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 🙂

Categories
Allotment Diary

The day I met Joe Swift

The other day, I found another absolute gem in the hard drive from the old radio days, which I’m hoping you’ll enjoy.

A bit of background…

Back in 2012, I was a roving reporter for my local radio station, (the great Radio Jackie) and around that time I had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Swift at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton about gardening and his first entry in the Chelsea Flower Show 2012.

The garden designer and Gardener’s World presenter and had joined forces with Homebase to produce the Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden.

To raise awareness and in support of the trust, Joe Swift held a closed gardening workshop for previous patients at the hospital to come along and learn how to plant a variety of seeds, plants, bulbs and vegetables and learn about the benefits of gardening.

Date:20/04/2012 Rep:Sophia Sleigh Ref:SU65881 Contact Name/Number:Sophia Address:Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5PT Job Details:Title: gardening marsden gardening at royal marsden for past patient – https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/9671920.gardeners-world-presenter-joe-swift-visits-royal-marsden-hospital-in-sutton/

This is the discussion we had and the edited audio – I can’t believe that this was nearly ten years ago now! How time flies.

Audio

Transcript

Joe: I’m going to be talking to some of the cancer patients for the Teenage Cancer Trust, about gardening really, how wonderful it is to plant some seeds, watch them grow, get a bit colour into your life, and how easy a lot of gardening is really, and here, we’re just going to be planting a few tomato seeds and planting a few bedding plants and creating a bit of colour.

Adam: Now, I’m 22 and I have my own allotment, now why do you think it’s so important for young people to get out there and get stuck in?

Joe: You know, I just think so many kids and young people like yourself are sitting around, playing video games and watching TV and stuff – and it’s really up to us to create the opportunity to get kids out there, get younger people into gardening, it’s great for the environment, but as you know yourself the rewards can’t really be gained by anything else, in a funny sort of way. There are no down sides to gardening, none that I’ve found yet, and I’ve been doing it for years. Everything is so positive about it.

Adam: How is the garden doing at Chelsea, has it got a long way to go?

Joe: Well yeah, we started the build on May 1st, so I’ve different parts of the garden all over the country at the moment. I’ve got these huge timber frames which are down in Kent, I’ve got my boulders which are up in Yorkshire, I’ve got my plants which are in Hampshire – I desperately want to get them all together and get building because the process before is great, it’s exciting but now I just want to get on with it.

Adam: This is your first garden you said earlier – you must be nervous, I mean you’re going up against people that have been there for years – not that I’m trying to put you off or anything.

Joe: I know, I know…I know them all pretty well, I’m right next door to Cleve West who is one of my best mates and basically won best in show last year. He won a gold and best in show and has got six golds at Chelsea and I’m right next door to him. I have set myself off having slagged of many peoples gardens on TV, so I’m waiting for it all to come back on me, but I’m really enjoying it so far, and you know, it’s a dream garden – you don’t get to do these sorts of gardens for clients.

Adam: What would say to young people who want to get an allotment but feel it’s not really cool, it’s not very trendy…

Joe: Hang on, hang on – Allotments are cool. They are cool! Honestly! I live in Hackney, just up the road from Dalston, which apparently is the coolest place on earth and everyone is growing their own down there in any little space, balcony, roof garden, if they can get part of an allotment or even get an allotment and divide it up between four or five of you. A big allotment is quite a responsibility, I mean there’s nothing more fun than four or five of you going down there, growing a bit, getting a BBQ, getting some salads and getting some beers out. In the summer, it’s just a wonderful space, you can kind of do whatever you want and that’s what gardening is about. If you’ve got your garden then great, but if you haven’t then get somewhere you can grow together.

Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden 2012

Pictures of Joe’s first garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012, can be found here.

He won gold and was presented with the award by none other than Roger Daltrey, Who you may have heard of from a well known four piece. The Who front man is a patron of the trust.

How time flies. Allotments were cool and still are (in my opinion). Do you think the number of young people getting into gardening has increased over the last ten years? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Ask Adam

Ask Adam #13: Filling a raised bed

Kav from Scotland has written in with the following question regarding some new raised beds:

I’m filling our raised beds and wondered what you suggest we fill them with? (They will be used for vegetables). I’ve read conflicting information about rocks, branches and gravel! Our raised beds are on top of soil – we dug out all the grass.

Kav, Scotland
Categories
Allotment Stories

Then and now

Summer 2018
Categories
Allotment Stories

Before the clocks spring forward

March 2021...
Stormy twilight and birdsong