banner ad

DIY Projects

Gift ideas – Herbs

Gift ideas – Herbs

Julia Squires has created a cottage business supplying herbs in unusual containers. Here she provides tips on creating a handy 24/7 kitchen herb garden Here at Coombe Cottage, since leaving the rat race, our new life has opened up many exciting doors for us – one of which is growing and selling herbs. I have […]

By October 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
How to Build a Dehydrator

How to Build a Dehydrator

                                       Making the most of an abundant harvest is the name of the game for all home farmers, and this month reader, Chris Southall (ecodiy.org) shows us how to do it in style with a ‘powered’ solar dehydrator In addition to bottling and jamming, we are also preserving more and more fruit by drying here […]

By October 12, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
All your Electric Poultry Questions Answered Here

All your Electric Poultry Questions Answered Here

If you’ve not worked with electric netting before setting up a new system can appear daunting. But there is lot’s of help and advice available and the systems in use now are safe and easy to install. We’ve asked the experts at Electric Fencing Direct to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about […]

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Mark Abbott-Compton guides us through setting up and preparing the ideal growing environment for your veg. One of the commonest things I am asked is, “How do I increase the amount of vegetables harvested from the garden?” Well, over the years, gardens have become smaller and smaller, and many people no longer want to devote […]

Make Your Own Seed Tapes

Make Your Own Seed Tapes

Here’s a quicky garden hack which makes a practical alternative or a great gift. Seed mats and seed tapes seem to be a popular feature in gardening catalogues but using basic kitchen items and seeds you can easily make your own. Using seed mats and tapes helps you to place your seeds exactly where you […]

By March 27, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Pallet Hack

Pallet Hack

Thanks to reader, C. Roberts, who emailed me this info on pallet deconstruction. A useful skill if you are planning to make use of the wood for projects such as our chair. Or seek out further inspiration from ideas on our Pinterest board dedicated to all thinks pallety. The different uses to which pallets can […]

By March 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

in The Kitchen

Roasted Tomato and Chilli Pasta Sauce

Roasted Tomato and Chilli Pasta Sauce

We’ve recently been asked for our recipe for this tasty pasta pour-over sauce. I’ve finally found it! Ingredients 6 large or 8 medium-sized tomatoes 1 red pepper 1 red chillip pepper, sliced finely or ½ teaspoon chilli flakes 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato puree 2 cloves garlic 1 dessertspoon balsamic inegar 75ml dry white wine Olive […]

By October 16, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Vanilla Caramels

Vanilla Caramels

We’re building up quite a collection of recipes for toffee’s and other sweets at HF-HQ. Ingredients 45g salted butter 225g plain sugar 250ml double cream 4 tbsp runny honey 1-2 tsp vanilla essence Method Line a 20 x 20cm tin with greaseproof paper Put the butter, sugar, cream and honey into a saucepan over a […]

By October 16, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Carrot and Parsnip Cake

Carrot and Parsnip Cake

Carrots and parsnips work equally well in Garby Bartai’s recipe, giving the sponge a lovely moist texture and a nutty flavour. Try it now with casualties from your carrot crop, and again when you come to lift your parsnips. INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE 250g self-raising flour 250g soft light brown sugar 2 tsp baking powder […]

By October 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Rowan Liqueur

Rowan Liqueur

An unusual use for rowan berries is derived from a Victorian liqueur recipe – a nice touch for the Christmas table or other celebration. This is Heidi Sand’s simple recipe, which could be varied with the addition of other hedge fruits, including rose-hips or blackberries. INGREDIENTS A good handful of clean rowan berries ½ litre […]

By October 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Plum Table Wine

Plum Table Wine

The plum family has an extraordinary variety of flavour and colour range, from green and pale gold to pink, red and deep purple. The resulting wines vary accordingly, but most fall into the range of a delicate rosé – unless blended with elderberries. Victoria is the variety of plum I love best of all; it’s […]

By October 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Making Mead

Making Mead

Mead has been popular going right back to Anglo-Saxon times, particularly for special occasions. It was widely made and drunk in pre-Reformation monasteries, and it was often monks who did much to improve bee-keeping standards at the time. Mead was often served in a wooden beaker called a ‘mazer’, and these famous ‘loving cups’, with […]

By October 12, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Renewable Energy

