Feb 102013

Seedy Penpals Badge Big
Our second Seedy Penpal exchange has got off to a great start. we have lots of enthusiastic people who are making new friends and oo-ing and ahh-ing over new seeds and other presents. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 14:36

Seedy Penpals January 2013

 Permaculture, Seasons, Seedy Penpals, Spring, Winter  Comments Off on Seedy Penpals January 2013
Jan 102013

Seedy Penpals Badge Big

As many people found in August 2012, Seedy Penpals is a great way to share seeds with like-minded people. We all like to send and receive surprise treats: with Seedy Penpals you get to grow them too (and eat some). Follow the links at the bottom of that post to see the fun other people had.

Now it’s nearly time for the February 2013 exchange. If you already know about the scheme and just want to sign up, visit the ‘How it Works’ page and use the form that’s there.

If you took part in last year’s Scheme, I’ll email you to ask you to confirm that you want to take part in this exchange. Please look out for my email, or let me know you want to carry on by Tweeting  me. If your email address has changed since last time, please get in touch with me on Twitter or using the contact form on this website. Thanks 🙂

For those of you that are new to this, here’s a brief explanation…

Seedy Penpals is also a great way to

  • Meet and make new friends who share your interest in gardening
  • Find new blogs you may like
  • Share your experience of different plants and how to grow & care for them
  • Increase your knowledge about how to grow & care for plants
  • Save & share your favourite varieties
  • Protect plant biodiversity
  • Conserve and promote heritage varieties of plants
  • Make sure your surplus seeds are not wasted

Who can join?

Anyone who would like to join is welcome. You can be:

  • a complete beginner, or
  • someone who knows they have green fingers
  • young, or
  • more ‘mature’

We’d like to see:

  • bloggers or non-bloggers
  • Tweeters or non-Tweeters
  • UK & other EU residents only (due to seed export restrictions)

All you need to do is to read this about How it Works, fill in the form that’s there and sign up. Please read How it Works carefully, so you can be sure that you can participate in this way.

So what happens?

  • You read the Agreement and sign up
  • You encourage your friends to join too
  • In late January and late July of each year we match you up with a Seedy Penpal & email you
  • Penpal A will send to Penpal B, Penpal B will send to Penpal C (so it’s not a swap)
  • You get in touch with your Seedy Penpal to find out their postal address and any preferences they may have
  • In February and August you select and send to your Seedy Penpal some thoughtfully chosen seeds and any tips and instructions for sowing and care
  • You open your Seedy Packet and rejoice at your good fortune, sow what you like. Tweet your joy if you do that thing!
  • If you can, blog about your Seedy Packet and how your seeds are doing in the coming weeks and months. You put your link on the Seedy Blog so we can all see it. Add the Seedy Penpals Badges to your site.
  • Let us have some feedback about what went well and less well and give us suggestions for improvement
  • Look forward to the next Seedy Packet and encourage your friends to join.

So now, sign up

 Posted by at 13:28
Dec 042012

Maked ginger & pecan muffins

This is one of Debs’ inventions that I made yesterday. When I first tasted them I was in food heaven. Lovely spicy ginger flavour with the roasted pecan taste and a hint of spice. It’s such a gorgeous combination – they are my favourite muffin now.

What’s even better about this recipe is that you can make up the ingredients in the time it takes the oven to warm up and be eating muffins 25 minutes later.

I used Naked Ginger to make these ones: you can use preserved stem ginger in syrup or crystalised ginger to make them too. The Naked ginger is less sugary than crystalised. It’s an Aussie product that you can buy in the UK from Lakeland and other places.

If you want to have a try, please read on…
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 16:56
Nov 162012

Peat Free Diet Audiobook Cover

Emma Cooper – The Peat Free Diet – Audio Book

Running time in excess of 2 hours

The Peat Free Diet (PFD) on Emma’s blog is a really useful resource for anyone interested in growing things. If you’re also interested in saving peat bogs by going peat free, then all the better: the book or audio-book is for you. Emma has packed a huge amount of comprehensive, detailed and well researched information into a neat little package. If you’re new to gardening or if you’d welcome a refresher, this will be a mine of handy & very accessible information for you.

Does it work as an audio-book though?

Yes, if you’re in the market for some enjoyable in-ear education. I can see (hear?) that this audio-book will be useful to commuters, exercisers and those who, for choice or physical need, prefer an audio presentation of material.

Emma’s diction and enunciation are very clear and crisp. I think that her speech will be clear on even the most dodgy set of earphones. The reading is fast enough paced so that you’ll not fall asleep without being so fast as to seem garbled.

Emma’s wry sense of humour also shines through her presentation with some dry quips delivered in characteristically understated style.

Emma produced the audio book herself and I think this shows in a couple of minor respects. The transitions between each track are slightly clipped at the end of one and the beginning of the next. Not so much so that you lose the meaning, but just noticeable. And on very few tracks the sound levels are not fully consistent between tracks. Again, not annoyingly so – just noticeable.

