Categories
Recipes

Rhubarb Gin

For years, I’ve been freezing Rhubarb, when really, I should have been drinking it.

There’s lots of recipes online on how to make pink rhubarb gin, and they’re all pretty much the same.

There's gin and then, there's rhubarb gin


If you start off with a 70cl bottle of gin, by the time you’ve added the sugar and the rhubarb has released it’s syrup, you’ll end up with around a litre of fluid, if not just over that, so with that in mind you’ll need a container that will hold that much fluid, which is quite sizeable.


Ingredients

  • 900g Rhubarb top and tailed
  • 70cl gin
  • 300g of granulated (or caster) sugar

Directions

  1. Wash and chop the rhubarb into thumbs and add to the container with the sugar. Stir, shake and mix the sugar and rhubarb together so that the rhubarb is well coated – leave overnight.
  2. The next evening, add the gin and give everything another good shake and stir. Leave in a cupboard for around 4 weeks.
  3. Using a funnel and a coffee filter, run the liquid into a new container. This is not totally 100% essential in my opinion, but it does produce excellent results.

Enjoy with a tonic of your choice and a slice of lemon 🙂

What gin infusions do you try? Do you know of a variation of this recipe? If yes, I’d love to know in the comments below.

Categories
Allotment Diary

Cutting Grass

Is there anything more satisfying than seeing some grass being cut?

Well – sit back and enjoy!

Categories
Allotment Diary Main Crop Potatoes Maris Piper

Dig vs. No Dig: Potatoes

It’s potato planting season and this year, I’ve decided to have a little bit of an experiment to help satisfy my own curiosity.

I’m yet to go full on No Dig, but I have been doing a lot reading and for the most part it’s making total sense to do so.

The No Dig habits I have picked up have been paying dividends the most notable is keeping the beds covered to help keep the weeds down. The second being to hoe little and often, again to keep the weeds at bay.

Now I’m dipping my toes into the No Dig method for real and I thought I’d have some fun by pitting No Dig potatoes against potatoes grown in a more traditional method.

I’m not just looking at returns, I’m also looking at how convenient it is too.

The potatoes I’m growing are Maris Piper potatoes, which are a good all round potato, and are a main crop.

The first thing I did was split my potato bed into two – one side being for dig, and the other for no dig.

Growing No dig potatoes

Finally, keeping all of that cardboard from all of those online deliveries paid of.

For the no dig side, I laid down some cardboard, of which we had accumulated quite a lot over the last few weeks, and emptied a few cans of water onto the cardboard to stop it from flapping around, and to flatten it even more.

Then started to empty the compost bin on top of the cardboard. There’s no technical ability required – and it was good to get stuck in and burn some calories. I was sure to leave a border of cardboard as well to stop weeds coming through.

I then spaced out the potatoes about a trowels depth apart, and planted them about a trowels depth into the mound.

I took a lot of cues from Charles Dowding’s “How to grow potatoes without digging?” video below. It’s a fairly straight forward method to be fair and it’ll be great to see if they turn out the same (or similar). I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Growing Dig potatoes

I’m not too sure if “dig potatoes” is even a term, but we’ll just use it for the sake of this post. 🙂

I first dug a couple of deep trenches, which were about a spits depth (a spits depth is a fancy term meaning a spade deep), making mounds either side of the trenches.

Much like the no dig potatoes, I spaced them around a trowels depth apart.

I then dug a hole for each potato and planted it into the trench. I then watered each of the sides of the bed generously.

As they grow, for the no dig bed, I’ll add soil from the compost bin, and for the dig bed I’ll move earth from the sides of the mounds into the trench – and this is really to help protect the shoots from any frost damage that may occur.

The weather is still a bit on the cool side, so the likelihood of the frost causing damage is still a possibility.

And now we wait. I’ll keep you posted on developments, but in the meantime, I’d love to know if you’ve grown potatoes in different ways and how you’ve got on with them in the comments below. 🙂

Categories
Allotment Diary

Age UK Mobility: Simple gardening tips for those with limited mobility

I’m delighted to have taken part in an article with Age UK Mobility offering some gardening tips on how those with limited mobility can get the most out of their gardens and green spaces.

The article can be found in the link below and it’s packed full of advice. Be sure to check it out 🙂

Categories
Recipes

Rhubarb and port crumble

Rhubarb and port crumble

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

There's rhubarb Crumble... And then there's Rhubarb and Port crumble!

When someone suggested adding a few shots of port to the rhubarb mix… I was intrigued.

Ingredients

  • 450-550g of rhubarb cut up into thumbs
  • 90g of sugar, either caster or granulated will do
  • Approx. 3-4 tablespoons of port to taste
  • 130g of flour
  • 65g of butter
  • 50g of soft brown sugar

Directions

  1. Combine the rhubarb, caster/granulated sugar and port into a saucepan and bring this to a simmer. Keep on a simmer for around 10-5 minutes and once soft, take off the heat and allow this to cool.
  2. Combine the flour, brown sugar and butter into a bowl and work with your fingers until everything is of a breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Pre-heat an oven to 200C – 180C fan – gas 6.
  4. Add the stewed rhubarb to a pie or crumble dish of choice.
  5. Spread the crumble mix over the top evenly.
  6. Bake in the over for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with cream or topping of your choice 🙂

Categories
Allotment Diary

Bringing a Banana plant back to life

Toward the beginning of March I had a knock on the door from a chap down the road asking if I wanted to try and bring a banana plant back to life.

Like most plants, there was some sentiment attached, and so I took up the challenge to see if I can put ones botany skills to the test.

I’ve documented what happened just to quench my own curiosity.

March 12th 2021

The plant was in a less than desirable state. There were a lot of dead leaves, there were dead parts of the stem, where outside leaves had started to rot, and this has stunted growth and stopped a new set of leaves from opening up and photosynthesising.

I cut off the the dead leaves and stripped back three or four layers of the plant, getting back to the healthy un-rotted stems. Granted this does look quite brutal, but it was really to open up the plant and cut back to where there are signs of life.


March 21st 2021

Over the course of the week, the plant (I think) was getting over it’s amputation and making use of the room for growth.

At this point, I watered every other day and kept a close eye on what would happen next.

The plant was a pale green, and I was encouraged that there was growth coming up out of the middle of the plant.


March 29th 2021

I noticed that the plant was turning kind of yellow-ish, which is a sign of too much water and/or poor drainage. Therefore, I held off watering every other day and let it do it’s thing.

The middle of the plant grew faster than I’ve expected at this point, and I couldn’t wait to see it open up with fresh leaves. Rather significant as these were the first fresh set of leaves.


11th April 2021

The first leaf was well and truly opened up, and the plant as a whole was a nice deep green colour. This means the watering routine (approx. 3-4 pints every 2-3 weeks – and or looking dry) was paying off.

That said I did notice the banana plant was leaking fluid. The stem at the base and the end of leaves had droplets, which is a sign of slightly too much water.


18th April 2021

Freaky looking mushrooms have grown at the base of the post in the last week or so..

Have removed these as I’m not keen on mushrooms in places on where they shouldn’t be.

Mushrooms will give off spores, with can lead to mouldy plants. I actually don’t know these types of mushrooms – if you recognise them, let me know in the comments below.


18th April 2021

My work here is done…

The watering became a bit more stringent in these last few days and it certainly paid off.

The plant was a deep green and the second set of leaves were a lovely and broad and deep green in colour.

The stem was also just as green with no dead or rotting in sight.

Before and After

I think the results speak for themselves, and it only took a month and a half!

Do you have any plant saving stories? I’d love to hear them in the comment below 🙂