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Posts tagged 'Genus garden'

Parsnip soup

6 January 2014


I’ve finally managed to harvest the parsnips. You need to wait until the leaves die down before lifting them, but that was in the middle of Christmas. When I finally had a few minutes to spare, it was raining heavily.

Not ideal, but once the mud was washed off, there were several kilos of wonderful fresh, home-grown parsnips.

Much of what I grow in the Genus vegetable garden is made into soup so I, and all the visitors who come to Field Cottage, can enjoy the produce right through the year. The two parsnip soups I chose this time were really successful so I’d like to recommend them to you.

Creamy parsnip and apple soup

I used this brilliant recipe from the BBC food pages.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a Bramley apple tree, so the apples are shop bought. I’m thinking about planting a Bramley this year, as it’s so useful to have cooking apples for pies, desserts and of course for this soup.

Spicy roasted parsnip soup

The other parsnip soup I made was also from one of the BBC food sites. This is wonderfully tasty, not too spicy.

In both recipes, the onions and garlic came from the garden, so I would say I’m some way towards being self-sufficient, even if that’s not my aim.


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Yellow Rattle

9 December 2013

Yellow rattleIt was interesting that Monty Don opened today's programme on the Great British Garden Revival with an explanation of how yellow rattle helps wildflower meadows to grow.  It was only two days ago that we sowed yellow rattle seed in the wildflower corner in the Genus garden.

In a wildflower meadow, grasses can overpower the flowers. Yellow rattle is a parasitic plant that attaches its own roots to the roots of grasses and inhibits their growth, so the flowers have a better chance.

Yellow rattle needs a period of cold weather to germinate, so the best time to sow the seed is now, in December.  Around July, the plant produces seeds that "rattle" inside the pod, and only when they have dispersed should the meadow be cut.

To sow the yellow rattle, I first cut the meadow with the mower set quite low, then scattered the seed, and passed over it with the roller to make sure that the seed is in contact with the soil.

I'll now wait to see if we get a good crop.

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