Tuesday, 14 August 2012

One of our community partners at work is the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and they recently hosted a film & supper evening.  

Supper consisted of homegrown produce from Stirley Farm:

** Nettle Pesto ** crackers ** sweet beetroot & garlic 'pickle' **
followed by 
** potato & cheese pie **
(with meaty option for the meatysaurus')

The nettle pesto was very interesting - for those adventurous sorts, here is a copy of the recipe, with thanks to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust / Chris Bax from Taste the Wild:

Really Wild Pesto

40g Hazel nuts
60g cheese (Parmesan or a more local cheese, if you like)
10 Wild Garlic leaves chopped
2 large (gloved!) handfuls of nettles, blanched and then patted dry
10g sea salt flakes
Oil (olive oil or Yorkshire Rapeseed oil, if you want to make local pesto!)

For a very smooth pesto put all the ingredients apart from the oil into a food processor and blend briefly. Now with the motor running add enough oil to make a paste consistency. Put into jars and store in the fridge for up to 10 days.

For a more course textured pesto, use a pestle and mortar. Start by pounding the hazel nuts, then add the leaves, then the cheese and lastly add the oil to get a good sauce consistency.

Top tip - apparently the nettles need to be very young ... let me know if you try it :)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Garlic time !!

sadly not for harvesting, but planting ! 

Popped out to a food festival during my lunchtime and fell across a Garlic Farm stall selling various garlicky items including 'seed garlic'.  Yippee.  So I bought two bulbs - confusingly though the man on the stall said that the variety is 'Isle of Wight' ... but there isn't an 'Isle of Wight' variety right ?  I think I'll go back tomorrow and quiz him again !!  It was a white variety, so I'll have to keep my eye open for a purple variety.  Planning to plant it September / October :)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

would anybody like some Nicandra Physalodes seeds ?

Apparently it is a native of S America.  A plant self seeded in my neighbour's garden last year and he saved some seed.  It has a very unusual leaf when it is immature - vibrant green with black speckles.  The flowers are a beautiful shade of blue, but very short lived and then they form Chinese Lanterns.

I think it is related to the Nightshade family and rumour has it that it is an insect repellant ...

Think it is still fairly unusual in the UK, although it seems it self seeds as it is one of the varieties included in bird seed.

I've not managed to get a good picture yet, but here is a link to the RHS description:


I'm collecting the lanterns as apparently the seeds are prolific, so if you would like some let me know :)