Monday, April 22, 2013

Planting food

I just love spring, its my favourite season and after such a long winter we are really enjoying the warm sunny weather.  The girls and I have been very busy planting and sowing vegetables and playing outside in the garden.

I planted potato's and onions and sowed carrots outside and the girls sowed pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers in pots. We put them in the greenhouse and are waiting for them to grow.

My little girl really didn't want to go to school today so I got her working hard in the garden.  To me its very important that my girls learn about food, how its grown, where it comes from and how its cooked.  So today we had a home school day learning about her favourite vegetable, cucumber.   
To the right are the potato's and in the middle the carrots and onions.  When the pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers are big enough they will go on the left.    
A sprouting onion
We haven't planted a lot of different things because we get most of our vegetables from a CSA.  (CSA stands for community supported agriculture to find out more Click here) In short we pay annually for locally and organically grown vegetables and go to the field to harvest them our selves.  This is a really great way for kids  to learn about food, how its grown and in which season.  But it is still nice to grow our own, so a few things we do.  
Next job is the herb garden!  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring green soup

Nettles and cleavers growing together
This is a twist to the nettle soup recipe I put on here last year.  I have been looking forward to making this for a while now and I finally I got to make it yesterday. I added some cleavers  which  are growing next to the nettles, it is a really good cleansing herb that helps to clean the lymphatic system.  I also put in some fresh lovage, this is one of my favourite tasting herbs and I just found some new shoots coming up in the
herb garden.  

The nutritional value of this soup.

-Nettles; (Urtica dioca) Blood tonic, hypoglycaemic, antiseptic, circulatory stimulant.  
-Cleavers, aka goosegrass; (Galium aparine) Lymphatic alterative, detoxifier, astringent tonic. 
-Lovage; (Levisticum officinalis) Mild antibiotic, diuretic, antispasmodic.  
 So all in all a very heathy soup and quite perfect for an internal spring clean. 

My well washed spring greens
1 leek
3 potatoes
2 carrots 
2 handfuls of nettles
1/2 handfull of cleavers 
A few fresh lovage leaves 
300ml of chicken stock

Fist fry the leeks and then add the potatoes, carrots and then the stock.  Let it boil for awhile until the veg are soft then add the spring greens and boil for another 5 minutes.  When it's cooked blend it all together and eat it with hot butted toast.  

frozen chicken stock in the pot

My girls just love this soup and its a really good way to get some vitamins and minerals in them.  

Enjoying her soup
Tip: don't forget to use gloves when picking the nettles, and if you don't have any then use a plastic bag.