Storing bamboo canes

Tip for cane storage
Using an old drinks bottle to store canes is both tidy and safe

Here’s a way to both recycle, and tidy those canes with no more than a few spare minutes, two empty plastic bottles, and a pair of scissors.

  • You need two identical plastic bottles. The ones shown are 1 litre water bottles. I found these hold approx 30 canes.
  • Cut the conical top half of the bottles off. I found leaving a few millimeters of the sloping part helps ‘grab’ the canes.
  • Feed the canes into one of the bottle halves until they’re packed in tightly. You’ll find most canes have a slightly wider diameter at one end. Turn half of them around so there’s a mix of narrow and wide ends bunched together so that bundled together they’ll pack identically into the bottle halves.
  • When one end is packed nice and tight repeat the same for the other end into the second bottle.
  • Job done! A nice compact bundle of canes to store standing, on a shelf, or in the rafters of your shed.

Courtesy of Clousden Drive Allotment Association

Beetroot, potato and apple rosti

Beetroot, potato and apple rosti
Beetroot, potato and apple rosti

Ingredients

  • Beetroot, potato and apple in quantities you wish.
    Generally 1 large beetroot will need double the volume of potato and 1 large Bramley apple
  • Eggs to bind (2)
  • 1 tsp spices (salt, pepper, ginger, chilli)

Method

  1. Grate beetroot, potato and apple.
  2. Add spices and eggs and mix well.
  3. Heat up a heavy bottom casserole type dish or frying pan that can go in the oven. I used coconut oil (about 1 tbs), but use whatever fat you wish.
  4. Once the fat is hot add the mixture and press down.
  5. Put in a hot oven (175 degrees C ish) for about 45 minutes.

Tip: this would be nice served with a fried egg!

Growing tomato seedlings from fresh tomatoes

Nature knows best!

An easy and effective way to grow tomato seedlings is to plant a slice of fresh tomato in compost and allow the seeds to just sprout naturally.

Choose a tasty tomato, chop a slice and plant covered with multipurpose compost in a pot on the windowsill. I tried this method and was very impressed. Half a cherry tomato produced 40 seedlings!

Tomato seeds do need a little heat to germinate so cover with clingflm and place in the sun or use a propagator.

If you try this method, let us know how you get on!

Plant Sale and grounds maintenance a great success

Todays plant sale and grounds maintenance was a great success.

Thanks to everyone who donated plants and there are still some spares available outside the hut. If you take any please leave a donation in the hut.

The tea, coffee and cakes is always a good bit of encouragement.

The site shop did some good trade today, the canes proving to be very popular yet again. This is helped by the fact they are very good quality.

Regarding the grounds maintenance, it was fantastic to see so many people helping today and if ever there was proof that many hands make light work, this was it. I know when I was thanking people a couple of you said “but I didn’t do much”, and that’s kind of the point, if each of us do a little bit, we get an awful lot done. Thank you everyone.

There is still some work to be done on the Westbourne Park fence where we have trimmed a bit back along the whole length today, and myself and John were then cutting closer to the fence so it is a lot tidier. If anyone is available next Sunday, it will be much of the same, sweeping and chucking bits into a barrow.

Whilst outside the ground we also got some very positive comments from the residents opposite who said that it was great to see everyone working together to make the outside of the ground look good. They also thanked us for mowing the grass verges, it is nice to see our hard work is being noticed and appreciated.

– Anthony