Shallot or not?

Shallots have been cultivated since ancient times, possibly originating in or around Ashkelon, now a city in modern day Israel, for which a former classification as A. ascalonicum was named, as well as the term scallion, which is now applied to several sorts of allium grown for use whilst green and typically with little bulb. Shallots… Continue reading Shallot or not?

Our daily bread

It has been a while since I last posted on the blog. Once again, we have been busy renovating bits of the house, which has kept me pretty busy. Thankfully we can see some light at the end of this ten year tunnel, although there is a mountain of odds and ends to finish off,… Continue reading Our daily bread

Cordon training of plums

Apples and pears are ideal candidates for cordon training. Oblique cordons were commonly planted along the walls of the traditional walled kitchen garden. Stone fruits, including plums, are more likely to be grown as fans. There exists, amongst some contemporary authors, the notion that stone fruits are not suited for cordon training and will bear… Continue reading Cordon training of plums

Seeds at Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt

Among the many sights of Amsterdam, there is the floating flower market, although one is not really aware that the row of large stalls is floating alongside one of the many canals, being so securely fixed in place. Its claim to be the world’s only floating flower market is, then, not nearly as impressive as… Continue reading Seeds at Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt

And the mystery apple is…

…still a mystery. It is now just over nine weeks since I sent some samples of our mystery apple to Brogdale for identification. Today I was excited to receive the identification – apparently our apple is Barnack Beauty. As the name suggests, this variety hails from the village of Barnack, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and appears… Continue reading And the mystery apple is…

Brogdale apple festival, a review

Brogdale, home of the National Fruit Collection, hosted its Apple Festival – touted as the ‘Biggest and the Best Apple Festival’ on 19–20 October 2013. Being something of an apple enthusiast, and appreciating the importance of the National Fruit Collection in terms of the preservation of our fruit growing heritage, I was very keen to… Continue reading Brogdale apple festival, a review

Patisserie Lanka

Having recently expanded the content of the blog to include recipes, today I am making yet another digression by uploading a review of this wonderful patisserie. Whilst staying with our good friends Serafiina and Arto at their house in Hampstead, a visit to Lanka, Finchley Road, London, was recommended. We took some other friends with… Continue reading Patisserie Lanka

Mystery apple

We have several gnarly old apple trees in the garden, outside of the kitchen garden and the orchard, none of which is in good condition. Two are readily identified as the classic cooking apple, Bramley’s Seedling, but two others are dessert sorts of unknown varieties. One in particular regularly provides a good crop of very… Continue reading Mystery apple