Offshore Wind now Cheaper than Gas and Nuclear

Offshore Wind now Cheaper than Gas and Nuclear

There are consistent howls from the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Owen Paterson whenever renewable energy is mentioned, together with a patronising comment that it has its part to play in the greater scheme of things, but will never meet the mass needs of the UK. It’s often suggested  that wind turbines are more damaging […]

By September 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Solar Power for the Shed

Solar Power for the Shed

John Butterworth checks out recent developments in solar panels as he provides solar-powered lighting for a tractor shed I wrote about using a solar panel to power a hen-house light in a previous post, so now it’s time to see how things have moved on, and to get up to date with a newer, bigger […]

By February 8, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Is this the end of Fracking…or Renewables?

Is this the end of Fracking…or Renewables?

As the UK government attempts to limit local democracy in the UK to force through fracking, and goes cap in hand to the Chinese to enable its nuclear ambitions, it seems the Americans have done a U-turn – apparently, solar and wind power are surging forward as shale gas and coal falter. It seems that […]

Anaerobic Digestion – Spreading the Goodness

Anaerobic Digestion – Spreading the Goodness

Through the process of combining biodegradable materials, a new fuel was created that produced electricity and other self-sufficient solutions. This not only saved money, but also reduced environmental impacts by making our waste once again useful. Known as Anaerobic Digestion, we saw a reduction in fossil fuel by 50% as we discovered what materials would […]

By August 18, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Going Off-grid

Going Off-grid

So you’ve heard the predictions regarding fuel shortages and you’re fed up with being held to ransom by Tom, Dick and every other fuel provider. Or you’re planning your escape to the big, green outdoors with limited access to on-grid fuel supply. Either way the idea of going off-grid is tempting to most home farmers. […]

By January 29, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
E.Coli to the Rescue

E.Coli to the Rescue

E.Coli to the rescue – probably one of the less likely phrases you might expect to come across. Universally it has quite rightly always been considered one of Nature’s real bad guys, but in the same way that John McVicar became a force for good, British and Finnish scientists have been using E.Coli to create […]

Crafts

Gift ideas – Herbs

Gift ideas – Herbs

Julia Squires has created a cottage business supplying herbs in unusual containers. Here she provides tips on creating a handy 24/7 kitchen herb garden Here at Coombe Cottage, since leaving the rat race, our new life has opened up many exciting doors for us – one of which is growing and selling herbs. I have […]

By October 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
How to Build a Dehydrator

How to Build a Dehydrator

                                       Making the most of an abundant harvest is the name of the game for all home farmers, and this month reader, Chris Southall (ecodiy.org) shows us how to do it in style with a ‘powered’ solar dehydrator In addition to bottling and jamming, we are also preserving more and more fruit by drying here […]

By October 12, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Knitted Christmas Tree Decoration

Knitted Christmas Tree Decoration

This Christmas stocking to hang on your tree or fill with a few sweets is super easy and quick to knit. Use bits of DK wool. For a three dimensional look, pad it with filler and patch the top with felt to keep it in. Using 3.75 needles and main colour cast on 18 stitches. […]

By September 9, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Pallet Hack

Pallet Hack

Thanks to reader, C. Roberts, who emailed me this info on pallet deconstruction. A useful skill if you are planning to make use of the wood for projects such as our chair. Or seek out further inspiration from ideas on our Pinterest board dedicated to all thinks pallety. The different uses to which pallets can […]

By March 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Getting Started on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Getting Started on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Ann Dishman is the Chair of the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers and a gifted weaver of Scandinavian-style rugs. Here she explains her technique and how to source the material I have loved spinning and weaving for many years – not the intricate and beautiful weavings of my fellow weavers but the […]

By February 13, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
How to Make a Fancy Planter

How to Make a Fancy Planter

John Butterworth makes an attractive planter – a bit fiddly (his own words) but well worth the effort. Plus it will last a few seasons due to using good quality wood and preservative. Here’s a little project that will cost very little in materials, and it’s ideal for those long, winter days, but I have […]

By February 2, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Livestock

We’ve Got Goats

We’ve Got Goats

  Home Farmer reader, Pete Sheppard, has taken on goats. Here’s the tale of how it all happened and what he learn’t along the way. “Goats? Really? Why?” Or “Aah… how cute!” Or “…they’ll just eat everything and escape!” These are the responses we get when we say we’ve become goat keepers. I have to […]

