Second earlies, seeds…

Second earlies were planted last Monday, 30th March. Just the maincrop to go now.

On Tuesday, I sowed some more seeds – Chillis Pinocchio’s Nose, and Pyramid as well as potting on some of the February-sown seeds. Tomatoes – 3 Kenches Gold, 3 Snow White Cherry, 3 Sugar Italian Plum are in new pots, as are some parsleys – Laura and Moss Curled.  I I also made some rhubarb crumble with the first pickings this year of rhubarb. Yum. Plenty of rhubarb to be had this year, so am on the lookout for jam recipes… 

On Thursday, sowed some more seeds – Aubergine Farmers Long, Lemon Coriander, Karmazyn Broad beans, Seakale, and Cauliflower Violet Queen.

Friday saw the transplanting of onion seedlings – Red Baron, Up-to-Date, Rosca Di Toscana, Bedfordshire Champion, and Tondo Musona. I also sowed a short row of turnips – Purple Top Milan.

OH has tidied up the fruit section on the allotment, putting stakes and wires up. Also, he has been preparing the marrow/pumpkin beds. I think we will look for more squashy seeds. The allotments are looking very tidy (for once at this time of year).

There is blossom on the fruit trees down the allotment. The soft fruit bushes are more “advanced” in the garden – flowers already attracting busy bees. Only the one gooseberry on the plot is ahead of the garden gooseberries which aren’t yet in flower.

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Cheese total disaster

Well, OH had a go at cheesemaking. He didn’t follow a recipe, didn’t know what he was doing and consequently, it was a disaster. Better luck next time!

Is it dry yet?

Things have had 9 hours or so. Strawberries I think are ready, so now they’ve gone into work with OH or into my stomach!
drystraw1

The apples are nearly dry, though a few have been eaten or on their way to be eaten at OH’s work.
dryapplees1
The bananas, well, they feel a bit strange but still a touch sticky. Will check again in an hour or so.
drynana1

Food Dehydrator

Having umm’d and arr’d for a couple of years, finally ordered it last week and received it today. It is a Stockli Food Dehydrator sold by the Organic Gardening Catalogue. It is big, well, bigger than I thought it would be, with a diameter of about 13inches.
Stockli Food Dehydrator
The dehydrator can take upto 10 trays! It came with 3 trays, though additional trays can be bought in twos.
I had posted last year questions about the food dehydrator on the A4A messageboard. I had another look at that thread – good job I did, because it reminded me about 2 books I bought from Amazon but I could only remember one (Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook).
Tray of Strawberries
The dehydrator is currently drying halved strawberries, halved-lengthways bananas and wedged apples. Drying time estimated for the whole lot, from the manual, is between 6 and 15 hours. The apples, in theory, take less time than the bananas and strawberries, so are placed on top, with strawberries in the bottom tray. To prevent discolouration, the apples and bananas have been brushed with lemon juice.
Tray of Sliced Bananas