Tag Archives: food

Snooping around allotments in February

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The weekend was rather sunny and at my parents’ allotments things were starting to stir.

I was staying with my parents last weekend and I took the opportunity to have a good old snoop around their allotments yet again! I last visited their plot properly in November and established that being a nosey gardener is in my nature.

There was a lot of activity, people barrowing compost and wood chippings, constructing paths and building structures. Jobs like that are very popular at this time of year with allotmenters and gardeners alike because there’s so many bare areas that you can tend to, unlike in the summer where they could be overgrown with foliage, flowers and weeds.

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There was still an abundance of kale and it’s looking like the stuff at RHS Harlow Carr with the pickings gone from the bottom leaving young leaves at the top of long stalks. It is still my No.1 favourite veg that I have never grown!! Can’t wait to start sowing it soon.
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A rare sighting of me, still obsessed with kale!

I also made a beeline for last year’s allotment winner, lots of neat bare beds but I was impressed by the quality of the veg she’s still got growing and looking so healthy.

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The cabbage man has eaten the majority of his giant crop but a few remain, still looking impressive.

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I also noticed a huge net box! Plus, one that is still covering carrots from last year and I spied some seedlings in a greenhouse – could they be monster leeks and onions!

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It was nice to spend time at my folks allotments and I sensed a really good vibe among the allotmenteers. I’m looking forward to visiting again and seeing what happens over the next few months.

This weekend has been grey and slightly snowy so far and I’ve had to dig the indoors today! I’ve finally been able to catch up Monty Don’s French Gardens series that Wellywoman reminded me of in her recent post. The Gourmet Garden episode was of particular interest to me because it covers the topic of my latest challenge, which is to more carefully buy food products that I can trace the source of.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend and have had better weather than me. Have you been spending more time outside in your gardens lately?


Curly kale & baked kale chips – an appreciation!

When I made baked kale chips for the first time this year I was amazed and it fast became one of my favourite things to eat. My mum has an abundance of it growing in her allotment and it’s the number 1 item on my to-grow list for next year. I made some for Adam and after one taste his exact words were, “wow, it’s a revelation!”  I was so happy this morning when Sue A left a comment on my allotment in December blog post asking me to share the recipe. So I thought I’d post it here as an appreciation for an amazing vegetable and revelation in the way you can eat your greens!

It’s very simple, you just need kale, olive oil and salt.

  • Wash the kale and strip out the stalks.
  • Break it up into bite size pieces and dry it as well as you can.
  • Pop the pieces onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Roll the kale around in the oil and salt. You don’t want too much oil and it might take you a couple of times to get the amount right for your liking.
  • Bake in middle of a hot oven. Around 180 degrees.

It cooks really fast, anything from 5 minutes onwards, so I take the tray out and mix the kale up often so it cooks evenly. It will brown up and crisp up and it’s down to trial and error to work out just how crispy you like it. I cook mine for around 10 minutes now, turning regularly and in the middle of the oven so it doesn’t burn.

It smells rather ‘sprouty’ when cooking but it tastes sooo good! Have you tried cooking this?

HarlowCarr_IMG_8163Thank you curly kale for being totally awesome.

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