How to Grow Achocha

I absolutely adore peppers and they feature in plenty of our regular homecooked meals however I’ve never really had that much success growing them myself. They need a long growing season, plenty of heat and they take up all too precious space in the greenhouse. On the other hand; Achocha is astoundingly easy to grow,…

Ready, Set, Sow!

It’s that wonderful time of year again when seed sowing can begin in earnest and every windowsill in the house is packed with tiny little seedlings. I don’t tend to sow anything before the start of March and so this last week has been a flurry of activity having sowed most of my chillis, tomatoes,…

Growing a Giant!

Like most people, I’m always proud and perhaps even slightly smug when I harvest my carrots and find a particularly large specimen or even if by pure luck I have a single leek that actually has a reasonable thickness. However, I’ve never really had any interest in specifically growing giant vegetables. That is, until I…

How to Grow Shark Fin Melon

I’m always sceptical when any crop or variety is described as either rampant, vigorous or massively productive as these terms are all too often overused in certain seed catalogues. However, Sharks Fin Melon is without a doubt the most rampant, vigorous and productive crop that I have ever grown! What is it? Shark Fin Melon (Cucurbita Ficifolia)…

What I’m Growing in 2017

After many evenings perusing seed catalogues, afternoons excitingly coming home to find glorious envelopes of seeds have arrived in the post and taking part in the brilliant Twitter #SeedCircle16. Here is a lovely list of everything I want to try and grow this year on the allotment and in the greenhouse; Brassicas: Red Cabbage –…

How to Grow Cucamelons

Before I start, I am acutely aware that I am somewhat behind the times (or perhaps fashionably late!) in trying to grow Cucamelons. What was once a novelty fruit popularised by James Wong now seems to be available from all of the major seed companies. Although it’s the first year that I’ve been able to…

How to Grow Jerusalem Artichokes

Despite the name suggesting otherwise, Jerusalem Artichokes have nothing to do with Jerusalem and have very little in common with Globe Artichokes! What they certainly are however is one of the easiest vegetables I’ve ever grown. Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus Tuberosus) are knobbly irregular tubers which have a wonderfully earthy yet also sweet and slightly nutty…

How to Grow Kiwano

Before I start planning for next year, I want to first do a quick summary of some of the more exciting and unusual crops that I’ve grown this year. As possibly the weirdest, I’m going to start with alien space eggs or Kiwano. What is it? Kiwano (Cucumis Metuliferus) is known by a variety of…

Planting Out Cucurbits

I’m pleased to say that my allotment is starting to look very much like an allotment once again! After spending the last few  months dormant and covered in black plastic sheeting, the majority of the vegetable beds are now filled with thriving young plants and future harvests. After a few days of leaving them outside…

Sowing Seeds

It’s been quite a while since I posted an update but as the weather gradually warms up things are starting to take shape in the greenhouse and at the allotment. At the start of the week I finally got around to planting my remaining maincrop potatoes at the allotment. In addition to my usual favorites…

What I’m Growing in 2016

After much planning, perusing and pondering I think that I’ve finally decided on what I’m going to grow for the coming year. Although it might look like a lot, my general approach is always to try a grow a small amount of lots of different varieties. New additions this year include Kiwano, Tomatillos, Edible Dahlias…

Best of 2015.

It’s been an absolutely great year in the greenhouse and on the allotment plot. As I’ve said many times before; there isn’t anything more satisfying than growing your own food. Particular highlights have been growing Yacon and Achocha for the first time and trialling new Oca varieties as part of the Guild of Oca Breeders….