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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

Tia Maria Ice Cream

Tia Maria Ice Cream

Reader Claire Boley’s wonderfully luxurious ice cream dessert ideal for those who are not keen on Christmas pudding. Ingredients 4 egg yolks 220g thick honey 1 pint double cream 57g Tia Maria (measure carefully – if you use too much it will not set) Method Whisk the egg yolks with the honey until the mixture […]

By November 16, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Using Left-overs to make Dog Biscuits

Using Left-overs to make Dog Biscuits

Here’s a useful recipe sent in by reader M Cleaver in Northampton for using up left-overs to make a batch of dog biscuits. Ingredients 450g wholemeal plain flour 50g beef or lamb dripping and/or oil from tinned fish Leftover gravy mixed to 560ml with water and an egg ¼ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon curry powder […]

By November 15, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Amaretto Trifle

Amaretto Trifle

City Cottage’s Diana Peacock’s Amaretto Trifle is definitely one for special occasions. The amaretto goes so well with the apricots. INGREDIENTS 12–15 amaretti biscuits, crushed until quite fine 4 tbsp amaretto liqueur 1 can apricots in juice 350ml/12fl oz whole milk 1/2 tsp almond extract 2 tbsp corn flour 1 tbsp golden caster sugar 1 […]

By November 13, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Rhubarb Crumble Muffins

Try Elizabeth McCorquodale’s rhubarb crumble muffins for a superb ‘deconstruction’ of one of the all-time great crumble recipes. The ingredients list below makes 12 muffins. INGREDIENTS FOR THE RHUBARB FILLING 3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and chopped quite small ½ cup white sugar  Juice and rind of 1 orange FOR THE MUFFINS 1½ cups self-raising flour  […]

By October 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Make your Own Baileys Cream

Make your Own Baileys Cream

After a 9 hour journey from the Hebrides to our house, just before last Christmas, my tired and eager for relaxation, sister-in-law came into the house, and wearily said what she really, really fancied was a Bailey’s Irish Cream. Whoops. We had everything else, we had the advocaat in memory of my late mother-in-law, we […]

By October 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
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 →

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

Bath Tea Bags

Bath Tea Bags

These muslin sachets, often called Tub Teas, can be hung form the taps, so the water runs through them while you are running your bath. Each bag can be used twice. Dry thoroughly after the first use, then use again before discarding the mixture ready for refilling. *Instead of herbs you can use the contents […]

By November 15, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
Gifts for Gardeners Ideas

Gifts for Gardeners Ideas

Elizabeth McCorquodale creates some easy-to-make, fun and personalised home-made Christmas presents, many using either home-grown or recycled materials I love making things from scratch, and throughout the year I set aside interesting bits and pieces – pretty jars or bottles, old cutlery, even old cans – that I can use later to make something for […]

By November 8, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
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 →

Livestock

Keeping Pigs in the Garden

Keeping Pigs in the Garden

Linda MacDonald Brown, author of Pigs for the Freezer, considers the possibility of keeping pigs in your garden. The idea of keeping a couple of pigs in your garden can be a scary one – after all, there is a huge difference between keeping a few chickens for their eggs and two pigs for their […]

By November 10, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
BHWT Rehoming Day

BHWT Rehoming Day

Back in 2009, in the relatively early days of Home Farmer, I spent time with Adele Hall, the Trust’s regional co-ordinator for the northwest and the gang of volunteers on one of their rehoming days. Prompted by a call-out from the BHWT who want to get more co-ordinators I’ve revisited the article I wrote as […]

By October 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
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 […]

The Kitchen Garden

Seaweed on the Garden

Seaweed on the Garden

Frank Beswick gives advice on collection and processing seaweed to apply to your plot. WHEN MY SON returned to England after a year abroad, he needed to put a bit of weight back on. Needless to say, maternal instinct kicked in and his mother cooked him a full roast dinner, with all the vegetables coming […]

By October 21, 2017 0 Comments Read More →
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 […]

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