Monday, 30 April 2012

Z is for Zucchini

z is for zucchini 

Zucchini is part of the squash and pumpkin family and you probably know it as the courgette . Zucchini is a very abundant producer and you will probably need no more than two or three plants in your garden. Zucchini does not keep well, so it is best enjoyed during the summer months.

The two most common mistakes zucchini growers make are:
  1. Planting too many
  2. Waiting too long to harvest
When planting zucchini, 2 plants will produce plenty of zucchini for a family of 4. It’s probably better to plant a mixture of zucchini and other summer squash, like patty pan or crookneck, so you have a mixture of colors, textures, and flavors.

Thats the A - Z challenge over !!! Thanks for following me hope you continue to do so !! 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

X is for Xigua. Y is for Yams

X is for Xigua 

OK I was really struggling with the letter X, Ive already Used my favourite cartoon on my other blog .. The X Men . So couldn't use it again !! Why did I join 2 blogs to the challenge ???

So X is for Xigua. 
Whats that ???

An edible fruit that looks similar to a watermelon, only shorter in size. 
The word xigua is Chinese.

Y is for Yams

Not that I know anything about them ! but they were the first veg that sprang to mind !


Yams are often confused with sweet potatoes, but are only similar in that they are both flowering plants. Yams are actually related to lilies and grasses and native to both Africa and Asia, the Everyday Mysteries website, a publication of the Library of Congress, reports. Yams come in various sizes and there are well over 600 varieties throughout the world. In comparison to sweet potatoes, yams are actually drier and more starchier.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

W is for wimberrys

W is for wimberry s

My favourite pie as a child and still is now is Wimberry Pie. I can remember the whole family going wimberry picking when I was a child . Up on our Shropshire hills in a secret location in the wood  singing away while we picked to frighten the adders away !!!

Bilberry is a name used for several species of Vaccinium (genus) that bear fruit on low-growing shrubs. The species usually referred to as bilberry is Vaccinium myrtillus, also called the European blueberry. The bilberry has many other names, including blaeberry, whortleberry, whinberry (or winberry), whimberry, wimberry, myrtle blueberry, fraughan and black-hearts.

The whimberry is very similar to the American blueberry and has all the same ‘super food’ credentials. However, unlike the blueberry, you will not find it in the supermarkets so every year people in Shropshire head for the hills in search of whimberries. Whimberry pickers are a secretive bunch and don’t say too much about where the fruit can be found but it is widely acknowledged that Shropshire is a hot-spot. 

Whimberry Pie
By Shirley Jones, Head Chef
Ludlow Food Centre

400g whimberries
250g shortcrust pastry
125g caster sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 large cooking apples
Sugar for sprinkling
4 tablespoons of double cream


1 Core the apples and bake in a medium oven until soft. Allow to cool and scrape out the apple pulp. Mix it with the whimberries and sugar 
2 Roll out the pastry and line a pie plate or tart dish 
Fill with fruit and sugar and cover with pastry. Do not seal 
3 Brush the top with beaten egg white, sprinkle with sugar and bake in a hot oven until golden brown 
4 Before serving, gently lift the lid and pour in the thick double cream 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

U is for Ulmus hollandica vegetata V is for VINCA and VALERIAN

U is for 

Ulmus hollandica vegetata

Definition - 

erect vigorous hybrid ornamental

Lol ok i was completely stuck on U !!!  Found it in a scrabble help guide ! 

V is for  

VINCA (Periwinkle)
 For High blood pressure, hair loss, to make pair bonding stronger In a marriage
Periwinkles are evergreen plants with purplish-blue flowers in spring, which spread by rooting stems. 

 for a Natural tranquilizer, pain, muscle spasms, nerves, promote sleep, poison antidote, poison bites of all kinds, heart and circulation become stronger and fuller, cold hands and feet

I have both these growing in my garden ! I hate the periwinkle it goes everywhere !

Monday, 23 April 2012

R is for radish. S is for sweetcorn . t is for thyme.

