Archive for February, 2011

 Salmon & Cream Cheese Mash


  • 500g medium Winston or Majestic potatoes, diced
  • 100g low-fat soft cheese
  • 75g smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • Handful of fresh chives, chopped


  1. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes until tender, drain and return to the pan
  2. Mash with the soft cheese, adding a dash of milk and a little butter
  3. Stir in the salmon and chives, season to taste. Serve immediately



  • 100g spring onions sliced
  • 100g butter
  • 900g mashing potatoes such as King Edward or Maris Piper
  • 150 ml full fat milk
  • Extra butter for serving


  1. Put the spring onions and milk in a small pan and heat to boiling. Take off the heat and leave
  2. Peel and chop the potatoes and boil until tender
  3. Drain and mash the potatoes with the butter until no lumps are left. Reheat the milk and the spring onions, then gradually beat this into the potatoes, mixing well with a wooden spoon to make the potatoes fluffy. Season well and serve.


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We are always on the look out for great books and this week we have some that are perfect resources for gardening in school. 

Gardening in School Book

Gardening in School All Year Round offers a complete programme for gardening in schools.  It includes activities for each month with detailed, visual instructions for carrying out gardening tasks with children.  There are also practical considerations such as maintenance, health and safety and how to set up a gardening club.  Click here to find out more.

Edible Gardens Book

Edible Gardens in Schools is a growing guide for schools to grow their own food.  The book and CD contain clear information about the practical aspects of gardening in school and include lesson plans, activities, games and worksheets to broaden pupils knowledge.  The fifteen seasonal topics include companion planting, seed saving, nutrition and local food.  Click here to find out more.


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Thanks to everyone who entered our Christmas Quiz and congratulations to the children at Spring Park Primary School.  They were the first correct entry out of the hat so they are our winners!  Well done to you all.

The prizes –  a beautifully crafted and brilliantly handy paper potter, 2 non-electric propagators, 2 hand trowels, 2 pairs of kids gardening gloves and a kids watering can, will be winging their way in the next few days and we hope they are going to be wonderfully useful in the growing season ahead!


If you would like to enter our latest competitions, which end on 28th February 2011 we have more brilliant gardening prizes up for grabs.  For all the details on how to enter take a look here for schools and here for families.

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I opened my backdoor this morning to find great piles of parsnips and leeks deposited on the step – which is always a sign that someone has been down to the allotment and harvested the latest that the season has to offer! 

Keen to devour the harvest fresh from the plot I set about making this very easy vegetable bake for the family.  Vegetables in season are cheaper to buy, taste so much better and have travelled far fewer miles to reach your local supermarket. 

Better still if you grow your own you can enjoy the food delights of every season, with the fabulous satisfaction of having nurtured them from seed.  So for gardening inspiration visit www.recycleworks.co.uk.


  • 500g potatoes thinly sliced
  • 500g parsnips thinly sliced
  • 1 kg carrots thinly sliced
  • 1kg leeks thinly sliced
  • 700 ml cream
  • 4 tbsp mustard
  • 4 tbsp mixed herbs
  • Grated parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Wash all the vegetables, peel & slice thinly

Boil the potatoes, parsnips and carrots for 3 minutes

Saute the leeks for a few minutes in a small amount of butter

Mix the cream, mustard and herbs together 

Put the lightly cooked vegetables to a baking dish

Pour over the cream and mix well with the vegetables

Top with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese

Bake for 45 min to an hour until gently browned on the top.  Yum!

For everything you need to grow your own!

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We are now at the peak time for planning the vegetable garden for the growing season ahead.  With all those seed catalogues to sift through the options can seem endless. 

If you use a crop rotation system you may also be thinking about which crops to grow where for the best results.  If you are new to crop rotation take a look at our simple and free Essential Guide to Crop Rotation.  Crop rotation not only avoids the build up of pests and diseases in the soil, it can also improve soil structure and fertility.

If you are planning the school or nursery garden, it is important to think about crops which can be harvested during term time, and likewise if you are going away for a summer holiday.  To make our planning easier we use this very clever Vegetable Planning Chart and the Vegetable Growing Guide.

Vegetable Planning Chart The Vegetable Growing Guide

The bar charts on the Vegetable Planning Chart provide a visual guide for timing the sowing and planting, growing and harvesting of a large range of vegetable crops. 

The chart also includes suggestions for simple garden layout, planning and ground preparation and successful crop rotation for three years, along with tips for successful organic gardening and soil fertility.

The beautiful full colour Vegetable Growing Guide provides vital information in an easy and quick reference format for use by organic gardeners throughout the year.  There is information on how and when to sow, plant, space, feed, harvest and store 50 different vegetable crops.

Both charts are designed to be displayed on the wall for easy and quick reference.

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