Bit of baking, bit of planting

After I had gone to do our weekly shop I realised I hadn’t picked up any bread. I usually get a harvest grain loaf from the supermarket which has good flavour, but I always feel guilty as we never finish it in one weekend, and by the end of the week its stale and has to be thrown out! So for breakfast I thought I’d get some dough together…


A small loaf for toasting slices and a few rolls for my lunch during the week (plus they freeze well). This time I followed a kneading technique by Richard Bertinet – different from the usual knuckle and palm of hand method. You make a very sticky dough and really give it a good bashing before first proving. I mean really throw it down on the counter, stretch and fold and then throw again until it’s lovely and pliable. And no longer sticky, just elastic-y! Seemed to take less time and really got a good texture in the bread…


I’d recommend his book ‘Dough’. I’ve tried the bread and the scone recipes now and I can safely say both are easy to make but with fantastic texture and taste.

Planted some more leafy greens today, for the late summer season. I was tipping the mixed salad leaves into my hand to sow and thought they looked like little sea-smoothed pebbles. What do you think? I liked the effect of their colours against my soil-ingrained hand.


More Cavolo Nero, Rainbow Chard, Mixed salad leaves, Little Gem lettuce, carrots, radishes, runner beans and spring onions now in today. Fingers crossed the weather holds for a nice autumn crop!


Small scale sowing

Space is quite limited in our little first floor flat so I try and keep as many seeds going on my allocated ‘seed table’ as possible at once. I think each time I plant I keep that old gardeners mantra in my head of ‘one for the slugs, one for the pigeon and one for me’ but all three always come up, I don’t like throwing away healthy plants and I end up with three times as many as I planned for! 

As soon as they go outside and in the ground for some veg I’d generally plant a back up row to be used both in case the seedlings are eaten and also to get some follow-on cropping. It’s always good to have peas and beans that just keep going and going through the summer crop – plus my first lots of beans were sown too early and ended up far too straggly before I got around to putting them in the ground so they might struggle when it comes to production.

Anyway, these last two weeks I’ve been keeping the full size tomatoes inside (Tumbling Toms are already out) also two types of chilli (Serrano and Jalapeno), started nasturtiums and marigolds for companion planting (hopefully this weekend or next they’ll be big enough to get out) and cauliflower. I also have back up courgettes (two have been pulled up/trampled from the first batch) second batch broad beans, and second batch peas, first batch borlotti beans, back up sweetcorn (heaven knows what that’s going to do in such a shady spot) and three more Pumpkin Rouge as my Sweet Dumpling has survived being out, but not the Marina di Chioggia – another mysterious disappearance. 



I really need to put the courgettes and squash into their own pots now so I can get the lid back on the propagator and give the beans the warmth they need – that’s the trouble with getting 6 different things on one propagator – they all come up at different speeds! But generally it’s warm enough in this room and everything’s definitely germinated so hopefully will catch up soon. 

Next to do: Dig another bed in the garden. Plant out tomatoes. Get beetroot, kale and parsnips in. Move chickens so they don’t get too muddy (again).