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With the ground warming up around the UK and some parts passing their Last Frost date, we can all start sowing most of the crops now (There are still crops which can be sown from the March and April month lists)…

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Organic Sweetcorn can be grown in your own back Garden !

Outdoors:

  • Maincrop sowings of root crops – carrots, beetroot, leeks, radishes, turnips etc

  • French, runner and broad beans, mangetout & podding peas – sow in modules/pots if you have trouble with slugs/mice etc

  • All the brassicas can still be sown this month for overwintering – kale, brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, summer and winter cabbages, calabrese and cauliflowers

  • Leaf beets inclduing Swiss Chard

  • Herbs including parsley, coriander and others

  • Keep sowing salads, Much better a small sowing every 2-3 weeks than a large patch that bolts before you can eat it

  • Early sowings of fennel – if you have trouble with it bolting, wait until mid-June

  • Sweetcorn – but only sow direct if the weather, and soil, are warm, if not then start it off in modules / small pots.

  • Salad Onions

In trays or pots

  • Brassicas & Salad Onions (If you have slug / snail problems)

  • French, runner and broad beans, all types of peas

  • Sweetcorn

In trays or pots indoors

  • Courgettes, squashes, cucumbers and melons – ideally best sown by the end of May

In a polytunnel / greenhouse

  • Summer salads

  • Basil & coriander

  • Plant out summer crops (tomatoes, peppers etc) started indoors once you’re certain night time temperatures won’t fall too low

Maintenance

  • Application of compost onto growing beds if you haven’t done so already (Creating compost in less than one year is possible with the right amount of turning and moisture / urine addition)
  • Weeding will be a chore now, good strikes on sunny days with a hoe will be useful
  • emptying your composting area and bagging up the not-so-ready compost / mulch / mold to stack somewhere out of your way and to continue composting in the bags (I recommend you get hold of stronger bags such as old compost bags or builders rubble bags as they can last years – contact a local established gardening firm or landscaping company, they often need to dispose of hundreds of mulch bags after large landscaping jobs or annual mulch applications)
  • Slug / Snail / pest control including checking regularly for Aphid and Spider Mites etc.
  • If Green manures were sown at the right dates, you may need to start chopping and forking them in as you should be getting ready to start planting crops such as Tomatoes etc.

Note/s:

We have had a pretty bad start to Spring / Early Summer – it was only 8 degrees celcius on Monday and we have had hardly any good sunshine besides that one week where we had perhaps four good days? You may still need to sow indoors with this unpredicatable weather otherwise outdoors may be a gamble considering this year’s miserable start …

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The date of the 2018 Off-Grid festival has been set, ticket sales are on and the organisers boast a larger site with about 50% higher capacity.

Previous events were held at Goffin’s Land, Exeter in Devon, now they have moved to Tapeley park, Christie Estates, Instow in North Devon. Click here for a Map of the area.

I first stumbled upon this event last year a mere week or so before the actual event! No money and not having enough time to prepare, as well as not being able to request in such short notice for holiday leave put an end to the possibility of going. I made sure that 2018 will be the year to attend and it seems like I will definitely be able to go, even if only for a day using their cheaper day pass tickets…

It looks like a great event especially for Children, giving them the opportunity to spend quality, fun time away from their phones, computers and tablets.

Switch off, tune in, turn on …

 

The above video is footage from the 2016 event as a promotional for 2017’s event.

Below is more of the 2016 event and shows a little more including all of the entertainment side.

If one is interested in Off-Grid methods, even just out of interest sake or to learn a thing or two, take a look below at the extensive workshops list for each day from 2016, I can’t believe a 3 day event was just so jam packed ! ! !

 

There I was thinking I have already posted this recipe years ago, so making this tonight I had a look and yep, not shared this one yet!

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The Vegan option, as well as the milk instead of pouring cream, are all my own adaptions. This is a great recipe that can be changed to suit your own needs or taste as I discovered when tasting it before the blending stage …

What’ needed:

  • 500g Mushrooms, I recommend mixing two varieties,
  • 50g soft butter (Use oil for vegan version),
  • 1x Onion Chopped,
  • 1 Ltr Vegetable Stock (powdered stock makes 1 ltr with 4x level teaspoons),
  • 150ml pouring cream or full cream milk (Skip step for Vegan recipe),
  • 3x tbsp general flour,
  • Salt and Pepper,
  • Garnish with chopped parsley,

Method:

