Tag Archives: Carl Legge

Carl Legge’s Foraged Nettle Permie Pizza


If you have been reading this blog for a long time you might recall a post or two in which Mr IronFingers and I went out nettle picking. If I pick nettles I have to wear two pairs of gloves and make a huge song and dance about it. If the bag so much as brushes against my skin once it has nettles in it, I scream – just in case – a bit like the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland. If a nettle looks at me, I quiver abjectly. Mr IronFingers on the other hand laughs at nettles and grasps them firmly and then pops them in the bag. He who is hopelessly allergic to all berry fruit and their little tiny hairs does not react to nettles at all, how strange is that?

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Cecilia’s Amazing Kefir Bread – did I doubt her?

11th March 2013

Kefir Grain Zeb Bakes

In 2012 I was lucky enough to be sent some milk kefir grains by Carl Legge, a generous and enthusiastic baker, grower and published author who lives in North Wales.

Kefir FermentingI fed them for a while and experimented with making rudimentary soft cheese with it, but found that the grains grew bigger and bigger and fermented the  milk faster and faster and I couldn’t keep up. So I followed instructions on Dom’s Kefir! and froze them. I defrosted them about a week ago and have been giving them lots of love and so far they seem to have survived freezing fine. Continue reading

Seedy Penpals – What a Brilliant Idea!

I am joining in with this simple and  life affirming Seedy Penpals Scheme – I have always sent a few seeds here and there and love the simplicity of this. I just wandered into the ‘cool room’ and surveyed the wreckage of the seeds that haven’t been sown this year and always regret and would love to share them, a mix of seeds I have saved, ones I have bought with great enthusiasm and so on.  I don’t know if I can match up to all the ideals of the scheme but I think it’s a good starting point for anyone.

Sadly we can’t do this with people outside the UK and EU but there’s nothing to stop you setting up your own Seedy Penpal scheme in other countries.  I tried once sending seeds ‘out of bounds’ and they didn’t germinate for the person I sent them to, so I suspect it’s probably not worth doing, quite apart from the legal aspects of it. I also often end up with too many small seedlings for my tiny garden, and frantically give them away as I suspect most suburban gardeners do, but I don’t see as how I can send those through the post.  I am sure many gardeners are in the same position. We should have local seedling swaps, a project for another growing season perhaps?

Edit : You can read all about the scheme on Carl Legge’s site and on Mel’s Edible Things site and sign up. Carl is a fount of knowledge and kind support about all sorts of things, and his enthusiasm is a joy. Mel is new to me but I am editing this post as I realise this is a joint project from them both. Hi Mel, I am going to spend some time on your site very soon, it looks great!

Here is an excerpt from his site to give you an idea of how it works…

Seedy Penpals is a great way to share seeds with like-minded people. We all like to send and receive surprise treats: with Seedy Penpals you get to grow them too (and eat some).

Seedy Penpals is also a great way to

  • Meet and make new friends who share your interest in gardening
  • Find new blogs you may like
  • Share your experience of different plants and how to grow & care for them
  • Increase your knowledge about how to grow & care for plants
  • Save & share your favourite varieties
  • Protect plant biodiversity
  • Conserve and promote heritage varieties of plants
  • Make sure your surplus seeds are not wasted

Who can join?

Anyone who would like to join is welcome. You can be:

  • a complete beginner, or
  • someone who knows they have green fingers
  • young, or
  • more ‘mature’

We’d like to see:

  • bloggers or non-bloggers
  • Tweeters or non-Tweeters
  • UK & other EU residents only (due to seed export restrictions)

To read more Click Here and join up and who knows what you will be growing next year!

Here are three things I have grown from seed this year. Some beautiful scented sweet peas and my attempt, yet again, at growing sweet peppers, this is the Lipstick variety and one of the tomato varieties I am trying.

You don’t have to blog, or tweet or anything like that to join in, so what are you waiting for?

It’s been a crazy year for growing stuff in the UK, we had a very cold dry spring and then loads of rain but something will always grow and well, isn’t that a good enough reason? I dunno.

One final pic of the Lateh tomato, a variety bred in Moscow, Idaho and distributed here by the Real Seed Company. It has a reputation of being one of the earliest around and able to cope with cold short growing seasons. This is the first ripe tomato, grown outdoors this year, amazing!