Organic September 2017: the Soil Association

Food As it Should Be for healthier eating

This month is Organic September, organised by the Soil Association (SA), and you can get involved – or if you’re a novice about eating and growing organically, there is plenty of help out there.

This year’s mission statement is ‘Food As It Should Be’, following in-depth research into the organic consumer last year. Head to for offers, promotions, stories, recipes, and competitions. Continue reading “Organic September 2017: the Soil Association”

Win The Jam Maker’s Garden book

new gardening cookbook review and competition

The Jam Maker's Garden
The Jam Maker’s Garden by Holly Farrell

Ever grown a crop of fruit or veg and it’s done so well you end up with a glut and haven’t got a clue how to use or preserve it?

Well, this new book, The Jam Maker’s Garden – Grow Your Own Seasonal Preserves could be the answer – and you can win one in this week’s competition.

Written by Holly Farrell with pictures by Jason Ingram and published by Frances Lincoln, this is NOT a book to keep on the shelf – you’ll need it to hand in the kitchen when you bring your crops indoors and decide what to do with them.

As well as a useful beginners’ section on what equipment you’ll need to make jams, jellies, chutneys, ketchup, curds, etc, the Continue reading “Win The Jam Maker’s Garden book”

Top tips for growing citrus fruit

Lubera shares the secrets of successful citrus fruiting and overwintering

Not the easiest of fruits to grow but here are some vital tips. Picture; Lubera

The care and harvesting success of citrus plants stands and falls with the overwintering of them. Anyone who has visited an original orangery knows that the winter conditions are cool and bright.

Swiss fruit expert Lubera has shared these hints and tips to help you grow the perfect limes, lemons, and oranges.

The winter temperature needs to be between 5°C and 10°C, so that the plants go “dormant” period. Under Continue reading “Top tips for growing citrus fruit”

Win The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom

Win a copy of revamped gardening book classic plus review

The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom
The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom

The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom is one of the gardening world’s classic books – and you can win an updated version in this week’s competition.

Tagged as ‘the book of the century’ by horticulturist Michael Michaud, it was first published in 1984, and was hailed as a game-changer by professionals and keen amateur gardeners alike.

The original book was inspired by Joy’s year-long ‘Grand Vegetable Tour’ around Europe with her family and later trials with oriental vegetables.

The name is a slight misnomer – there are more than 200 vegetables, wild plants, herbs, etc covered at length in its nearly 300 pages – not just salad ‘leaves’ but everything you could possibly put in a salad. Continue reading “Win The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom”

Sea buckthorn berries and recipes

Growing superfood berries at home and how to use them

Sea buckthorn Botanica
Sea buckthorn Botanica

Sea buckthorn oils and capsules have been a staple at health food shops for a while – but how about growing and eating them fresh?

Fruit expert Lubera has two new sea buckthorns with Eastern European origins, which taste much milder than their German relatives when eaten fresh, due to less acidity. They are packed with vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids, and flavonoids. Continue reading “Sea buckthorn berries and recipes”

Vegetable shortages – eat seasonally!

Cut veg air miles and eat our own growers’ winter produce

Monster last Cavili courgette of the year

While I’m not missing courgettes and lettuce in February, it appears shortages of imported vegetables from Spain and Italy due to bad weather are causing consternation among the chattering classes.

I’m all for DT Brown’s advice to rely more on seasonal produce and stored home-grown vegetables – give me Continue reading “Vegetable shortages – eat seasonally!”