Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great idea

Thanks to  Frank Gapinski
Easy Vertical Bottle Garden
All you need is a small amount of vertical space around a balcony or an open window which can hang or store a vertical array of drink bottles that can grow all your herbs and lettuce easily. Recycle as many of your plastic drink containers. Make sure they are roughly the same size. Remove the labels. The larger two litre soft drink containers are ideal.
Drill a hole through each screw-on bottle top lid so that water can drip from one bottle down to the next.
Cut the base of the second bottle so the neck of the first bottle can funnel into the second bottle. Secure the bottles together, using plastic silicone or a glue gun to make sure your array of bottles are held securely in place.
An opening in the bottle for the seedling to grow through can be easily cut out with a serrated knife or a sharp pair of scissors. This will allow your plants to grow out and be picked.
Fill each bottle half full with potting mix and hang the assembly in a sunny location. Water the top container and watch any surplus water drip down to the remaining bottles. An empty bottle at the very bottom of your bottle garden can be added to collect any excess water. When full you can reuse this water and start the process trickling down once again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Making pesto and drying figs

Yes the current days activity;  Mmn! the smell of fresh basil fills the house - love it!
The recipe I use is at  but i modify it by using mostly rapeseed oil and cashews instead of pine nuts for economy.   We bottle it and freeze it for a winter treat (I know people warn against freezing cheese but we have had no problem with it)
The figs we are cutting into quarters, removing any thick skin and drying in the solar dryer or by the stove to use as dried fruit in baking.   In years to come I hope to have seedless grapes (now growing in the polytunnel) to dry for raisins etc. for the same purpose.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Our annual open weekend

Yes its time for our annual open weekend we will be opening from 10 to 5 on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September see the info on Heritage Open days site
We will be delighted to show you round our eco house and food growing garden and there should be refreshments available..

Monday, August 13, 2012


Our harvest is well under way:  Lots of tomatoes, raspberries and French beans disappearing into the freezer, cherry plum jam and blackberry jam and in bottles.  Strawberries, apricots, peaches and figs to eat, busy times but the best!   If you are in our area and want a cockerel contact me - we have to find a home for Clarence (my favourite cockerel!)
We have to give away our cockerel (we are in North Essex)