  1. Chop the mushrooms and cook for 5 min’s in half of the butter / oil, chop your onion whilst cooking the mushrooms.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from the pot with a spoon leaving as much of the juice in the pot, now add rest of the butter . oil, the onions and cook for a few min’s.
  3. Add in one tablespoon of flour whilst stirring the onions, keep adding until all three tablespoons have been added, keep stirring and cook for 1-2 mins,
  4. Add in the 1ltr of Vegetable Stock, the mushrooms and cook for 10-12 min’s, afterwards, remove and blend until smooth (Skip this step if you prefer a textured/ chunky soup) – Vegans stop here, serve with some chopped parsley, check the taste and add in salt / pepper if necessary and enjoy!!
  5. Add in the pouring cream or full cream milk together with the blended soup, return to the pot and cook for a further 5mins or so, check your seasonings and serve with chopped parsley … this recipe, as with most soup recipes, goes very well with buttered French Bread

Notes:

Some brands of Vegetable Stock can be quite salty so you could find you don’t even have to add any salt to the soup! A healthier brand I use and recommend is Marigold Organic Swiss Buillon.

There are enough Dandelion flowers in bloom that you can start collecting now for various recipes, Last year’s Dandelion Flower Wine was a great success as well as the Jam – I still have one bottle of Wine left which us being saved for s good sunny day.

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Today I collected enough for a batch of Jam, this recipe will be an annual mainstay in my home preservation to-do list, the only other Jam recipe I like almost as much is an experimental one which includes Fuschia berries, Ginger and Crab Apples – this recipe, will remain top-secret for now unfortunately πŸ˜‰

I noticed today that many of the flowers are in bloom all at once owing probably to the sudden 10 Deg Cel. + more heat we have had since the previous week, compared to last year where the plants gradually sent up flowering stalks a few at a time – in conclusion I recommend you get out now before the plants run out of energy and shoots! Throwing a bag in the fridge / freezer is always an option when you don’t think you can get hold of enough in one go!

Another recipe is Dandelion Root Coffee, you merely collect enough dandelion roots to fill a typical oven baking tray.

Wash them pretty well, chop them into small +- 3cm / 1 in long pieces and lay out on a baking tray and cook in the oven until they brown and become a bit crusty (to be able to crush them into a powder) this calls for carefully keeping an eye and ensuring the roots don’t burn. Once complete, just crush them into a powder and store in a jar – some people wrongfully call Dandelion Coffee a ”Coffee Substitute” this is a different taste and is much healthier …

Links for recipes:

Hi everyone, this has already been posted in March but I’m posting again because, although the April sowing calendar is the same for March and they share the same crops, now more crops can be direct sown outdoors.

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Cucumber Seedlings – Organic Permaculture

So here it is, just remember next year if you use my site as a reminder of what and when to sow, that March and April are the same however, a good vegetable book is still recommended as sometimes you might find a book that is more relevant to your country / area – we are in the UK so this advice can work in similar northern hemispheric climates however, the timings might be slightly different.

April Sowing Calendar, Click Here

Regarding my own personal experience this very gloomy and wet 2018 Spring, I have had okay results in seed sowing but Onions have had a 50% or so failure rate, Marigolds have so far had 100% failure including newer seed …

Thank you viewers from the Czech republic! Viewing my blog statistics recently has shown that viewers from your country have suddenly come up to be high up in the top 4 mostly viewed by country, I’m not sure why but I am grateful and hopeful that people in the Czech Republic are shifting consciousness and going back to nature and the land…

To say Thanks, here is a video of sustainable and nature friendly organic farming and farmland regeneration with Permaculturist / Farmer Petr Marada.

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Audio in Czech and sub-titles in English, Enjoy!

 

Here is a nice little video on Permaculture as well as a Permablitz in action, being put into practice in Hawaii, at theΒ  1:40min mark of the video where they are re-designing a back garden into a permaculture garden, I could not help but realise that one day perhaps, every garden in that little town / area would convert into the same or similar idea, ending with the entire town becoming one large permaculture site which merely has some houses and roads in-between the various food forests and vegetable gardens!

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Hawaii Permablitz Back-Garden Design

Imagine if a society like that could end up breaking down their garden walls to effectively remove what are real social and environmental barriers and upgrading their consciousness to the point of respect that no one should own any land and we are merely just temporary users of land – that we do need some small space to actually live on but we use the garden/s for growing and therapeutic reasons. Creating in effect, a large wildlife friendly human oasis similar in concept to the ‘green belts’ which some cities have

-Jeff Permie ( Growinagrden.wordpress.com )

At the 3:22 min mark, Paul explains the difference between consuming your own home grown Organic food and the taste you can sense if you should happen to go back to eating or consuming store / generally available factory or monoculture farmed foods.

At 5:00 min’s you get the full tour of his back garden and the design which has a beehive, banana trees, fig, limes, vegetables (chard, beets, rocket and salads), Sweet Potato, Tumeric and ginger to name a few.

In the context of special interests and corporate interests that are looking to control our food supply, this is again a very simple answer, if we start to shift from being consumers with rights towards being producers with responsibilities … then we actually take back our power.

– Matt