Yorkshire Lavender

I’ve been writing a series of posts about kitchen gardens that are open to the public, and whilst this venue doesn’t exactly fall into this category, I think it can be classed as culinary so I’m going to include it here!

Yorkshire Lavender is a family run business set in beautiful countryside on the outskirts of York.


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Open Farm Sunday at Washingpool Farm

We recently had a holiday in Dorset, staying in a cottage at Washingpool Farm, and by a stroke of good fortune, the first day of our visit coincided with Open Farm Sunday!

This meant we could explore the whole farm that was literally on our doorstep; fantastic for Henry as he loves seeing animals, especially chickens, and great news for me as I was able to explore the farm’s polytunnels and growing fields! It was like vegetable garden heaven!

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Garden Planning 2016

I love this time of year! When it’s cold, dark and everyone’s a little bit miserable, it’s a great time to snuggle up in front of the fire on a dark night and start planning the year ahead in the vegetable garden! I’m making this sound very poetic aren’t I!

I always create a list of the vegetables I want to grow and do a rough guide of where I’m planting each one by using the Growveg.com app, but I have to be honest I never stick 100% to my plan. I vow that I’ll grow everything from seed but then end up also buying plants from the garden centre; and of course every year, some things I’ve attempted just don’t come off!

I create my wishlist of vegetables first, then plot where to plant them. The app is really helpful with this as if you use the same plan year on year, it’ll highlight in red where you’ve situated a particular crop previously so you can avoid planting in the same bed in consecutive years.

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When I’m deciding what to grow, I start by listing the vegetables that we eat most frequently, or that will be most useful to us (and our family and friends!) Then I consider what else I want to achieve from the growing season, usually it’s to try something different or unusual or hard to grow, but this year I’m going for productivity over ambition!

We’ve got a new little mouth to feed and I want to make sure Henry eats as many fruits and vegetables from the garden as we can possibly grow, so sucessional sowing is the key this year! I need a constant supply of staples such as carrots, tomatoes, beans and courgettes, as well as introducing different tastes to him throughout the season!

Finally, a #teething aid that’s actually effective! #carrot #weaning #blw

A photo posted by Helen Lee (@pickleshlee) on Jan 13, 2016 at 12:26pm PST

 

Here’s my list for this year:

  • carrots
  • courgettes
  • runner beans
  • french beans
  • potatoes
  • cauliflower
  • sprouting broccoli
  • sprouts
  • lettuce
  • radish
  • kohl rabi
  • pumpkins
  • parsnips
  • tomatoes
  • chillies
  • spinach
  • leeks

I’m not going completely ‘straight’ when it comes to plant varieties this year, there’ll definitely be some purple carrots thrown into the mix and my one experiment is going to be with ‘flower sprouts‘ which we’ve had from the supermarket a few times and they’re very tasty! I’m also going to make an effort to grow from seed as much as possible, rather than buying plug plants.

Here’s my planting plan for 2016:

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The other thing I love about the Growveg app is the fact that you get a ‘cheat sheet’ (my terminology not theirs!) giving you rough planting and harvesting times! Of course you need to refer to the specific growing instructions for whatever varieties you’re planting, but it’s a handy place to start!

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100 Happy Days of Eating from the Garden

As soon as our vegetable garden was up and running in 2014, I set us the challenge of trying to eat something from the garden for 100 days before the end of the year, and I’m pleased to say we achieved that goal!

I recorded the challenge by posting a photo of what we ate or something relating to it every day (on Christmas Day it had to be a photo of Rich clearing the dishes in his party hat, as I forgot to photograph the brussels sprouts before we ate!)

I’m pretty proud of what we achieved in those 100 days, it taught me a lot about eating with the seasons and planning meals around what we had available rather than relying on the ‘oh so convenient’ supermarket shelves, so here’s an overview of some of the photos I posted!

To see the whole 100 days, as well as all my other Instagram content, follow me at @pickleshlee – hope to see you there!

#100happydays #day2 cauliflower rice using cauliflower and carrots from the garden ☺️ #goodlife

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First eggs were a triumph! 2 double yolkers in the first batch! #100happydays #day7

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#100happydays of eating from the garden #day13 strawberries and mint for my Pimms! Happy Friday everyone! X

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#100happydays of eating from the garden #day75 pumpkin and rosemary risotto! #growyourown

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