I started the day with a simple smoothie; banana, mixed frozen berries, sprouted sunflower seeds and almond milk. Not bad.
I spent the morning at the Sissinghurst Smallholders Fair, held in the grounds of Sissinghurst Castle.
There were stallholders there giving advice and selling livestock and equipment you may want if you are a smallholder. These little piglets are 3 weeks old.
And these ones are only 1 and a half weeks old. So cute. Harvey wanted one!
There was a bar set up in the open barn
and a farmers market set up in the old granary. This is such a beautiful building.
I have never been up here before.
Inside I was struck by this lovely photo of a man on stilts setting up the wires for the hops to grow up.
They had some really interesting speakers lined up, including Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs fame but he was not speaking until 3 hours after we arrived and there was not enough to keep us amused for that long so we headed home. James did pop back to hear Kevin later on as your entrance fee let you go in and out but I stayed at home.
I wanted to cook something with my freshly cropped onions.
My family seem to have an aversion to using up jars once they have been opened so I used these, with a jar of passatta to make the base sauce for a ratatouille.
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 2 tbsps oil
- 1 large/2 medium onions
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 small aubergines, sliced
- 3 courgettes, sliced
- 2 peppers, sliced
- 1 large jar of passatta
- 2 tbsp tomato concentrate (or red pesto!)
- Salt and pepper
Red kidney beans
- Fry the onions and garlic
- Add the aubergine, courgettes and peppers and fry until soft
- Mix the passatta and tomato concentrate and stir in to the vegetables until warmed through
- Season to taste
- Either slowly bake in the oven on a low heat, or cook in a slow cooker for about 4 hours on low
I put mine in to a slow cooker and added a can of red kidney beans for protein.
Lunch was all picked from the garden – first tomatoes of the year
With some Stilton and salad cream.
My vegetable beds are bare . I haven’t done very well with succession planting this year and then having harvested the onions and shallots and cleared out the brassicae, there is too much bare earth. So I replanted.
I planted some “winter lettuce’ which apparently grow through the winter, 2 other types of lettuce, rocket, corn salad and radishes, all of which say on the packet, they can be sown until September. So I am feeling quite confident about those. I also tried some spinach as I am sure I was successful last year when I sowed it late. I also tried 2 varieties of dwarf green beans. I read last week that if we have an Indian summer, they can grow in time. They are easy to sow so I tried them. I feel better about the bare earth now as it is no longer empty but instead is full of promise.
These beans are doing well, despite the battle I am losing with the weeds all around them.
Dinner was fantastic. To go with the ratatouille I did potatoes baked with garlic and rosemary. Wow, they were good. And oh yes, it all came from the garden
New Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
- New potatoes
- Olive oil
- Heat oven to 180 ° C
- Scrub potatoes and cut so they are even sizes
- Strip the rosemary from the stalk and roughly chop
- Pour some oil in to the base of a roasting tray.
- Crush the garlic and mix in to the oil
- Add the potatoes, rosemary and salt and mix so all the potato is well coated in oil
- Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes
This dinner was all about the vegetables and all four of us loved it. To go with the ratatouille were some carrots, yellow and green beans. All freshly picked from the garden.
4 empty plates were testament to how delicious this was. And so healthy too.
This is an amazing time of year for produce from the garden. I am completely enjoying it and delighted my family are too.