Archive | March 2017

Potato Rose, Rose Potato

Has anyone tried this before? I’ve seen clips on Pinterest and Facebook about an easy and cheap way to propagate roses from supermarket bunches using a potato.

I think its to do with the starch in the potato that acts as a boost to the rose as it produces roots. Anyway, whilst I read more to learn the science, I thought I would give it a go. I have tried propagating from bought flowers before, but not to any great success. To be honest, I think if it was as easy as its made out to be, more of us would be doing it?

Anyway, I am prepared to do the experiment and feed back the results, but I would love to hear your views. Have you tried this, or something similar?

 

March 18th 2017.

Drilled a hole in a potato to about halfway. Chose a rose stem that was quite thick. It had been in water and rose food for a couple of days from the supermarket.

I cut the flower off and left two leaves, put it into the potato and put the whole lot into compost with some slow release food and have placed it in the greenhouse.

I’ll keep you updated…….

March 26th 2017

I took off one of the leaves as it was drying out and I didn’t want the rose to focus on the leaves rather than putting down roots. Otherwise it looks OK.

Rhubarb Syrup

This is a simple syrup that is great for cocktails or soft drinks, but can also be made a little thicker so it can be added to ice-cream, porridge or pancakes.

I’ve used home grown, but as a basic rule when shopping for rhubarb, make sure the stalks are firm and crisp and not old or slimy. Thinner, pink stems will be sweetest, but lighter coloured stalks (which are slightly tarter) are OK for this recipe, because of the amount of sugar involved.

Ingredients

1lb Rhubarb

1pt water

8oz sugar – I used granulated.

Method

Make sure all the stems are washed and chop off the ends. Chop into pieces about ½ inch long.

Place in a saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for about 15 mins. Give it a stir to help break the pieces up. Skim any foam that rises to the top.

After 15mins the rhubarb will have broken up and become mushy. It will have lost most of its colour, but the water will be a bright pink. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. I strained mine into a measuring jug, rinsed the pan and put the liquid back in, but you can use a clean pan.

Once you have all the liquid you can get rid of the rhubarb pulp (although there’s nothing wrong with it, I ate mine with some strawberry yoghurt. Waste not want not!)

Put the liquid back on the heat and slowly add the sugar. The liquid needs to boil, but keep stirring to dissolve all of the sugar. You can also be checking for what consistency you want the syrup. For a thicker syrup, boil for a bit longer to reduce the consistency.

Let the syrup simmer for 5 or so minutes and skim off any more foam that rises.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Pour into a sterilised glass container, seal and refrigerate. The syrup should last for several weeks – if you can leave it alone!

I made a rhubarb cocktail with mine (just to test it of course.)

1 measure Gin

Rhubarb Syrup

Lemon juice

Pour over ice and top up with soda or tonic.

I can vouch that its also very good with prosecco!!

The Recipe Section

As an introduction to the recipes section, I think its worth explaining that my main motivation is about making the most of what I can grow, forage, beg, borrow and steal (or get given). So some recipes on here will contain ingredients that are perhaps not that everyday – unless you are a hardcore forager/gardener!

One of the ideas behind this blog was to write about food and the garden from a perspective of less waste, foraging and making the most of the plants that we have. I’m growing a lot for floristry and flower arranging, but we have some veg as well. A big influence is a book I picked up by James Wong  (@Botanygeek) called The Homegrown Revolution.

I’ll be referring to this on occasion, but also websites, blogs and books by other writers. I will always reference where I have got ideas from, and would also love to hear from people that have suggestions for ingredients or recipes.