Long were the Salad Days: A Summer Salad Challenge

Homegrown salad all summer long, that’s the dream huh? Sadly for me it’s never been a reality no matter how enthusiastic I’ve been in the beginning it just takes a row of pigeon pecked lettuces, slug ravaged seedlings or bolted spinach to break my heart and dwindle my motivation.

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What You Sow Blog Garden Party Competition

Crafty Sew & Sow

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Today I came home from work to find a mysterious missed delivery slip from our Postie waiting for me in our post box. What could it be I thought? I didn’t think I had ordered anything off the internet recently, it certainly wouldn’t have surprised me if it was some order of yarn I’d ordered on a whim and forgotten about. Seeing as the parcel depot in town a few minutes down the road opens late Wednesday evenings off I went to pick up the mysterious package.

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Crochet Mood Blanket: Forget-me-not Square

Crafty Sew & Sow

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I’ve been crocheting now for about just over a year having taught myself using the Crafty Minx Crochet School left-handed videos, excuse the pun, but I’ve been hooked ever since. Its an extremely addictive craft one that I have found has not only provided another outlet for my creativity but has been a wonderful therapy for some mental health issues I have been suffering from recently. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t find time to hook a few stitches. Like many crochet addicts I carry around yarn and a hook wherever I go. It’s become a wonderful escape from my dull job, even if I only fit in a snatched five minutes on my lunch break or a quiet moment on public transport (I’m not  huge fan of such public crafting). One of my other passions is Instagram so you can imagine my excitement at finding out about the…

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Never too late homemade Mince Pie Filling for people who don’t like mince pie filling

I’ve never been a big fan of boozy mince pie filling or those with horrible bits of suet in them. I don’t like Christmas pudding (except my chocolate Guinness one, but that’s another blog post maybe) and detest all those rich brandy and rum mince pies and the like. It’s not until recently I’ve grown to appreciate a mince pie and that’s mostly due to starting to make my own pastry and filling. This year I forgot to make it when I usually do around stir up Sunday. But really you don’t need that long to mature it. My recipe is fruity and apple-y with aromatic spice rather than all that booze richness. A lovely filling for an all butter short crust pastry mince pie. Custard, cream or ice cream with yours?
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Oh no, not another marrow! A marrow & ale chutney recipe for when you’re not expecting a marrow.

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It happens to us all, we go away on holiday, forget to pick a courgette or discover a hidden monster of a marrow under a forest of leaves, that’s not to say many of us grow marrows on purpose. We fall into the first category, preferring a nice courgette or zucchini over a hefty marrow. We try to avoid having a marrow monster on our hands, but sometimes you just can’t avoid the odd marrow. Of course that’s not to mention those ‘gifted’ to you. We’re a generous bunch us allotmenteers, and I bet a fair few of use have been offered a marrow from a plot neighbour at some time or other, offered with look of marrow induced panic in their eyes (please take the marrow PLEASE!). And so that’s what we did accepting a marrow from Con, one of the loveliest, gentlest of the old-timer allotment holders at our site, you just can’t say no to Con, he’s such a quiet man and it must have taken a lot to think of us and offer up one of his marrows. It was delicious, we made a lovely stuffed marrow with wild rice and made the mistake of telling someone down the plots. Since then we keep finding flipping marrows left for us on our shed step!
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Roll up, Roll Up for the Greatest Allotment Show…

Last Sunday, 1st September was our allotment sites annual show. Held every year as a joint event with the NGS gardens for charity open day, however this year was to be a little bit different to previous years. All thanks to two of our plot holders featuring on no less than Gardeners World! It’s not the first time our plots have featured on television, Nigel Slater came and filmed for his Simple Suppers series, but that was sadly before our time. This time however the camera crews had came to film a special couple, George    & Serge who have a special allotment plot which won them an award of merit from the ‘Gardening against the odds’ award. Their plot is gorgeous, part English country garden, part Potager and part sculpture garden. It really is beautiful. So thanks to their feature on Gardner’s World (Friday 25th August) and an advertisement of the show by no less than Monty Don himself, the show was a hit, attracting some 700 visitors to see Serge & George, take in the exhibits, tour the site and enjoy homemade cake and teas.

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