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Growing your own veg / herbs?


Pretend it’s flat-leaf and make a massive tabbouleh out of it :+1:


I’ve done that, but it’s just never as good as with flat leaf… Especially because I do not have the patience/skill of a Lebanese grandmother, so never chop it as small as I know I ought to.


Not Wine Society but I’d have to go for something from the Red Squirrel portfolio.


These guys are one of the best small importers in the UK. Some of the list leans to the natural side but a Bellwether Cabernet or a Dal Zotto Neb might do the trick.


Most herbs grow themselves if planted in the garden! Especially mints, which can be alarmingly invasive. The big exception is French Tarragon. We just can’t keep it going over winter.

Fruits are my main thing. Various plums, damsons, mirabelles and gages, plus several apples and pears, a fig and a quince. I’ve got a couple of hazelnuts, though please don’t mention aquirrels, which stripped both of them two years ago. Of soft fruit, raspberries and blackcurrants. I did have a redcurrant bush but it inexplicably died suddenly and I haven’t replaced it yet.



Hoping for dining-out recommendations, I once made the mistake of asking my students in Beirut who made the best tabbouleh in the area. The answer came in unison: “my mum!”


Every year I grow chillies, today I’ve potted out
Spike (excellent prolific med-hot thin fruit on bush plant)
Pencil Cayenne (long med-hot fruit on tall plant)
Black Hungarian (new to me, has black fruit)
my favourite, Prairie Fire, didn’t germinate this year so I will buy a plant in due course.

Delayed because of my broken arm, but today I planted tomato seeds:
Sungold (beautiful sweet flavoured orange/gold cherry size, very prolific)
Chocolate Cherry (lovely taste, dramatic in salad, chestnut coloured large cherry)
Gardeners Delight (standard sized red with good taste)
‘Avignon’ (beefsteak tom from seeds saved from a tom I enjoyed in Avignon)

fewer than last year but struggling with arm


Two types of courgette; two types of lettuce; rocket; beetroot; two types of radish; cavalo nero; runner beans; a veg called salsola; two varieties of carrot; various peppers; chillis; tomatoes. It all sounds impressive, but these will be in small quantities…


The garlic went into large pots in mid December and the cold has done it the world of good - it’s growing very well. I have white rot at the allotment, so have to grow garlic, shallots and onions in pots.

Chillies have germinated well and are ready to pot on with the tomatoes soon to follow.

With regard to @laura, if you have some sun and warmth, grow dwarf French beans in largish pots (better than a growbag) - they crop easily and for a long time with few pests and much better quality than imported ones - best value for money!

I’m in agreement with @Ghost-of-Mr-Tallis - fruit is a great option if you have more space, especially blackcurrants and redcurrants - with some strawberries and raspberries, I make a great Summer Pudding jam.

This year, I am about to plant The Great Experiment; I have 3 Pinot Meunier, 3 Chardonnay and 4 Pinot Noir grapevines about to go in; another 6 or 7 years and there might be a bottle or two of local ‘champagne’! If they can do it down south… I will post a few photos when they’re growing well.


I was perusing the Society twitter-feed and noticed that an article had passed me by that was very relevant to this chat so thought I ought to include it for comment.

Not only are more of us growing our own veg these days, but more of us are switching to vegetarian diets (I seem to recall that there are a few vegetarians here or those who have vegetarian partners - @NickFoster @BenFranksWine @Andy999)



Yes, we asked Steve for his thoughts on food and wine matching with veggie/vegan dishes, not just because so many more people are eating that way these days, but also you can now select veggie and vegan-friendly wines on the website:

Not sure that squirrel would be on the menu for those seeking these wines out, unless they are like my mate’s ex-partner in Oz. A rather militant vegan, he felt that to NOT eat roadkill was not only wasteful but also rather disrespectful to the poor deceased creatures! Bon appétit!


Your not finished there Robert, the fence needs repairing :rofl:


Ha! Indeed. In fact, the reason I was moving the playhouse and creating this cage was in order to get it away from the fence so it could be fixed (by a professional … not me!). I shall send a picture shortly, once growbags are in place.



This is the veggie and fruit corner of my garden from early last year, I am going to miss all this as we have the house on the market and need to downsize, I have been fortunate to have had large plots, up to 2+ acres with one exception in all our moves, this will when it happens be the 12th, and it something you get used to and enjoy especially the privacy and peaceful surrounding, something you appreciate more when you have worked in London all your life.

The only problem in recent years is deer, they are becoming an increasing pest and everything has to be netted or protected, deterents only work if you constantly change them and that is a chore as when they stop working the deer are in again.

The veg patch is nice to have along with the greenhouse as varieties you never see in the shops can be grown and though there is always wastage as two people can never eat the glut you get, we give away surplus fruit and veg so there is no waste.


And the result…nine different varieties



Yummy looking tomatoes !!

What varieties are they?


I’ve always found a 0.303 calibre quite an effective control for deer…but appreciate that might not be practical where you are!

Lovely looking plate of toms there.


I would imagine so! The local vineyards are surrounded by a ten foot high fence to keep them out.

Excellent toms!


The varieties are Shirley for the standard red, Chocolate Cherry, Sungold, Red Pear, Costoluto Fiorentino, Yellow Brandywine the big yellow and the best tasting big tomato I have grown, Black Russian at the back not showing is a large deep red / black interior with a rustic taste, the best breakfast cooked tomato, Jubilee another large yellow/orange but not a reliable produce, IIdi a small yellow.

The range of seeds on offer today is enormous with so many of the “heirloom” varieties being re introduced, though not F1 hybrids and not great producers they do have some very different flavours compared to the supermarket toms.


This will be the third year that I’ve grown the Costoluto Fiorentino. I got them from ‘The Real Seed Catalogue’.


Yes they do some heirloom varieties, but this firm do a lot more…


and most of the seed companies are adding more every year.

And this firm, being Italian has some very good varieties of not just Tomato but many othe Italian veg varieties and are probably the best value firm to deal with.

I have no idea what any of this has to do with wine, apart fro Yellow Brandywine, but it makes a change !


Thanks for the names The large one on top with the yelow colouring around the stalk looks like the one I saved seeds from in Avignon and have planted here for three years. Trouble with these large toms is the time it takes for them to grow and ripen. Last year my ‘Avignon’ one broke its vine with its weight…

I must give Yellow Brandywine a try next year.

Ref your last sentence, by the time homegrown tomatoes are ripe there’s a glut of toms in supermarkets so its only really worth growing varieties supermarkets don’t stock.