By October 16, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Why Keep Alpacas

Why Keep Alpacas

When moving from a semi to a smallholding, Neal Reid had to decide which new animals should accompany the family chickens. He chose alpacas, and here’s why… We started to plan our move to a smallholding (it had a lot more land than our previous semi-detached house) long before we finally moved. From starting to […]

By October 12, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Asian Hornet Found in Woolacombe

Asian Hornet Found in Woolacombe

A recent sighting of an Asian hornet in Woolacombe, Devon, has been confirmed by the National Bee Unit ‒the first sighting since a nest was discovered and successfully destroyed in Gloucestershire last year. Efforts to identify and destroy any nests are already underway involving a surveillance zone in North Devon; a local control centre in […]

Royal Approval for British Hen Welfare Trust Rescue Hens

Royal Approval for British Hen Welfare Trust Rescue Hens

Six ex-battery hens have gone one better than most after landing themselves a slice of royal life in Kensington Gardens this week! Re-homed by the British Hen Welfare Trust, this rags-to-riches tale includes one even more significant bird – she happens to be the 600,000th hen saved from slaughter by the charity, and she has […]

UK Officially Free from Avian Influenza

UK Officially Free from Avian Influenza

Nigel Gibbens, the Government Chief Vet, announced on Wednesday that the UK has now met international requirements to declare itself free from Avian Influenza, although he reiterated earlier calls for all poultry keepers to remain vigilant for signs of the disease, as there is a real and constant threat as it continues to circulate in […]

By September 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Double Award Success for British Hen Welfare Trust

Double Award Success for British Hen Welfare Trust

A hen charity which has saved more than 570,000 birds from slaughter is celebrating being shortlisted for two prestigious awards. The British Hen Welfare Trust is one of five charities to be shortlisted in the Small Charity, Big Achiever category in the Third Sector Awards. The winner will be announced on 21st September. Further good […]

The Kitchen Garden

Quick Growing Veg

Quick Growing Veg

Elizabeth McCorquodale sorts out some of the fastest-growing vegetable varieties for your plot and your plate, with our brief for a maximum three-month waiting time Although we might not necessarily all think of gardening as a year-round affair, we do generally regard it as a pastime that fills all of the warmer months. But what […]

By October 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Chase Organics Awarded Royal Warrant

Chase Organics Awarded Royal Warrant

Congratulations to Chase Organics, producers of the Organic Gardening Catalogue and best known to gardeners and horticulturists for their extensive range of organic seeds, seaweed plant nutrition products and garden supplies. The company has recently been granted the Royal Warrant to HRH Prince of Wales. Founded by Major L. H. Chase, the inventor of the […]

How to Graft Tomatoes (and other veg)

How to Graft Tomatoes (and other veg)

Grafting brings the strong points of different varieties to a single plant – disease resistance of hybrid rootstocks and the flavour of heirloom varieties, for example. Mark Abbott-Compton investigates A BRIEF HISTORY OF GRAFTING Grafting has been common practice for centuries, but the grafting of vegetables only really took off in the 1920s. The first […]

By August 24, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Weeds – friend or foe?

Weeds – friend or foe?

Whilst acknowledging the inconvenience of weeds in a garden, award-winning gardening and environment author, John Walker, extolls their wider and more important value to our ecosystem in his latest book, Weeds. (Please see the offer at the end of this article)  @earthFgardener www.earthfriendlygardener.net Weeds are amazing. When I stumble upon a clump of creeping thistle, […]

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Setting up and Looking After Raised Beds

Mark Abbott-Compton guides us through setting up and preparing the ideal growing environment for your veg. One of the commonest things I am asked is, “How do I increase the amount of vegetables harvested from the garden?” Well, over the years, gardens have become smaller and smaller, and many people no longer want to devote […]

How to make Cider Vinegar

How to make Cider Vinegar

There are always some free apples for the taking in autumn, writes Elizabeth McCorquodale, whether from wildings, community orchards, or through social media sites like Freecycle, and making up a batch of apple cider vinegar is a cheap way of acidifying soil or making your own spot weedkiller. You can of course use it for […]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Sign up to our newsletter and get a FREE copy of our e-book, Making Cakes and Bakes,

filled with over 100 of our best-loved recipes taken from Home Farmer 2008 - 2015.