Monday, 12 January 2015

Harvest Monday - another roast (and some seed sprouting)

Wow, it's been really windy the last few days and some heavy rain too. But I did get to the plot on Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours and made a start on a hugel bed (ooh).

This is where you layer up material, starting with logs at the bottom, then smaller branches then twiggy stuff, green stuff and then top off with some soil. I've got the first two layers done. Not sure exactly what I'm going to top it off with as I don't have any spare soil, but I might be getting some horse poo soon. The idea is that over time everything breaks down, levels out, and feeds the plants grown on top. Or if you build one as a toblerone shape you can plant-up the sides and top too.

I had a spot which was in a big dip, next to a big buddliea, so thought I'd bring up the level by making one of these beds. I am taking pics which I'll share later in the process. I'm planning on growing a couple of squash plants here but I'm a bit worried that slugs and snails will find it a nice place to live too. Though I found a couple of toads which might help (I moved them somewhere safe).

On to the harvests this week...not too much!

I forgot that sprouting seeds would count as a harvest - these are alf Alfa. My pack of seeds is 2 years old! I didn't sprout seeds for ages and they went out of date. So not that many actually germinate, but enough do each time, this is about half.

This is the start of the process - put in a couple of teaspoons of seeds, add some water and let them soak overnight. Then leave them in a light place and give them a rinse twice a day. After a few days they'll have sprouted and you can enjoy in salads, sandwiches, add at the end of a stir fry etc. There's loads of different seeds you can sprout too, like mung beans, lentils, chickpeas. This container has holes in the lid for the water to drain out and the green arm thing keeps it leaning at an angle. But you can just use an old jar and make holes in the lid (best to use a plastic one).

Yesterday I thought I'd use up some of my smaller squashes, one had started to go mouldy (it was one which came late from a self sown plant from the compost and probably hadn't cured properly)

But half of it was ok

And the others in half too:

The larger squash had big enough seeds to roast, so I did some of my hazel nuts at the same time (I roasted the amount that I could crack open in the time it took the squash to roast, which wasn't too long because I'd chopped them up quite small.)This is them before roasting, all that remains is in the paper bag. I roasted on gas mark 4 for about 10 mins (after the squash was finished on gas mark 6).

The roasted squash...YUM! With some of last week's chestnut roast from the freezer. Other veggies not home grown!

And a few of the hazels (all eaten now... SO TASTY! I hope I get more this year). The skin flakes off once they're roasted, making a nicer flavour.

That's me for for the week. Linking in with Harvest Monday on Daphne's Dandelions

 

 

18 comments:

  1. I had no idea how to sprout seeds - seems simple enough the way you've described it. Might give it a try some time. The squash looks great. I have a few of my own (that also probably didn't cure very well) that I should use up soon!

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    1. Yep, sprouting seeds is pretty easy Susie, you just have to remember to rinse them, otherwise they can go a bit funny. Some people have stackable containers and have lots on the go at once. I should probably do that, they're meant to be really good for you.
      I only have two big squashes left now. Must grow more this year!

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  2. Lovely squash. I used up my not well matured squash up early so they wouldn't rot out. Sadly I did have to toss one of the well cured ones out as it rotten. All the others are holding up well though.

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    1. Thanks Daphne, glad that most of your huge squash harvest is holding up :)

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  3. We'd have blown away if we had tried plotting, Is that a lasagne bed that you are creating?

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    1. Hi sue, it's been windy here too, brrr, but had calmed down a bit when I went down the plot.
      It's similar to a lasagne bed but from what I've read, a lasagne bed is made up of layers of soft material like newspaper, mushroom compost, leaf mould. The hugel bed has woody material that will break down over a longer time, feeding the bed for years once it gets going.

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  4. I love that you are starting a hugel bed. I have wanted to try it, but have nowhere to do it. My neighbors would complain. I hope it goes well. I love the hazelnuts. I have planted a couple plants in the yard, but they are too little to harvest from yet. I do love the taste of hazelnuts and don't think they are as hard to shell as many nuts.

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    1. Thanks Cristy, I'm looking forward to seeing how the hugel bed turns out. Shame about your neighbours, mine is down on the allotment where it doesn't matter if things look a bit scruffy.
      Good luck with your hazels, how long have they been planted out? I think mine took about 5 or six years but I didn't really look after them. I have one big one and a little one that's just catching up.

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  5. That orange squash looks lovely! And at least you were able to salvage half of the yellow one. Those nuts looks yummy too.

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    1. Thanks Margaret, I do love a roasted squash!

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  6. You've reminded me about sprouting seeds, I haven't done that for ages. I just saw a bag of dried peas in the drawer, I'm sure they'd work nicely. I need to check my squashes as well. The hugel bed sounds interesting, I'll look forward to hearing how you get on.

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  7. Peas would be good CJ. Or you could sow them in a shallow tray for posh pea shoots.
    Yep, I hope the hugel bed works out :)

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  8. You make me want to dust off my sprout kit on the counter and start utilizing it.
    http://LivingItUpAlternatively.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Rea. I reckon there's lots of dusty sprout kits knocking around! (Mine for most of the year for a start!) and slow cookers (again, like mine).

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  9. Like CJ I used to sprout seeds all the time - then I just stopped, no idea why. A bit like the preserving, but I've begun that again - see proof on the latest blog post! And the marmalade is yummy if I do say so myself.
    Mmm roasted squash, a real winter favourite with us. I season olive oil with herbs and spices and celery salt and roll the cubed squash in that and roast. Heartily recommended!

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    1. Funny isn't it Lynne, how you just get out of the habit of something. I go through phases of seed sprouting. Usually if I've left them for too long between rinsing and they go a bit funny it puts me off doing them for a while (even though it was my fault they went wrong).
      Well done on the marmalade, I've not made it before.

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  10. I've never been successful with sprouting seeds, maybe because I put too much water in and they rot. I hope to give them a go again, makes a lovely change in sandwiches and salads.

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  11. Hi Shaheen, I reckon just make sure you rinse and drain them off properly. If the holes in your sprouter get blocked it means the water can't drain out, so for example if you put too many seeds in to begin with and they expand once soaked it can block the holes too much. So maybe try and put a few less seeds in next time? One or two teaspoons is a good start. Definitely give it another go! :)

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