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Thread: O/T:- Elite's onions!

  1. #31
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    I'm hungry now!

  2. #32
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    Back outside while the veggies boil-steam, beers and a view of rural tranquility.
    Red, the goat nearest was my first that I saved from "slaughter Corner", a tiny thing a few months old that could, and did, regularly squeeze through the 6-inch goat fencing and regularly got a spanking....she's 5 years-old now and just had twins....in this section are 9 adults and 8 newborns (lost only the one this year that I tried to keep alive by hand-feeding all day, but lost her in the night, she is buried next to my palm tree)
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    One of Red's babies trying to nibble the top of one of my saplings
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    3 week-old black sheep with mother and father at far end........now you know why so much free manure for veggies
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    ok....enough tranquility Tarks....back to slaving over a hot stove, and another beer

    Layer the bottom of a frying pan with a splash of oil, a tin of tuna or half a tin of sardines or a cup of pre-cooked beans, plenty of cracked black pepper. Splash in anything else lying around (I fired in a generous squirt of Hunts bbq sauce), tip in the partly steamed onions and peas, mashed the partly-steamed carrots in a metal mixing bowl using the old-fashioned metal potato masher and layered that on top.
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    Lastly the critical bit, and this comes with practise,......guesstimate how much water there is in the frying pan by tipping it slightly in it's juices....take the metal mixing bowl that you mashed the carrots in and wash a cupful of dried rice (40p a kilo here, dirt cheap), wash two or 3 times until water is clear (dump the cloudy rice water outside on the onion bed or save to use as a base for a sourdough bread starter mix)
    Now the golden rule is if you are using a cupful of dry rice you need 1.5 cups of water in the pan....basically you need 50% more water than rice with a tight-ish fitting lid with a steam vent hole....so add more if needed....layer the rice that you washed to remove excess starch over the top of your veggies and beans or veggies and tuna...no need for it to be submerged but it is handy to get it level or else it will lift up your pan lid as it expands in the steam.
    Cover with glass lid, lowest gas flame possible (spluttering is good) cooking time is 40 to 50 minutes or until you've run out of water (tip pan to one side if concerned).....DO NOT KEEP REMOVING LID TO TEST RICE, you are releasing the steam.......my advice is go outside, drink 3 more beers and watch the sunset!!
    The beauty of this system is that the rice never touches the base of the pan and get stuck, it is sitting on the veggies and possibly the tuna sucking up all the juice and swelling in the steam.....it's literally foolproof and means I can relax outside.
    Anyway, hope you enjoyed this meal for two (or in my case, 2 days of food) for next to nothing....free fresh veggies from your garden, 50p for the tuna, 10p for a cup of rice and a splash of olive oil, a squirt of sauce and a couple of shakes of pepper.....I could add a few slices of homemade bread (40p a kilo) which I "prove" overnight and never even knead or remove from it's mixing bowl, mix it, cover it, throw it in the oven........"oooo errrrrr" Tarks I hear you cry, what about all the money you spent on ale.....mmmm.....yes, 8 pints at 50p pint....maybe I need to start growing some wheat and barley, thereīs a thought.
    Last pic is last night's cooked pan......spooned a decent portion out onto my plate so you can see the perfectly cooked rice sitting atop the onions, carrots and a few beans (left out the tuna last night as I needed to clear some pre-cooked beans from the freezer....hope this has helped.....toodles.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackal2 View Post
    Your "an hour ago that was still growing in the garden" line reminds me of my late Grandad, who was a keen gardener and kept an allotment for many years. I ate very healthily as a child thanks in no small part to him, but of course it's only when you look back years later that you truly appreciate it. It's not just the giant onions that can bring a tear to the eye!
    I know the feeling. My dad was born in 1928 as one of 10 kids (9 boys 1 girl) so was at school for most of the second world war. I remember him telling me that gardening was one of the lessons they were taught, for obvious reasons. They must have had a bloody good teacher, because all the brothers were brilliant flower and vegetable growers. There was no internet or 'Miracle Gro' type products then, so they had to rely on natural methods. I can recall a big pile of horse manure being dropped off at the bottom of our garden every spring, my mum used to moan at my dad to get it dug in because of the smell! Sadly he died at 55 just as I was starting to dabble in the garden a bit, so I never got to pick up any of his tips. It's only in the last few years when I've realised what I missed.

