chicken
1 onion
2 tbsp olive oil
salt pepper paprika chilli  to taste

gently cook the courgettes & onion in oil until soft
add a pinch of chilli & paprika
add stock, salt and pepper
blend or mash the mixture
and cook on a low heat until the mixture reaches your preferred consistency
allow to cool then freeze

Basic Courgette Cake
250g courgettes
150g sugar
225g self raising flour
125ml sunflower oil
2 eggs
a teaspoon baking powder

Grate the courgettes add oil and eggs
Combine dry ingredients and fold in the courgettes oil and egg mixture.
Divide mixture between 2 bread tins
Cook at gas mark 4 for 30 minutes.

preparation is everything

Inside the greenhouse. 3 rows of sunflower seedlings in pots.