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”

Veg and fruit stars from Dobies

Veg from seeds plus chilli plants

Carrot Oxenheart
Carrot Oxenheart from the Rob Smith Heritage Range. Picture; Dobies

Cut your fruit and veg bills this summer by growing your own and Dobies has some cracking ideas for those with and without gardens.

From the firm’s spring catalogue comes the Good Life Range, come these three top veg choices – two which can be still grown from seed and chilli plants, ideal for a patio, sunny windowsill or under glass up north.

Carrot Oxenheart: From Rob Smiths’ excellent Heritage  Range. A snub-nosed, old French variety you certainly won’t see in the shops. It will grow well in containers or shallow soil, unlike most standard carrot varieties. Sweet and tender, Oxenheart is a quick grower and an excellent keeper. Code: 434119, price £2.50 per seed packet.
Continue reading “Veg and fruit stars from Dobies”

Rude veg competition

Van Meuwen’s saucy contest has a serious message

rude carrot winner
The winner… from Mrs. D Brand, of Weston-super-Mare

Oh, matron! Following the success of its Vulgar Veg competition last year, Van Meuwen is again giving growers the chance to enter its ‘veg patch misfits’ into a contest to find the UK’s naughtiest-shaped produce.

There’s a prize of £500 worth of Van Meuwen vouchers to the grower of the winner.

Last year, Van Meuwen relaunched chilli pepper Chilli Willy, which caused a sensation at the Garden Press Event. Hidden for the sake of decency behind a pair of red boxer shorts, this old variety gave those who dared to lift the covering quite a shock! Continue reading “Rude veg competition”

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!”

New exhibition and culinary parsnip

Parsnip TZ9045 hailed by showbench growers

Parsnip TZ9045 F1 by DT Brown
Parsnip TZ9045 F1 by DT Brown. Picture; Jim Pearson

We all love exhibition veg, whether we grow them or not, and a new, British-bred parsnip has caused a stir among National Vegetable Society (NVS) members.

DT Brown included a trial packet of parsnip TZ9045 F1 in an issue of the NVS’s Simply Veg magazine to gauge members’ opinions.

Feedback was so good, the company is now offering the parsnip seed exclusively in the Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Seed and Plant Catalogue 2017.

The variety is already making its mark on the showbenches, with its clean, white skin. One grower at the Malvern Autumn Show
2016 said he had been able to enter the same parsnip root into Continue reading “New exhibition and culinary parsnip”

Franchi and Antonio Carluccio join forces

Grow Antonio’s recipes with seeds from the world’s oldest seed company

Vegetables by Antonio Carluccio
Vegetables by Antonio Carluccio

For lovers of Italian food, Franchi Seeds of Italy is working with chef Antonio Carluccio, who has just published his latest sell-out book, Vegetables.

Antonio, known as the Godfather of Italian food, shares more than 120 recipes using vegetables from leaves and roots to pods. The book covers many of the varieties in the Franchi ranges, so you can grow, cook and eat his dishes.

He researches the botanical family of each type of vegetable, its history, how to buy and prepare it. There are pasta, soups, vegetable bakes and salads, risottos, pickles, stews, tarts, dips, even some sweet cakes, and biscuits. Continue reading “Franchi and Antonio Carluccio join forces”