    Great pics tarquin, I certainly envy you your year round growing season. Here it has to be crammed into a few months, and even then any prolonged wet or dry spells can cause problems. I'm not particularly good at it, more an enthusiastic amateur, but when I do get it right nothing beats the taste of fresh picked vegetables.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackal2 View Post
    Your "an hour ago that was still growing in the garden" line reminds me of my late Grandad, who was a keen gardener and kept an allotment for many years. I ate very healthily as a child thanks in no small part to him, but of course it's only when you look back years later that you truly appreciate it. It's not just the giant onions that can bring a tear to the eye!

    Of course if stuff keeps disappearing off the supermarket shelves then growing your own produce becomes an ever more sensible idea, even if it's a somewhat long-term strategy for most veg. Cress grows quickly though!
    Jackal, my whole point of doing this is firstly to show how easy it is to grow free, tasty, fresh food, especially in these uncertain times.
    Elite gave me the idea when he got people interested in his Giant onions......the bowl of food in my pics came from 1 raised bed, 4m x 2m....it's rammed with another 100 plants, 4 more beds are to the left and 8 old metal baths.....it's impossible for me to eat it all and it's only the start, I've hand-built 2 huge double compost bins using 12 full pallets ($1 each) lined with old roofing metal sheets from a collapsed garage siding.....never saw a worm here in 3 years but my bins are now heaving with them, I cannot feed them fast enough!!....I know lotīs of people don't have space, but everyone on here could find some space for a dozen gro-bags or some plastic buckets with holes in the bottom....there's a lad on youtube gets 30 pounds and more of freshly-grown potatoes out of each of his plastic buckets....awesome.

    Let's face it, everyone on here is going to have plenty of time on their hands until this thing blows over....it's never too early to learn to grow stuff....I genuinely didn't even know what a tomato plant looked like until 3 years ago, nor a carrot or an onion, now I've got a small box full of bought seed packets and jars full of my own saved seeds....each of those onion seed heads gives me 11 more double-seeds in it's own perfect little planting pouch....nature is beautiful.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackal2 View Post
    I'm hungry now!
    I'm thirsty after all that typing.....here is that same raised bed being built in 2018, so the soil in it is still "maturing" as we add compost and manure.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4NZEyzwNFU

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarquinbeech View Post
    Jackal, my whole point of doing this is firstly to show how easy it is to grow free, tasty, fresh food, especially in these uncertain times.
    Elite gave me the idea when he got people interested in his Giant onions......the bowl of food in my pics came from 1 raised bed, 4m x 2m....it's rammed with another 100 plants, 4 more beds are to the left and 8 old metal baths.....it's impossible for me to eat it all and it's only the start, I've hand-built 2 huge double compost bins using 12 full pallets ($1 each) lined with old roofing metal sheets from a collapsed garage siding.....never saw a worm here in 3 years but my bins are now heaving with them, I cannot feed them fast enough!!....I know lotīs of people don't have space, but everyone on here could find some space for a dozen gro-bags or some plastic buckets with holes in the bottom....there's a lad on youtube gets 30 pounds and more of freshly-grown potatoes out of each of his plastic buckets....awesome.

    Let's face it, everyone on here is going to have plenty of time on their hands until this thing blows over....it's never too early to learn to grow stuff....I genuinely didn't even know what a tomato plant looked like until 3 years ago, nor a carrot or an onion, now I've got a small box full of bought seed packets and jars full of my own saved seeds....each of those onion seed heads gives me 11 more double-seeds in it's own perfect little planting pouch....nature is beautiful.
    You're convincing me, Tarkers and Elite. I've got a decent amount of soil in my back garden that I've never really cultivated, so while some folk are panic-buying pasta in the supermarkets I'll go elsewhere and get some seed packets (whilst washing my hands and staying 2 metres from others!) and see what I can get growing. It will pass the time, it's the right time of year and it's a worthwhile thing to do irrespective of the current situation. As for the accompanying slurp of beer or wine, I grew up watching Keith Floyd's cookery programmes!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Pie View Post

