Monday, 28 February 2011

Lovely Broad Beans

At last the Broad Beans are up and raring to go, well some of them anyway and the others are just starting to nudge the compost ready to pop out.  I look up my old posts on Broad Beans and on March 3rd 2009 the plants were much bigger than these ones that are now growing.  It's always exciting when the seedlings appear. I have also sown chillies ( a few varieties) red and white onions, peppers, and some flowers for my cutting bed, oh and some Lemon basil and sweet basil.

I feel that I'm a bit behind this year, but I have been busy doing lots of craft projects and the weather hasn't exactly been inspiring, but I think I am on my way now. Here's a peek at the Broad Beans (photo's taken today.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Parcel delivery and Purple Sprouts

The postman brought me a very welcome parcel on Thursday, it was from Stephen at Victoriana Nurseries  the Tayberry arrived and also the two Lemon Grass plants. There were also the Parsnip seeds 'Hollow Crown' and my tomato seeds as well.  The Globe Artichoke plants wont be delivered until April/May ready for planting out. This gives me time to choose and prepare the area that they will be planted in. I have to plan this wisely as they are perennial and will be there for some time (hopefully) Having only ever eaten Artichokes already prepared in jars from the shop I thought I had better buy some to experiment in preparing and cooking them. A friend kindly bought me and herself a couple each. We didn't have a clue what to do with them, so I turned to good old Google and found lot's of useful links and even video's on YouTube.

After chopping the stem off and taking off the sharp tips and removing the lower leaves, I them boiled them, I will steam them next time as I always steam all my vegetables.  When soft I then let them cool, cut out the heart and scraped the flesh from the leaves and then sauteed it all  in a little butter with garlic. I ate them cold the next day with a salad, delicious !! the only drawback was they were very small and didn't have much of a heart which is the part |I love the most.

The parcel which was well wrapped in straw and heavy polythene (which I then up-cycled and used to cover one of my raised beds.) the polythene that is !

As you can see the Tayberry is a really good size, I can't wait to get some fruit from it.  It also has loads of healthy buds.   I am so pleased with the quality of the plant.

The Lemon Grass, lovely for stir fries and so expensive to buy in the supermarket, so I'm hoping to get lot's of my own later on .

Purple Brussel Sprouts, at last a small harvest !

Just look at these beauties,they were more purple than this but I had to remove a lot of the outer leaves, so here they are ready to be steamed.  They were delicious and kept their unusual colour and well worth the wait. I would have had some before if  they  hadn't  been so badly infested with white fly. I had to reluctantly
spray them and just wait and see if they grew some more which they did and I have a good few more small harvests to pick yet and will be growing this variety again (Rubine)