More Crop

(By the way, for any new readers, I’ve not gone mad – I use this blog as a catalogue of my experiments with growing my own food.) I thought I’d try a few carrots this year, just to see how they went. Though they are interesting shapes, this first lot should feed us nicely for a meal.

There’s still plenty going on in the garden. I’ve more carrots on the go and, as you can see, plenty of weird varieties of cooking radishes and turnips. The broad beans are poking through, and the raspberries are getting to the end of giving fruit. I’ve recently planted some onions (called Troy) and garlic (a huge variety called Chesnok Red, which shames all supermarket varieties) so I shall see how they go.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.


  1. Hey, well done! I’ve only managed some chillis, a few herbs and tomatoes this year, and my garden is a mess!

  2. I always plant my garlic on the shortest day and begin harvesting on the longest day. Eat the fresh garlic wet, or plait it and dry it. Fabulous!

    Gorgeous carrots, by the way!

    Some of the most expensive veg are salad leaves. I grow them in pots and cut them rather than pull them. Packets of seeds at less than a quid can last all through the summer.

  3. Nice work.

    How’s the sloe-gin coming along?

    How much of it can you drink by the way? I’m debating whether I want to make another batch or not as my favourite sloe bush is groaning with sloes. First batch of sloes should come out of freezer in a few days after getting some extra ripening on trays and then breaking down the cell walls with freezing (which also saves me pricking the damn things).

    I’ve already collected about 7 lbs of sloes to mix with 700 or so cl of gin.

    I was tempted to ferment some the sloe on their skins in a wine bucket but will save that project for another year.

    I’m using some 100 proof gin as the base with a starter mix of sugar and local honey (keeping it fairly strong and dry). Planning on leaving the mixture for about 10-12 months – then decanting off the liquid and adding the remainder of sugar/honey to draw off the absorbed gin and final colorants/juice from the sloes via osmosis. I’ll then add that back to the reserved liquid and discard the sloes. I’ve got some 500ml bottles to put it into and then I’ll leave it for another 6-8 months to mature.

    I’m curious to see how it all comes out. Shame it will take near two years to find out.

    So, when are you going to get a hive of bees and start bottling your own mead?


  4. Thanks, guys.

    Adelie – and herbs, too – such a mark-up at the supermarket. There seems to be this grand impression that supermarket food is cheap (probably the advertising).

    Eric – there seem to be plenty of different ratios for sloes to gin. I’m using the River Cottage recipe, which says “For every pound of fruit add 8oz of sugar and a pint or so of gin”

    I’m going to leave mine until about Christmas, then drain the gin into separate bottles, and store some for a while. Perhaps a year. The Apple Wine could take just as long – you can’t be in this home-brew game for a quick hit!

    Funny you mention bees – I know a man nearby who is planning to get his own hive, so I could always annoy him for a jar or two of honey.