Wednesday, 29 February 2012
We were kindly given some hostes or ostes which are traditionally cooked with black eyed beans during early Spring. The plant is a thistle like perennial plant and is very spiny and in the same family as the artichoke and was collected from the fields surrounding the village. The plants spines are removed to leave the stems which are peeled of their outer skin to leave a celery like tasting stem. These stems are thoroughly washed and either eaten raw or cut and boiled as a vegetable.
Friday, 24 February 2012
All you need to prune roses are good sharp pair of secateurs and a thick pair of gardening gloves to protect you from rose thorns.
Rather than dump all your cuttings you may want to propagate some to provide more bushes for your garden or to pass on to friends. Pick out 6-8 healthy looking young stems and cut to about 15-20cm long leaving some leaves at the top. Slice to remove some bark from the bottom of each stem and dip in rooting hormone before inserting into a suitable sized pot filled with fine potting compost which has been moistened. Once all stems have been inserted into the pot, cover with a plastic bag and secure to keep in the moisture. Place in a warm area in full sun and the stems will root in 6-8 weeks.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
With a little gardening knowledge and a frugal approach to growing your own you can produce delicious fresh food cheaply.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Chives and garlic chives are part of the allium family and are perennial herbs which grow from a small bulbs. Chives which originated in Asia and have a mild onion or garlic flavour. Chives have the same nutritional and health benefits as other alliums.
Chives can grow to about 30-50cm high and produce, depending on the variety, beautiful pink and lavender blossoms which can also be added to salads.
Chives prefer a well-drained soil and benefit from adding well rotted manure or compost before planting.
Plant chives between mid-February and mid-May in an area which enjoys full sun. Keep moist and weed free.
Plant clumps of up to six chive bulbs 15cm apart. Divide large clumps of chives about every 3 years. Dig up the plants and divide them into small clumps with four to six bulbs each.
Use scissors to cut chives about 5cm above the soil. Before the plants flower, harvest from the outside edges of the clumps. After flowering, cut back the entire plant.
Add to salads, soups, fish and potato dishes.
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Olive oil for frying
One medium sized onion finely chopped
One medium potato peeled and cubed
5-6 washed celery stalks (include the leaves) and cut thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
500ml of vegetable stock and 300ml milk
Add the vegetable stock and milk and bring to simmer gently.
Cook gently for 15 minutes
Once slightly cooled - use a hand held blender to liquidize.
Serve with a roll and enjoy.
Wednesday, 1 February 2012
A good month to split any well established perennial plants to transplant or to take root cutting for propagation.
Plant out Jerusalem Artichokes at 15cm deep and 40cm apart.
Provide support for developing sweet peas, either sticks or netting.
Sow peppers in a propagator and start shooting sweet potatoes
Spinach can be sown in your vegetable bed.
Sow aniseed, chamomile, chicory, chives in your herb patch
Sow directly marigolds and nasturniums
Egg plants, marrow, squashes and pumpkin can be started in a propagator mid-month
Sow directly into a prepared vegetable bed - spring onions,beetroot, salad leaves and radish
Sow oregano, basil and tumeric in a propagator. Plant out comfrey offsets
Plant out lettuce started in propagator in January and sow more in a propagator
Prune olives at any time during the month
Happy gardening - remember it's safer to grow your own. For further advice go to cyprusgardener.co.uk or http://cyprusgardener.blogspot.com