Chris Whitehouse

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since Jun 01, 2018
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Recent posts by Chris Whitehouse

Hi, not sure if this is the best forum to pose my question! Or whether it would be better to start a new thread. Anyway here goes….

My problem is a plague of young pheasants late summer into autumn until the shooting season starts. They love all the overwintering crops I try to grow so if I don’t fence them off I don’t get any!  At the moment I use a selection of plastic wire fencing with bamboo canes to support it, not easy to put up, not very attractive or environment friendly.

I have been wondering about trying to create moveable hurdles using hazel or willow, probably about 4ft by 2 ft that could be easily pushed into the ground and moved as needed. Along the lines of the willow obelisk in the first video above, but in the form of a rectangle. My question is would this structure be rigid enough as unlike an obelisk it wouldn’t have the inbuilt rigidity of the circle. I would want to minimise the number of horizontal ties so as to get maximum light through.

Has anyone tried anything like this? Any comments welcomed.
1 month ago
I can’t believe no one has mentioned risotto - my absolute favourite is https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/butternut-squash-sage-risotto. Very simple and very lovely, mouth is watering at the thought of it!
1 month ago
Thought I would share my daughters experience. She lives in an old cottage with a very tiny courtyard style garden in a town, no car access. She leaves garden waste to mulch what beds she has, but uses Bokashi bins for all food waste. These she keeps in the kitchen, together theyre about the size of a large trash bin. There is no smell and it seems to cope with their needs (4 in the house). Plus the addition of the compost to the garden over the past couple of years improved the soil hugely. Just shows what can be done in an urban setting.
4 months ago
Someone suggested using peat instead of coir - please please DONT. Peat is not a sustainable resource while coir is a waste stream from coconut harvesting. Here in the uk we are finally banning peat from manufactured seed/potting composts. We have lost a huge amount of peat bogs in recent times and that has wasted a valuable carbon sink.
Some fantastic info here - many thanks for the tip on Jerusalem artichokes, will give them a try. I have always been put off by the gastric tales of disaster!

Another perennial I had is purple tree collards, but it only survived a couple of years. My fault I think as I kept moving it while I reorganised my veg beds, and didn’t stake it properly. Also the cabbage white butterflies loved it.😢  We did manage a few meals from it and it was very tasty so I am not giving up yet. Cuttings seem easy to strike so 🤞

I also have some hablitzia which does well, but not so keen on that.
10 months ago
Echo everything mentioned above. Solomon's Seal is also supposed to be good, a bit like hosta, haven't tried it yet, but have grown it as an ornamental for years so maybe this spring....

my take on perennials is they are never going to be the mainstay of your diet, but worth having to add variety and diversity to meals. and if you don't have to put a lot of effort in to grow them so much the better. plus the satisfaction of pulling something straight from the garden into the pan.

btw someone mentioned cooking sorrel in water. this isn't necessary - I just dry fry it in a pan and it soon breaks down just like spinach as it has so much water in it.  I pass it through a sieve to tale out any stringy bits, and add it to mayo for a wonderful sauce for fish. 🙂
10 months ago
I use plastic pots with lids for freezer storage (yes, I know it’s not permie, but these have been in use now for nearly 20 years and still going strong, so no apologies!). They are like the Rubbermaid previously mentioned, but by Lakeland, a UK company. They come in handy portion sizes and I can write the contents on the lid with a Sharpie pen, and they stack easily so keep the freezer tidy.

When they do finally give up, not sure what I will do - not keen on using glass, too bulky, and danger of breaking. I never/rarely use plastic food wrap or plastic bags. The trouble is freezing is so convenient and easy, I couldn’t cope with canning or bottling any more than I already do and anyway not keen on the texture of some canned veg and fruit. May be I will have to experiment with metal or glass…
1 year ago
Along the same lines, a good way to  occupy youngsters wanting to ‘help’ with the repair job is to ask them to do a very important job to find a specific nut/bolt/screw from your storage pots of spares - could keep them happy for hours! 😀
I endorse the use of pheromone traps - I tried it to break the cycle of moths on my greengage tree, and this year I actually had my first small crop of greengages after waiting for about 7 years!  😁😁😁
1 year ago
(Green garbanzos in the pod are a seasonal delicacy in the Mexican markets here.  You can either steam them or toast them in a dry pan until you see some black spots on the pods.  You eat just the pea, and discard the pod like edamame.)

Thanks for the tip, sounds worth a try….