R is for radish

Most great gardeners take their first steps on the path to horticultural success by nurturing a row of radishes. They're an ideal vegetable for the beginner to grow. They have few demands, they tolerate most soil types and you don't have to wait too long to sample the results of your new hobby! Many varieties can be picked around a month or so after sowing - sooner in midsummer. This makes radishes a great choice for introducing children to the joys of growing your own.

s is for sweetcorn

The best time is to start sowing the sweetcorn is middle of April.  Sow the seeds inside in small, about 7cm pots or in those larger seed cells 2cm deep, 1 or 2 seeds per pot. Using ordinary compost is fine. Sweetcorn seeds ideally need a temperature of 15 Celsius and above to germinate successfully.
The seeds can be sown directly outside from middle of May, but be prepared to loose some plants this way as mice and birds can find the seeds easily in the soil. Raising the sweetcorn inside is much recommended and it’s really worth the extra work.

t is for thyme

My favourite herb to use in the kitchen and to grow. I dont grow it on my allotment but just outside my door in containers so i can get it as i need it in the kitchen.

Container Growing ThymeThyme is an excellent plant for growing in containers and requires no particular attention. Water to keep the compost moist, and feed with liquid plant food every two weeks from April to August

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Q is for Quince

Quince belongs to the same family as apples and pears; its shape is similar to a pear, but larger. It has lumpy yellow skin and hard flesh that is quite bitter so shouldn’t be eaten raw. When fully ripe, the quince has a wonderful perfume. Quince paste or ‘membrillo’ is a popular accompaniment to cheese in Spain.

Recipe for Quince Jam


  • 2 kg quince
  • water
  • 1.6 kg sugar


1. Peel, core and quarter some of the poorer, less ripe quinces and place in a large pan.

2. Just cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until the quinces are soft.

3. Strain off the juice and reserve.

4. Rub the cooked quinces through a sieve.

5. Peel, core and quarter the remaining quinces and place in the pan with the sieved pulp.

6. Add the reserved juice and cook until soft. Stir to make sure the pulp doesn't burn.

7. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved then bring to a fast boil.

8. Cook until setting point is reached. It should be very firm and a dark red colour.

9. To tell when setting point has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and put a little marmalade on a chilled saucer. As it cools, the marmalade should begin to set, will wrinkle slightly and will remain in two separate parts when you draw your finger through it. If using a sugar thermometer it will read 104-106C.

10. Decant into sterilised jars, cover and seal tightly. Label and store in a cool, dry place. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

O is for Onions, P is for peas

How to grow onions from seed 

Starting in early March or even late February sow a couple of seeds per module into a multi-purpose compost and thin to one seedling as soon as possible if both germinate. They don't need to be too warm, between 10 and 15 degrees is fine.
Once germinated, do not let the temperature rise above 15 degrees or the onions will get confused about what time of year it is and bolt later after they're planted out. Move out of the greenhouse into a cold frame and harden off before planting out, spaced as for the sets. The beauty of this method is that the onions can be held if the weather is bad until you are ready to plant.

Apart from some weeding, there is little to do. Do be careful not to damage the forming bulbs when hoeing. Better to have a few weeds or get on your knees and weed by hand than hoe out the crop before you start!


 How to grow peas 

Sow pea seed 1 to 1½” deep, 1-2 inches apart in double rows spaced 3-6” apart, 24” between the next double row. Pea plants will tolerate crowding so may be spaced 2” apart. All peas, including dwarf types, are natural climbers, will be more productive, and not as susceptible to rot, if given some support or planted along a fence or trellis. Pea seed is available in both treated and untreated; if using untreated pea seeds, avoid planting in cold, wet, poorly aerated soils, as you risk loosing the seed to rot. 
Peas prefer full sun to partial shade with a soil pH of 6.0-7.0. and require a well-drained, rich and sandy soil. Work organic matter, including rotted manure or compost into the soil for best results.