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Posts Tagged ‘harvesting vegetables’

Leeks are still at their seasonal best in February.  If you are lucky enough to still have some in your garden try harvesting a few for our fabulously tasty, cheeky leeky soup. 

 

If not you will find lots in the supermarket, and because they are in season they will be well priced and hopefully from a local supplier.

Growing your own vegetables is fun and there is nothing better than the taste of something you have grown yourself.  …And with the trip from plot to plate taking no time at all, you get to enjoy the full flavour and nutritional goodness of every mouthful!  For lots of gardening goodies – raised beds to compost bins, patio gros to potato bags take a look at www.recycleworks.co.uk.

Ingredients

4 medium leeks
3 large floury potatoes
olive oil
75 cL vegetable stock
25 cL milk
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Peel the leeks and potatoes and chop
  2. Fry the leeks in a dash of olive oil until soft
  3. Add in the potatoes, plus a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well
  4. Heat through gently for a few minutes
  5. Add the stock and milk, turn up the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes until the potatoes are cooked
  6. Allow the soup to cool a little
  7. Blend until smooth
  8. Add a little more water if required for your desired consistency
  9. Serve with a teaspoon of cream drizzled on the top along with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds

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The harvesting season is now in full swing and the winning and loosing crops of the year begin to make themselves know. 

In the feast and famine world that is our allotment, now is definitely a time of feasting with gluts of runner beans, courgettes and soft fruits.  We returned this week after two weeks away, and found that we barely recognised our beautifully tended plot, which seemed to have run rampant and wild almost overnight. 

To make the best of your harvest here are some helpful tips.

  • Always harvest crops when they are at their best.  Don’t be tempted to just pick what you want for your immediate needs and then leave the rest, as crops will quickly go over, with lettuces bolting, runner beans going stringy and broad beans turning into bullets. And that’s to say nothing of the pests that will be eyeing things up ready to pounce. 
  • If you have a surplus try setting up a bit of an exchange scheme with fellow gardeners.  That way you get to taste crops that you haven’t grown, in exchange for things you have too much of – a real win win!
  • For crops that store well such as onions and garlic clean off, and dry out in a cool dark space.  If kept correctly these can last very well for many months.  Take a look at these great wooden storage boxes, perfectly designed for storing fruit, vegetables and bulbs.

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  • If you are getting a bit bored of the same vegetables get adventurous and check our blog regularly for recipe ideas.  There are lots of recipes available for soups, chutneys and jams and we will be featuring our favourites over the coming weeks.

 

  • As each crop comes to an end don’t forget to recycle all of your plant waste in a compost bin.  That way you will have some lovely soil conditioner all ready for the next gardening year.

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  • Don’t forget to involve the children in the harvesting activities.  My children love it and although they seem to want to eat most of it, guzzling raw beans and peas like no tomorrow, I do get a sense of satisfaction at getting them to eat their greens so easily at this time of year.  The children’s trug and wheelbarrow are designed with children in mind and are perfect for harvesting activities.

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