Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

What to do with a blackcurrant glut?

Posted: 19/07/2016 at 08:04

The liqueur I made was with vodka, but I'm sure white rum would work just as well. Use similar quantities and method to sloe gin or other fruit liqueurs.

What to do with a blackcurrant glut?

Posted: 18/07/2016 at 11:13

I make jam and cordial, and freeze some. The  frozen ones can be used to liven up puddings like apple crumble, and I love a handful in a fruit salad, to give it a bit of a kick.


I tried making blackcurrant wine, but it was too acidic, not good. A liqueur was more successful: blackcurrants steeped in vodka and sugar, to make a drink similar to Kir.

Potato Blight

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 08:53

I grow Charlotte because although the tops get blighted, the tubers seem unaffected. One particularly bad year, the tops died back so soon that the tubers didn't grow much, but they have never shown signs of blight.

Potato Blight

Posted: 10/07/2016 at 17:10

Ooh thanks,  allotment lady. I am less bothered by it on the potatoes, as I grow Charlotte, which seem to survive it, but does milk work on tomatoes in the. same way?

Potato Blight

Posted: 10/07/2016 at 14:23

On eBay, I have bought a "Copper Sulphate and Lime Mixture", which claims to be similar to BM. It comes as two separate substances that you combine according to instructions.I haven't tried ityet, as I still have some illicit BM to use up.

what dunnit?

Posted: 05/07/2016 at 22:51

I often n get a red itchy rash on my forearms after gardening. It isn't as virulent as yours, but the thing that helps me is to splash some witch hazel all.over the affected part. It may sting for a few moments, and then  it soothes the sore skin very quickly.

Blight resistant tomatoes

Posted: 02/07/2016 at 17:05

Sorry to hear of your lost tomatoes, Dove. It's been a blighty and mouldy sort of summer so far, with constant dampness over everything. "Do not water from above" say some books. Ha! Has anyone told God?


My Sungold are fine so far, and the other variety I grow, Losetto, is blight resistant. I have never had much trouble with blight on Sungold, although I do give a pre-emptive spray now and then.  We will be interested to hear how your Crimson Crush tomatoes turn out for yield and flavour.


My garlic is all going yellow and mouldy, and the shallots have simply failed to thrive. My rasps have also failed, with most of the canes dying, and the roots all black and brittle.  The strawberries  have a lot of mould, but a great crop nevertheless. Being only a few metres from a beehive has probably helped!  Broad beans have some chocolate spot but are still cropping well.  Mangetout are fantastic this year - a huge crop with no disease.


Win some, lose some ....   Now, how shall we have our strawberries tonight?

Cooking with Rhubarb

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 22:26

I made a lovely rhubarb and strawberry crumble. Can't find the recipe now, but you could adapt any crumble recipe. Mine had walnuts and orange rind in the crumble mix. The strawberries were frozen ones left from last year (frozen ones aren't much use for anything else) but it worked well - a bit like having rhubarb crumble with a big spoonful of strawberry jam in it.


I've also made some strawberry, rhubarb and ginger jam. Oh, and rhubarb wine, which is OK, comes out nice and clear, but always tastes a bit ...well, rhubarby.

Aspirin for Tomatoes

Posted: 16/06/2016 at 20:42

I think "dispersible" is just a more precise way of describing what we refer to as "soluble" aspirin. I have used them in a sprayer without problems.

Strawberries

Posted: 16/06/2016 at 16:02

When buying from a shop, avoid Spanish strawberries and look for English ones now.  If you'll  can, have a sniff at them. The good ones wll have a strong strawberry fragrance.


We have a colossal crop in the garden this year. We've eaten them  every day for a fortnight now, made some jam and given away several pounds. I am getting a teeny bit tired of strawberries now!  We now have a beehive only a few yards from the strawberry patch, which may account for the good pollination.

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