When we came back from India last February and London was still in the grips of winter it wasn't so high on our priorities as it had been when we left last Autumn to find a new apartment with a garden. However, in the end we did exactly that, and the garden has been a real source of enjoyment to us both.
We've spent a lot of time and effort working on it as it was left overgrown by the last tenants and I don't think it's ever been planted up. So we dug all the weeds out and about 6 huge bags of rubble, fertilised it, and planted the bak with veg, while in the front we landscaped and planted some shrubs and flowers.
Pictures to follow this post, but I had to include a recipe..
A classic dessert although peaches are not exactly local to the UK, or our garden. It is kind of seasonal. That is if we get any sun here to make us feel like sumer has arrived.
Again show-casing the many wonders of silken tofu as a much more healthy alternative to regular cream, hence you can eat a lot more of it. I have done exactly this over the last two days and don't feel any the worse for it as an alternative breakfast option.
2 ripe peaches
1 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup soya milk
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp agar flakes
pinch of salt
1 cup granola
1 tbs coconut oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a small baking swish with parchment.
- combine the soya milk and agar in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk continuously for 5 minutes or until the flakes are fully dissolved and can no longer be seen.
- In the meantime skin and remove stones from the peaches. Place one of the peaches, silken tofu , maple syrup, vanilla and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the soya milk-agar mixture and blend again. Empty into a small and set aside.
- Wipe out the blender and then blend the granola with the dates and coconut oil. Spread this over the bottom of the parchment and press down firmly. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove granola base from the oven and pour over the reserved peach-tofu. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up. Preferably overnight.
- Serve chilled, garnished with slices of the reserved peach.
Front garden landscaped and we even just added a bench, which, being in London we've had to chain and padlock to the fence..
Doing this landscaping completely did my back in with hours upon hours of shovelling and digging. My yoga-students I reckon suffered at least a week of less attention as I shuffled around. But I'm sure if they see these pictures they'd agree it was worth the neglect. Maybe. Guess it depends how much they like gardens.
Tomatoes in pots have been less than effulgent with their fruit, but it is coming with the few days of sun we've had so far.
First time ever for a cucumber. We grew one in Vancouver actually; but then a rat or something came and ate half of it just before we were planning to pick it. Don't think that will happen here. But we do have a local fox prowling around that I see when I do my yoga practice before dawn each morning.
Here lie our broad beans. About 4 of them. Between our whole harvest I think we have enough for one plate of noveau-cuisine.
On the other hand we've had no trouble growing the kale. I think this stuff would survive a nuclear holocaust. I mean, I think our soil has zero-nutrient content and we've had no sun, but still, the stuff just keeps growing and growing.
With the herbs and lettuces at the front, we're quite pleased with what we've done so far. Incredible to have any garden space in London and we've enjoyed mucking around in it so much. In the autumn we're going to try developing the soil quality a lot more as our veg (apart from the kale that is!) has been low-yielding. But it's still been fun and you learn from your mistakes as you go along, the important thing, in whatever sphere, is just to to something and then you get the enthusiasm going and start to gather direct experience as you go along. Keep up for the next dispatch..