A couple of months ago a local 14 year old – Blythe- contacted me asking about local sustainability projects she could get involved in. She is now regularly attending Claver Hill’s work days and is the author of this week’s food column: recipes to success!
‘Everybody says that homemade bakes taste better- and it is the same for food. When you cook food using fruit and veg that you have grown yourself it tastes infinitely more delicious. For one you know what has gone into them and this connects you to your local environment. And as your own-grown veg and fruit are freshly picked from the ground, a bush or a tree, you can eat them straight away or freeze them (so that you can eat them when they aren’t in season)’. As they are fresh they are full of flavour.
‘My family currently has a freezer filled with beans long after 2018’s summer drew to a close. We can pull them out at any time during winter without having to buy beans which are flown in from Kenya- reducing our food meals’.
‘To freeze green beans is also really easy. You first need to wash them and cut off any bad bits. You then blanch them (you boil or steam them for a short amount of time to kill the bacteria) before putting them in ice cold water and drain them. (You need to cool them quickly to prevent them from overcooking). You then put them in airtight bags and place them in the freezer and you have beans all year round’.
‘We recently planted beetroot in our allotment’.
‘You can sow the seeds any time between March and July depending on what variety you are growing. This meant that last week we had to thin them out otherwise the ones that were growing wouldn’t have enough room to put down roots’.
‘To thin out beetroot seedlings first let them grow a few inches (which will take a couple of weeks) and then either cut off the tops of the unwanted seedlings (and eat them in salad) or pull the Beetroots out from the roots’.
‘If you decide to pull them out (like my family do), you need to use only your fingertips and give them a gentle waggle to loosen up the soil around the plant. You should pick out the more unhealthy looking ones and leave about 5 inches between each remaining beetroot. After that just make sure that the soil around the remaining beetroot seedlings is covering the root and firm up the soil edges around the stem of the plant’.