Stir fry

Stir fryThis is where the beans, peppers and some homegrown cabbage went. With halloumi, courgette, aubergine and red pesto.

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Sprouting beans

Sprouting beansMethod for sprouting beans from Celia Brooks Brown’s New Urban Farmer:

Take one large jar.  Fill it to about 1/8th with dried beans (I’ve used a mixed packet).  Cover the jar tightly with the end of a pair of old tights, stockings or similar.  Fill with water and soak overnight.  Tip the water out and rinse the beans, draining the water through the tights.  Drain out the water, and lie the jar on its side to let any excess water drain out.  Cover the jar to keep out the light.  Leave for one day.  Thereafter, rinse the beans twice daily.  Once they start sprouting, let the light into the jar.  The sprouts should be ready in 4-6 days.

This is a good way of growing fresh nutritious food in the depths of winter.  For my next attempt, I am going to research the best beans and seeds for sprouting, rather than using a mixed pack which had rather large beans such as butter beans.  They worked but were a bit crunchy.

Red pepper Nardello

Red pepper NardelloThese seeds came as a ‘lucky dip’ item from the Garden Organic Heritage Seed Library.  I’m not very good at remembering what I’ve planted, so I thought they were chillis.  Actually, they are a sweet pepper, good for frying.  So we had them in our stir fry last night, and they have a very full flavour, lovely and sweet.

I didn’t realise when I grew the peppers that you need to pinch out the stem to make them grow bushy.  Next year, I need to pinch out the growing stem at about 6″.  Nobody tells you these things when you start – you just happen across things by accident.

Loft insulation

Loft insulating fluffLiving in a rented house, we thought that we would not be entitled to subsidised insulation for the house.  We were wrong.  Also, when we plucked up the courage to ask our landlady if she would pay for it, she said ‘of course – everyone should be doing this’.  If only we’d asked sooner.

Anyway, Dyson Insulations have now done our walls, and they came today to do the loft.  This is the fluffy stuff that is now about three feet deep in our loft space.  It is apparently made out of recycled plastic, amongst other things.