SELF-SUFFICIENCY

I would like to have a few things to keep me happy and they would ensure that we could be self-sufficient.

Not in the exact order: a cow, some chickens and a few sheep and I would keep all that in a walled garden. Well, a woman can dream…..

But we’re almost there, even without these special items. Today’s harvest was:

I think the big tomato must be the biggest one I’ve ever managed to grow – 181 g!!

And this is just about the start, there will be many more. I found a way of bottling them in Kilner jars, gently cook them with some sliced garlic and olive oil, then add chopped rosemary and basil. When the jars are filled I sterilise them in water bath for about 5 minutes and that way I shall have a good supply of chopped tomatoes for the winter.

I tried Borlotto beans in the past but always used them young. This time I have let them dry on the vine; I will shell them as they dry and then store them in large jars with some silica sachets to reduce the moisture. Again, a very useful addition to winter soups and stews. They are very attractive when maturing, the pods are bright red before they dry and turn dusty purple.

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NEW POTATOES

I had an old dustbin on the allotment – with holes already drilled so it was obvious that someone grew something in it. I brought it home, put it behing my greenhouse and put some of my potatoes in. They have sprouted and weren’t good for anything else and as I don’t like to throw anything away, I planted them there. It was very early in the year – February I think. If they did well – fine, if not – fine too.

They did well and I’ve got the result for our lunch today, served with home-made pesto, together with a cheese and onion flan.

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