Archive | 21:33

Rhubarb And Compost

18 Mar

I spent a few hours in the garden this afternoon, potting up some peas, leeks and mange tout ready for the allotment and tidying up after the winter. We collected some large compost bins from Swansea Community Farm last summer, put two onto the allotment and kept one for the garden and I had a look through the hatch today and there was loads of nice crumbly compost, not smelly at all. I love compost. I’m a bit obsessed with it. I like to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth just to look at their compost corner. They experiment with making compost in different ways and I find it fascinating. Well, it keeps me off the streets 🙂

I dug some out and spread it around the rhubarb which is growing away very nicely – might have some for crumble in a couple of weeks. It grows really well in the back garden but didn’t like the allotment at all when I tried it. It’s really expensive in the shops these days but we get so much of it each year that I have to make chutney. It’s delicious. Here’s the recipe.

Rhubarb chutney

Great with cold meats, cheddar, cheese on toast, smoked fish, curry.

For each kilogram of washed, roughly chopped rhubarb, add –

  • 250 g of sultanas
  • 850g white granulated and 150 g dark brown sugar
  • 300 ml cider vinegar
  • 10 peeled, chopped cloves of garlic
  • 30g sea salt

Put everything into a very large pan and bring to the boil.

Cook at a good simmer for at least an hour until it is thick, stirring occasionally.

Pour into clean, hot jars and screw the lid on immediately (use waxed and cellophane jamming circles if you have some).

Label and date and store for at least a month before using, if you can resist it.

The drawing was done with Faber Castell Pitt pen size S and a lump of graphite. I have a twisted hazel [corylus avellana ‘Contorta’] in a large pot in front of the rhubarb patch and I drew through some of the little twisted branches. In the background are a couple of Spanish bluebells [hyacinthoides hispanica] spearing through the ground. They were already here when we moved in and although pretty are also very invasive.

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