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Latest posts by Tootles

what does your garden mean to you

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 21:21

What a great thread. Loved reading the replies.

For me its a place to feel close to loved ones who also love gardening and share the joys it brings. 

It's also a place where I feel a sense of worth, doing proper work that can make me ache and give me bruises. The desk job, for all its challenges, just doesn't feel like real graft.

The way it reminds you of how amazing our planet is, from the vivid colours that nature produces to the wildlife that make it home.

Gardening is a huge part of life for me.

Freezing runner beans

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 21:09

No problem. Let us know how you get on Runny. I'll have a go too once the jar shortage has been overcome!

Freezing runner beans

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 20:58
Bingo! Here you go Runny.... Bath WI Kitty Lambah’s recipe for pickled runner beans

12oz runner beans
3/4lb granulated sugar
1 pint cider vinegar
1 teaspoon juniper berries
Fresh ginger
Mint sprigs


  • Top, tail, de-string and cut the runner beans to desired length;
  • Pour cider vinegar into a pan and warm through gently;
  • Keeping the pan on simmer add the sugar, stirring until fully dissolved;
  • Add prepared runner beans and the juniper berries to the sugar vinegar and simmer until just tender, approximately  8 minutes; 
  • Drain the beans and pack them into pre-sterilised pickling jars;
  • Pour the sugar vinegar (with or without the juniper berries) over the beans covering their tops;
  • Peel the ginger.  Lightly bruise by gently bashing the ginger with a rolling pin.  Cut into quarters; 
  • Add a section of ginger and some fresh mint to each jar;
  • Seal, label and leave for 2 weeks before opening;
  • Refrigerate after opening.  Should last for at least one month in the fridge;
  • Serve with cold meats, cheese or leftovers

Freezing runner beans

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 20:54

Juniper berries too, I think... I'll try and find it on iplayer...

Freezing runner beans

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 19:56

I did jo47. I was tempted to have a go as Rachel De Thame seemed so taken with them. jars left! All full of jam!! 

Have you had a go at them?

Freezing runner beans

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 14:17

All done! From plant to freezer in just over an hour. Delighted! About enough for the two of us for four meals.

Freezing runner beans

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 13:30

Brill! Thanks ever so much. Id have just bunged them in whole! 

Gosh runny - yours are lovely looking, nice and straight. Mine are a bit more...errrrr....curly wurley like!


Freezing runner beans

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 13:06

hello - have just picked lots of runners with the intention of freezing some.  Have read mixed things on what best to do with them first, from not cleaning at all to blanching them in boiling water. Anyone know what to do! Can I just wash them and put them in freezer bags? Do I need to chop them up? 

Thanks ever so!



Posted: 13/09/2015 at 11:11

That's really useful, thanks Green Magpie. I've found it to be a really poor year for tomoatoes for me. Poor yield, a bit of blossom end rot (from Fandango - the 'blight resistant' seeds from the Gardeners World trial) and lots of splitting. I know that the weather hasn't always been great for tomatoes where I live. Hoping for yields like yours next year. 

Too late to grow anything in veg patch?

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 09:51

I put some turnip seed in a couple of weeks ago, like Monty suggested on Gardeners World.  They've germinated! I didn't think they would as the packet said last sowing should be July, so I'm delighted! Might be worth giving it a go. The seeds were only £1.99 and I only used half the packet.

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