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Friday, 6 August 2010


So, time for an update! I shall start with the traditional British topic - the weather! It's is getting colder, someone forgot to tell the sun that it's only August. Some of us have crops to ripen...make with the warm!! At least this means Nath's contribution to gardening (watering and mowing the lawn) is a less frequent which he's probably grateful for. I may have to teach him advanced weeding next, those mini nettles are evil creatures!

The pumpkin plants are growing really well, a bit too well really, I regret planting the second one so close as they are such huge monsters already. This picture above is of the largest so far, I've wedged a stone underneath to lift it and stop it rotting. A couple of smaller ones have dropped off, we ate one of them roasted in the oven with a sample of our purple carrots (not ready yet, too small) and parsnips (ditto).

Peas...we've had millions of these! You can see the lettuce in the background too. I massively over planted the lettuce forgetting that more or less everything I plant grows (it's a curse I tell you!!). I have found a very nifty way of using it up though, lettuce soup!

Lettuce Soup

Serves: 4

1 Large Lettuce
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1 Medium Potato, diced
25 Gram Butter
450 ml Milk
300 ml chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Tablespoon Double cream, optional

Shred the lettuce, reserving some for garnish. In a saucepan fry the lettuce, onion and potato gently in the butter for 5 minutes without browning. Add the milk and stock.
Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Liquidise and return to the pan.
Ladle into warm soup bowls, whirl on a tablespoon of cream if used and garnish with lettuce pieces.

This is the plait I made with my garlic, they are tiny, I think I should probably have left them until the foliage was more dead. I have left the other tub and will try again in a month, see how big they are then. These ones are plaited and drying.

The Maris Piper potatoes are listing helplessly about now flowering is over, blocking the pathways to the smaller veg. This is annoying, I might tie them up with string at the weekend. I seem to have grown 'true seed', small tomato-like pods on top of the flower stalks. I read that these can be planted next year and will grow potato plants all be it a bit unpredictably as you don't know what variant will grow from each one of the 200 seeds in each seed pod. There's some very interesting info on this here. I have pulled one row of tatties early so we could try some, while they are still smallish they taste lovely (and were a constituent of the lettuce soup!).

Things still to come are peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, florence fennel and butternut be honest this cooler weather and lack of sun is really not helping!!
I have not stopped planting yet, there is more lettuce on the way *groan* also kale, kohlrabi and some cabbage (if I can find room for the donated cabbage seed to germinate). I want to find room to grow some late onions.

Our other big news is the imminent addition of chickens! 3 from the British Hen Welfare Trust. A big garishly pink Eglu hen house will be arriving Saturday!


  1. I was on the hunt for lettuce soup recipe - I will try yours!

  2. I highly recommend it - Bex has made two batches now, and both were lovely :D


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