    Great pics tarquin, I certainly envy you your year round growing season. Here it has to be crammed into a few months, and even then any prolonged wet or dry spells can cause problems. I'm not particularly good at it, more an enthusiastic amateur, but when I do get it right nothing beats the taste of fresh picked vegetables.
    Strangely enough my "growing season" is probably not much lengthier than yours and was my initial problem ie I was trying to grow stuff through the heat of summer (I remember all my onions keeling over in the 45 degree heat no matter how much I watered them, I thought it was me and was about to give in.
    Luckily I realised that Jan, Feb and March plus Sept, Oct and Nov are best for most crops ie 6 months....and I use the height of summer for tomatoes and peppers (zero upkeep except watering) and sweet potatoes which seem to grow like crazy with 2 metre vines but no actual tubers here.....I literally buried the whole of last years bed (didn't want to waste all the foliage, so buried the lot as live compost) under 22 buckets of soil last year to over-winter and starting afresh this year....fingers crossed.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackal2 View Post
    You're convincing me, Tarkers and Elite. I've got a decent amount of soil in my back garden that I've never really cultivated, so while some folk are panic-buying pasta in the supermarkets I'll go elsewhere and get some seed packets (whilst washing my hands and staying 2 metres from others!) and see what I can get growing. It will pass the time, it's the right time of year and it's a worthwhile thing to do irrespective of the current situation. As for the accompanying slurp of beer or wine, I grew up watching Keith Floyd's cookery programmes!
    You seem like the type of guy that sticks to something when he puts his mind to it......quick tips, buy a load of seed-starter trays and a few bags of starter-mix soil cheap enough in Homebase-type stores......that will give your seeds the best start....watering can with tiny holes for seeds or you bottom water if you need.....10 days later you will have masses of seedlings....pick something that you and your family enjoy eating....this English guy is awesome at explaining things simply and calmly and knows literally everything about everything, it's his livelihood
    He grows straight onto his lawn by using tons of compost (impractical for a beginner but interesting anyway).
    He has hundreds of videos, here's a few from his gardening website
    Charles Dowding...onions....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k0f4GoC6Zw
    Charles again (superb music) garden to paradise in 9 months....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HATC3rG6NbQ

    See how Charles literally throws the onion clumps into the dibber holes, 100 onions planted in 2 minutes....so simple, almost impossible to kill onion seedlings....now watch those puppies grow...awesome and so simple
    Last edited by tarquinbeech; 22-03-2020 at 05:59 PM.

  9. #39
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    Just spotted this on a 'businesses that are booming due to coronaviraus' article:

    3. Home and garden items

    Phil Jones of JustSeed in Wrexham, which sells a wide range of plant seeds, says he had to stop taking orders after a rush for staples including carrots, lettuce, beans and tomatoes.

    "It's just the sheer volume," he says, "We're catching up with a massive surge."

    Two of the biggest seed companies, Marshalls and Suttons, have stopped answering the phone.

    For some buyers, there is a worry about fresh vegetables running short, but Phil says many are just looking for an activity.

    "They've been meaning to do the veg patch for years and it's something educational to do with the kids," he adds.

    Another specialist retailer, Franchi Seeds, has taken down its website temporarily, saying "people are panic buying".


    We are just approaching the growing season and most supermarkets sell seeds, so don't be left out!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackal2 View Post
    You're convincing me, Tarkers and Elite. I've got a decent amount of soil in my back garden that I've never really cultivated, so while some folk are panic-buying pasta in the supermarkets I'll go elsewhere and get some seed packets (whilst washing my hands and staying 2 metres from others!) and see what I can get growing. It will pass the time, it's the right time of year and it's a worthwhile thing to do irrespective of the current situation. As for the accompanying slurp of beer or wine, I grew up watching Keith Floyd's cookery programmes!
    If you have virgin ground depending on your soil ( if it is clay especialy) potatoes are the best thing to grow because it helps to break the soil up. It would also be handy if you could get hold of any horse or cow manure.
    Regarding seeds, I went into Wilkos last week and they had sold out but I have got some arriving from Suttons. Elite said they are not answering the phone but they are still working online. (or they were up to last Wednesday).

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