I think that this audio-book is a great piece of work by Emma. If you’re in the sort of groups of people I’ve suggested, it would be a great addition to your audio library.

I count Emma as a friend. We’re regularly in contact and exchanging banter on Twitter and Emma has been to visit me here in North Wales. That said, I’ve called this review as I heard it and feel about it. I hope that helps.



 Posted by at 12:53
Jul 022012

Sourdough bread pudding
The rubbish ‘summer’ weather we’re having prompted a need for comfort food. I had a surfeit of bits & bobs of sourdough loaves in the bread bin, so bread pudding called to me.

Instead of just using the normal dried fruit, I wanted some sparkle in the pudding. The vibrant orange of apricots and red of cranberries were ideal for this. The fruit gives a lovely zing to the pudding to brighten up dull & wet days.

So if you fancy this, please read on for the recipe… Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:15
Jul 012012

Yesterday, Mel at Edible Things tweeted a link to a great idea for food bloggers and blog readers to get to know each other, by sending a lovely parcel in the mail every month. I re-tweeted the link to the US & UK schemes and soon got into a chat with Mel and Karen at Samphire Shop. Karen suggested that we should set up a similar scheme for seeds. It’s a brilliant idea and this blog post is about that.

In brief the Foodie scheme works like this:

  • Anyone that wants to take part signs up using a contact  form available on the host blog
  • Participants are then matched. It’s not a swap: so penpal A will send to penpal B; penpal B will send to penpal C.
  • Penpals send out thoughtful, food related parcels. The parcels can include home baked treats and/or shop bought treats (especially local or unusual things). The price limit for the boxes is £10.
  • Penpals open their boxes and rejoice!
  • At the end of the month, everyone blogs about their box, or writes a guest blog post if they are usually a blog reader and not writer. Everyone reads one another’s posts and rejoices some more. Posts are made available on the hosts’s blog.

The idea for the Seedy Penpals is that we do the same sort of thing with spare seeds. These could include you favourite commercial varieties, heirloom seeds and home-saved seeds. It’s a great way of discovering new things and making new friends.

We would like to see whether there are enough people interested in the idea to make it worthwhile. And we’d also like to find out how you think it should be run. So I’ve put together a little survey which we’d like you to complete. It’ll only take a couple of minutes, so please, please fill it in. There are 7 questions, so please scroll to the end.

UPDATE 9th July 2012:
I have closed the survey. We have had a great response. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond, share the link with friends and tweet a link to this post.  Mel & I will discuss the results later this week and work out how to take things forward. I’ll post more in the very near future about Seedy Penpals.

UPDATE 11th July 2012:
Mel & I have now had a long discussion. We think this is a great project and we have started to work to make it happen. If you’d like to be updated by email when we have more news, please fill in the form below. Make sure you don’t miss out!

UPDATE 25th July 2012 – Time to launch
We’ve done it! Seedy Penpals is now ready to go.

Let’s get Seedy!

Seedy Penpals Small Badge

 Posted by at 12:13
Jun 182012

Polyculture tarragon in polytunnel

My friend Emma has started Project Nosh to eat as many of the edible plants in her garden before she moves.

One of the plants Emma wants ideas for is French tarragon (artemisia dracunculus). The dracunculus in the Latin name means ‘Little Dragon’, perhaps referring to the teeth like shape of the leaves or its serpent like roots. I promised to blog a recipe for tarragon vinegar so that Emma could take the wonderful warm anise flavour with her.

To find out more about how we grow tarragon and for the recipe please read on. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 07:56
Jun 162012


Versatile Blogger Award

May seemed to be a good month here at Legge Towers for awards. Cath who blogs at For Bella and Will very kindly nominated me for this Versatile Blogger Award. So thanks very much to Cath for that. It’s also a nice opportunity to give some love to some blogs I read and to tell you some things about me that you may not know. My obligation to do this is clear from the Rules of Acceptance:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award
  • Include a link to their blog
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself
  • In the same post, include this set of rules
  • Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 12:00
Jun 152012

Apple custard cake Parisienne, sliced

You’ll love this cake. It has a crispy case;  firm, slightly spiced apple filling and an aromatic vanilla custard topping. What’s more, it’s ridiculously easy to make and you get to play with squidgy pastry.

I had a surfeit of apples in the fruit bowl that I wanted to use up and a need for custardy, cakey deliciousness. A quick google search soon delivered to me the inspiration for this cake. It’s remarkable how many web sites appear to have the same copy for the recipe…

I thought that the recipe(s) was (were) too sugar heavy. The four pounds of apples the recipes state I think is far too much to fit in the space available. I cut my apples first and measured their volume to work out what baking tin to use.

If you’d like to know how to make this cake, please read on… Continue reading »

 Posted by at 17:15
May 132012
 Posted by at 16:21
%d bloggers like this: