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Growing your own veg / herbs?


As spring finally appears I’m enjoying picking fresh herbs from my pots at home again - mint, chives, oregano, lovage, sorrel and parsley are all growing happily now after a long winter of hibernation. Hurrah!

Home grown food and good wine, a winning combination for the senses!

I’ve also been sowing tomatoes, chillies, peas, broad beans (my favourite), kale and potatoes to enjoy later in the year.

Anyone else growing or picking anything this spring?


PS I’ve also got lots of myrtle berries that I’m not quite sure what to do with. Any ideas?


There is this old Hungarian saying that whatever you can make jam with can also be distilled to make pálinka… just saying.


We’re in a flat but we have tomatoes, chives, salad leaves, chard and rosemary planted. Need to get some new stuff on the go though so if anyone has any recommendations for balcony gardens that work well I’m all ears!


it’s tempting…


Very exciting! I have had reasonable success keeping some supermarket herb pots alive for a few weeks. I cam back from holiday to a forest of basil and mint. I made homemade pesto with the basil and I guess there’s some mint sauce in my future too!

Other than that, I’ve built (cobbled together from the kids’ playhouse) a cage so I can grow some things in the garden in reasonable safety from marauding squirrels and foxes, who have thwarted all previous plans. They’ll still be in growbags, but hopefully going to plant courgette, cherry tomatoes and more in this so the kids can help me grow it (and eat it)

My goal, one day, is to cook a homemade / homegrown version (OK, I’ll buy the Jamon) of this dish:


Have to admit, I first thought this was a private message aimed at @Herbster:wink:

We have a very woody rosemary bush that seems to have taken over the herb patch. The mint has very handily seeded itself along the cracks in the patio just by the kitchen door, and the thyme is doing well. Must try some other stuff, though.

From a distant childhood memory, myrtle berries make an excellent jam!


Given where you work, you MUST grow Society Garlic! It grows great in pots, and produces pretty edible flowers for about six months. The flowers have a distinct but not overpowering garlic flavour. Ideal for canapes or to sprinkle over salads.


You can always try and make some home-made Mirto liqueur with the berries! :smile: We had some a few years back on a holiday in Sardinia and loved it. A bit medicinal, but flavoursome. They put it into everything in Sardinia, including their famous suckling pig- Porcheddu. Yum!


That looks like some tasty booze :+1:

Well, as it happens…!

The local toddler group got the girls to plant some French beans a few weeks back and somehow they’ve survived living in our household long enough to be able to move them outside onto some canes, so here’s hoping.

Our rosemary plant is tough as old boots but the sage is a bit more needy in the summer and I have to actually remember to throw some water on it every now and again.

Our previous house had the most prolific raspberry canes anyone could ask for, and come the autumn you could fill a giant margarine tub in one pass, then go out the next day and do it all over again. Best jam ever - wish I’d tried to make pálinka with them now…


looking forward to seeing that filled with tomatoes and courgettes, Robert - nice work. The Swiss chard in your recipe is fairly easy to grow, also the artichokes, they just take a year or two to get going. You could prob grow the arthichokes outside the cage as I don’t think squirrels would be too interested in them (famous last words).


We have various herbs growing in the garden, but none of them ever seen very keen to be there… The only exception is the curly-leaf parsley, which seems to have doubled in size every time I see it, but which no-one ever has any desire to use in any recipe because it’s so meh.


Remember that squirrel tastes like partridge Robert, not so sure about fox though :slight_smile:


Lots of things…all the above plus swiss chard, radishes, beetroot, carrots parsnips and other beans, shallots, garlic. Also have fruit bushes and strawberries.

Haven’t sown a lot of the veg yet as the soil is still very cold up here, but the tatties went in 3-4 weeks ago, and the peas/beans made the chilly journey from greenhouse to allotment yesterday. Tomato plants being potted today if it stops raining…

Got quite a few herbs too though my rosemary is dying back on one side…

Weather has been pretty brutal up here all year. We didn’t get the heatwave - Saturday was ok, but only one day then back to cold and wet…


Yes, never tried it myself but Budgen’s in Crouch End used to sell squirrel in their frozen isle a few years ago - not sure if they still do!


Lot of trees up Highgate/Hampstead way…used to live on Crouch Hill for a couple of years back in the day…

I have tried it, and it’s very good. Portion sized too…


We recently made a mega Game order from a really fantastic supplier in Suffolk. They also sell squirrel, so I’m tempted to try it! The photograph on their site is a tad off-putting, but I am known to eat off putting things, so might have a go when we place our next order! :wink:


I’d be very happy to eat squirrel, but I’m not sure that I’d want to start with the ones around my house, raised in urban South East London … I suspect they’re rather toxic!

And the big question, … what wine to match with squirrel? I tried our Food & Wine matcher and sadly came away empty-handed


Well, supposedly it tastes a bit like rabbit, but has finer texture… so presumably wines that go with rabbit would work well…?
Here’s a recipe that could work with a nice Rioja or even a Carménère…


The French (of course!) have beaten us to it:

Various suggestions, from Loire Cab Franc to CNDP, and even a Corsican Patrimonio, depending on how exactly one decides to cook/sauce one’s squirrel…


Squirrel au vin? Would have to be a Burgundy, preferably a great one so that you forget you’re eating squirrel… !?