Tag Archives: jams

Strength of a Seedling


Over the last few days, I’ve been checking the heated prop for seedlings. There’s a mixture of cayenne, cucumbers and tomatoes in there, so quite a variation in potential germination. This does mean that I end up fishing things out every now and again as I see green leaves. I don’t have many tomatoes just yet. I think I have a handful of wiry, somewhat leggy seedlings. The one above, looks reasonably happy and healthy for the time being. It has been named Tom by the baby sister.

Sowing seeds in pellets is useful; I don’t make a mess with compost and run the risk of Mama F’s wrath over muddy floors. However, they do have a tendency to dry out in the heated prop. I’m not sure if that’s down to the pellets themselves or the ageing heated prop. It’s certainly been cranky this year.

I am also feeling  very protective of seedlings, with there being a regular window-sill shuffle. As the weather changes, tomatoes and chillies do have a tendency to curl up and keel over.

In other news, it’s happy belated birthday to Sow, Grow and Eat: From Plot to Kitchen. I’d quite forgotten, but this book-the green one-is now three years old. This was the second of the gardening books. Well, it is part GYO and part cook-book. A third, is a work in progress. It sits on my desk, waiting for my to have the mind-space to finish it. It has been on  my mind lately, and I daresay there will be an attempt at some point to get it together. Sat here typing, I am eyeballing the cook book folder, wondering what energy and focus I need to commit my thoughts to paper. The pens, sit near by, poised to pounce. I wait for the tipping point, the mojo to dive straight once more.


As mentioned above, the book is part GYO, part cook-book. There are recipes inside for jams, jellies and preserves made using plot produce as well as the home-brew that has been made. It does rather go well alongside the yellow one.

Kindle Promotion: One day left!!!

There is only one day left to get e-versions of both books at 99 pence!

Just think of all the courgettes and things that are now in full scale glut.

Both books contains recipes and ideas that might prevent you from going slightly too doolally and lobbing courgettes and beans as far as you can. If you ever wanted to make your own jams, jellies, pickles and preserves you can find some potentially useful nugges that I have learned from experiments.

You can find links on the blog: right hand side, or you can go click on the page that says books above.

Once the countdown deal is over, both books will revert to their pre-promotion prices. So go have a butchers and share far and wide.

Preserving Prep: stashing jars


Since last year’s preserving and pickling experiments, I have been on the scrounge for empty jam and sauce jars. I have been collecting them from the house kitchen, friends and colleagues. Not knowing, how many I had actually stuffed into Dad’s shed. Ma has been telling me that there were quite a few that were stashed, and I should probably want to check how many. I have been very fortunate, that a dear friend of my is currently weaning one of her lovely kids. So this has meant that I have been able to freecycle her baby food jars. Some of them have lids, some don’t. Not too worried about that, as I have been using cling film to seal in contents. Tidied up Dad’s shed and stashed nearly hundred of the baby food jars. There are about thirty other miscellaneous jars also stored there. Turns out I have quite a few, and I still want to collect more. To get me started last year, I did buy some ‘proper’ jars and these were used quite well. Even had labels on, with the figure holding carrots-you know the one, the avatar on the blog. That is my brand! Have had a look into trade marking it, so the is a firm idea of what the blog and allotment experiments are all about. (And yes, that is apparently what I look like too). A perfectly unique image, created by the same artist in residence who last year planted potatoes and tulips, remember him?

It’s not quite you know, the Del Boy traders thing yet. I know that using baby food jars is okay for small scale preserving that might be for home, family and colleagues. Less so, If this was all a small business enterprise and I was selling commercially. I know that there are rules and regulations about packaging too. All will be looked into, should this ever get off the ground as it were.

That is the dream though, to marry up Psychology, counselling, allotmenteering with preserving and pickling. One day!