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David Matthews2

Latest posts by David Matthews2

Camera Corner

Posted: 01/10/2014 at 19:15

Hi Charlie, I'd love to have a go with some seeds if you can spare them, please? Appreciate your kind comments about bees - we really do need them more & more these days! I'll pm contact details, if you're agreeable?

What is this?

Posted: 01/10/2014 at 18:10

I second Dove's warning about the sap - somehow a stray plant got going in my greenhouse & I became quite 'irritated' when I handled it with bare hands. Wear gloves and dispose of it carefully. *If it gets to the seeding stage they fly everywhere!!

New Member

Posted: 30/09/2014 at 20:29

 The photo shows an 'established' ivy growing over a laburnum tree - the ivy berries are much appreciated (especially over the winter months) by blackbirds, thrushes and a host of wood and feral pigeons.

Camera Corner

Posted: 29/09/2014 at 18:39

 More 'buzzy' insects going about their work in the garden.


Aerating the lawn - fab old tool...

Posted: 29/09/2014 at 18:02

Without a decently(safely) attached footplate you're on a hiding to nothing!! [You risk serious ankle damage without one!].Alternatively, try getting a heavier/ unsuspecting male to use it on your behalf after it's rained to soften the turf somewhat?

Wow, what a sunset!

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 21:11

 The real workers in my garden & greenhouse are still at it full swing!! Long may the warm autumnal weather continue!!

Quince Quandry

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 20:39

My pleasure, Daintiess. Let's hope that all this year's (surviving) fruita are put to good use & the results repay your (joint) efforts! Cheers!!

Talkback: Cooking green tomatoes

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 19:59

? Anyone for "Green Tomato Wine" (after C Shave, from Amateur Winemaker - 130 New Winemaking Recipies 13th edition 1972, edited by CJJ Berry)

4lb green tomatoes, 1 quart balm leaves, including stalks, 1lb raisins, sultanas or currants (can be mixed), 1lb maize, barley or wheat, 2 lemons or oranges (or 1/2 oz citric acid in lieu), 3lb sugar, 1 gallon water, 1/2 pint cold tea (no milk!) Activated yeast & nutrient.

Soak the grains overnight. Scald the dried fruit and pass the grains, leaves & stalks, together with the tomatoes, dried fruit, fruit rinds (no white pith) through a mincer or liquidiser). Place the minced ingredients in the fermenting vessel & add the sugar. When cool, add the cold tea, fruit juices and citric acid, activated yeast and nutrient. Ferment for seven days - cover with muslin cloth or similar to exclude fruit flies etc, then strain into glass demijohn(s). Fit airlock, ferment and rack in the usual way. Put in steriised bottles & cork when completely fermented [2-4 months likely].

Simples, eh??

Any wine makers out there?

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 21:24

My brewing/ winemaking 'career' started over 40 years ago with a teaching post at a residential field study centre near Dorking. I was encouraged (aided & abetted) by other staff there, including the then Warden who had already been home winemaking for 25+ years. Memorable early successes included various 'flower' wines, a 'cheeky' Orange wine which had a remarkable 2nd fermentation in the bottle - cue Champagne effect! Sadly the "Oak bud" wine was an abject failure, as was the Birch sap....!

One notable 'two-from-one' involved a 7lb 'blown' tin of Blackcurrants gifted to me by an understanding cook/caterer: this resulted in a hefty 12% alcohol content in a very passable red wine PLUS a much lighter rose-type wine from the resultant pulp!!

After I transferred to a similar field centre in South Pembrokeshire, I carried on diversifying my output; aided initially by the fact that my study/room was directly above the hot water storage tanks of the 120-bed establishment! More anon...




Quince Quandry

Posted: 25/09/2014 at 20:32

The following is taken from a collection of "Unusual Preserves", collated by National Federation of Women's Institutes, published in December 1969:

"Quince Marmalet" (circa 1710...!)

1lb quinces   1lb sugar  1 pint water - and a little Brandy!!

Wipe, peel, cut into quarters, and core quinces - place in cold water to preserve colour. Put the peelings and cores into cold water and boil until tender. Strain off liquid. When it be cold, allow to 1 pint of liquid, 1lb of fruit and 1lb of sugar. Boil all together, till they are tender, keeping close covered. Beat and heat them until they be of a right thickness, put into pots (glass jars?) and when cold, cover with brandied paper (?waxed paper & clear plastic/ cellophane + elastic band).

?might be worth a try if you're still overwhelmed by quantities!! Enjoy!!

Discussions started by David Matthews2

What shall i do with a 'Hairy Onion'?

Head of bolting onion has grown 4 feet, then sprouted 'hair' 
Replies: 2    Views: 143
Last Post: 10/08/2014 at 19:47

Please help to identify this miniature shrub

Small evergreen shrub withsharply-pointed glossy leaves and white 'malteser-sized' bobbles supported on short stems. 
Replies: 18    Views: 633
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 18:17

Gardening featuring in Seasonal Greetings...??

Do other 'forkers' know of examples of gardening techniques and practices being featured? ing in  
Replies: 1    Views: 329
Last Post: 26/12/2013 at 06:47

Getting Crafty in my old age...

Planting and discussing spring bulbs with my grand-daughters prompted an ad hoc craft session with them the playroom 
Replies: 4    Views: 384
Last Post: 23/12/2013 at 21:26

Huge Bee on Winter Clematis "Freckles"

Sighted this afternoon in my sheltered courtyard....can anyone identify the bee species? 
Replies: 11    Views: 678
Last Post: 21/12/2013 at 06:56
5 threads returned