Tag Archives: potatoes

Sowing and planting this week

This week saw a mixture of sowing and planting out. First, we prepared our second outdoor potato bed and planted a favourite late main crop Pink Fir Apple, along with more of second early Wilja and a few left over early Sharpe’s Express. The Wilja and Pink Fir Apple will go into the store once harvested, whilst this third sowing of Sharpe’s Express should keep us in new potatoes for some time. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we finished planting the first of our outdoor potato beds, laying out 18 tubers of second early Wilja. This is, for us, a fairly modern variety, bred in Holland in the 1970s. It crops and stores well and can be treated as an early main crop. Mid way between floury and waxy, Wilja is a versatile potato and a good choice if growing only one sort. We had already prepared the bed for the first earlies that went in a few weeks ago, so it was just a matter of digging holes with the trowel, dropping in the tubers, and covering over. We also took the last of the seed potatoes, which we had stored in the fridge to retard them, and put them to chit; these will go in the second potato bed in a few weeks’ time. Continue reading

Earthing up the potato pots

In early February we planted 20 tubers of potato Sharpe’s Express in 15 litre pots half filled with a rich compost mix. They have been a bit varied in their development but some were now ready to be earthed up and the others should follow in a week or two. Earthing up with pot grown specimens is simply a matter of gathering the stems together and filling in the remaining space with more compost. This gives the plants plenty of depth in which to develop. They have been a bit on the slow side thanks to the recent cold weather but now that the temperature has improved the growth rate should increase. We are still hopeful of getting our first tubers by the end of April. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we got our main crop onions, garlic, and shallots planted. Usually, we would have an autumn sown crop running along the side beds of the polytunnel, where they produce well, especially the garlic. As we did little in the garden last year, we are missing out on this crop, but have planted two beds outdoors from spring sown sorts. March is a good time of year to do this and we have been waiting for the last couple of weeks for the weather to turn; the weekend weather was good so we got this task done. It is quite a big job as some three hundred or so sets needed to go in. Continue reading

Pots of pots

This weekend we took advantage of a brief break in the storms to attend to the most important task of our winter work – planting the early potatoes in large pots in the glasshouses. The normal time to sow the first earlies is towards the end of March or early April. We have some advantages, though, being located in the south and with a couple of glasshouses bolted to a south facing wall, which allows us to get an early harvest. Continue reading

Finnish Christmas recipes – rosolli

Rosolli is the classic salad accompaniment to the Finnish Christmas meal, going particularly well with the cured herrings. Some add herring to the rosolli, when it is then known as sillisalaatti – herring salad. This variant is particularly common in Sweden. We, though, prefer to serve the salad without adding herring, and serve several different side dishes of herring that one can pick from. Continue reading

Finnish Christmas recipes – the baked dishes

In the previous article, I described those seasonal dishes that make up our Finnish Christmas meal. In this article, I provide recipes for the three baked dishes that accompany the main course, the ham. These dishes are each made from pureed winter vegetables – swede, carrot, and potato – all of which we have available from store or, in the case of swede, currently standing in the bed through the mild weather thus far. Continue reading

The Finnish Christmas table

I have come up with a few excuses for the lack of blog posts over the last few months, but now I have a good one – I am hobbling around on crutches after an arthroscopy on both knees; I am definitely not working the garden for a while. However, for those readers not of the Nordic persuasion, and maybe even for some that are, I thought it might be interesting to write a few articles and provide some recipes for Finnish Christmas food, starting in this post with an overview of the Finnish Christmas table and the dishes that will be covered in subsequent posts. We have the best of both worlds here – CT is Finnish, and the Finns celebrate on Christmas Eve, leaving us free to follow the Finnish feast with an English sort on Christmas day. The in-laws stay with us for some weeks around Christmas, and mother-in-law Riitta and I do our best to prepare the traditional dishes, along with some family favourites. Continue reading


A pile of freshly prepared potato gnocchi

A pile of freshly prepared potato gnocchi

Gnocchi are the small dumplings commonly prepared in Italy. Whilst they can be made from various ingredients, those prepared from potatoes, gnocchi di patate, are the most common. With a sack full of suitable potatoes in the shed, we have been enjoying plenty of freshly prepared gnocchi of late. Gnocchi can be rather heavy and chewy, but with a little care, the home made version is ever so light and absolutely delicious. They are simple to make, and the results should be exceptional, once a few critical notions are appreciated that will ensure a good flavour and light texture. Continue reading