Category Archives: Grow Your Own

I’m Back

Hello Bloggers,

Have been a bit slack with posting any entries for months now! I have moved house and have had no kitchen since I moved in so don’t have much to blog about at the moment..

Have been continuing with my gardening & attempting to grow new things in Northern Cyprus. So once the kitchen is in I can start testing out some of my new ingredients!

Other people seem to be interested in gardening in Northern Cyprus, there have been a few threads started on www.cyprus44.com so I think I will continue to update my blog with my herb, spice, fruit, vegetable growing until I can start posting some new recipes!

Also have a few recipes from last year to add on such as Stuffed Vine Leaves so will get the photos uploaded and do some catching up

 

 

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Tomatillo Taste

What does a Tomatillo taste like to you?

I have only tried it when I have been on holiday in Mexico & Miami, with it being served as Salsa Verde but now I am growing my own I have taken to trying any that fall off or get ripped off by the dogs.

So to me they taste like…… STATIC! Yes I know strange..


I Didn’t Know Sprouting Is So Popular!

I have noticed people searching for information on Sprouting so I thought I’d give a quick update to say I have Black Eyed Beans/Peas in soak now so I shall start them off sprouting in my BioSnacky Jar in the morning and I also have some White Beans in soak, that is all it says on the packet so I am not sure which white bean they are I will have to do some Google searches for images! I thought they may be Cannellini Beans but looking at photos of them they have a pink hue..

And just to re cap don’t sprout Kidney Beans (I noticed one search for that came up in my Blog Stats!)

Black Eyed Beans/Peas

White Beans

Today I managed to buy (on the Greek Side, Carrefour) a few new beans to try sprouting; Adzuki, Soya & Flageolet. They had lots of others I will try next time like Puy Lentils. I also restocked on Mung Beans!

I have the Adzuki & Soya Beans soaking now..

Soya Beans Soak

 

Soya Beans Start to Sprout

I let the Soya Beans sprout longer & I think this made them too tough- I just threw them on the vegetable patch! I think I will try them again but in a colander with a weight pressing down (like with Mung Beans)..

 

Adzuki Beans Soak

Adzuki Beans are still in the Bio Snacky jar- I’m not sure about these! I keep trying them but they aren’t my favourite..

The White Beans don’t seem to be doing very well, I have moved them to a colander as maybe they are cramped in the jam jar, a few of them are just starting to bulge where the sprout will be.. ** Well as an update they started to smell bad & I threw them away, I wonder if they had been treated which stopped them from growing **

White Beans in Colander

The Black Eye Beans/Peas are doing well, I went through picking the skins off as they are floating about when I rinse them, I ate a couple that were ready- they are nice..

Black Eyed Beans Some with Sprouts

Black Eyed Bean Sprout

 

Chick Peas- Good Size Sprouts

 

 

Chick Peas- Sprouted too Long

 

 

I can see why Chick Peas are one of the mostly popular sprouts.. I don’t even like Chick Peas normally but sprouted they taste different! They are nice raw on salad or also boiled for 5 minutes to have hot.. Don’t sprout them for too long, they tasted best when the sprouts were quite small!

This week I am going to try Flageolet Beans


Grow Your Own

We have such hot weather in Northern Cyprus that it makes it a lot more enjoyable attempting to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs in the garden or on the balcony. It seems like whatever you plant grows before your eyes, I even grew some tiny Melons from seeds leftover from the fruit we had eaten one evening.

One problem I have had is trying to grow things that I would have grown in England at the height of the summer here, its just too hot for some herbs and fruit to grow here. In future I won’t try to plant them until now (its November!)!

After visiting Mexico a few years ago and loving their green salsa I was desperate to grow some Tomatillo plants so I could make my own, unfortunately I was slightly over zealous with my planting and ended up with far too many plants. Some have been neglected and died, but I am keeping an eye on my ‘best’ ones and waiting for the fruit to get bigger, at the moment they are tiny, like Cherry Tomatoes. I have kept any that drop to try to save the seeds to replant next year! And next time I will use a cage as the branches snap from swaying in the wind (it gets very windy here!) and also the Dogs & Cats love to brush past them and damage them! The plants are like magnets to animals!

Behind this Tomatillo you can just see I have Garlic Chives or Chinese Chives growing, another thing I didn’t realise is that these are hardy enough to cope with our hot weather unlike the normal Chives in England which would perish. The Garlic Chives are flat instead of tube like & they flower with pretty white flowers apparently pests dislike them so next year I will be putting them everywhere!!

Tomatillo

I’m also growing some different varieties of Chilli Pepper Orange Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, Ancho Poblano, Jalapeno & I have one mystery plant that I am told is Cayenne. In the picture below you can just see the new stems coming through on the Ancho Poblano plant, it really is a strange looking thing I didn’t realise they are multi stemmed till today!

Ancho Poblano

Jalapeno Early

Cayenne?

Cayenne Pepper?

Its impossible to buy certain ingredients here, so fresh Lemongrass (I hate the kind in a jar) and Thai Basil were two of my first plants. I have had on going problems with Aphids and Leaf Miners since I began gardening here. They particularly love the Thai Basil, Siam Queen and at one stage I wrote the plants off and left them by themselves, occasionally plucking off the infected leaves and throwing them onto the BBQ, somehow slightly sadistic but necessary! Now the plants are thriving and I have so many I have started to give them away, it makes quite a nice present to give a plant, particularly one you can’t buy here.

Siam Queen

Siam Queen Flower Tip

I ran out of Cells to plant seeds & seedlings into, with the amount of  bottled water we get through a week I decided to chop the tops off the bottle, poke holes in for drainage and use these! Recycling! I have just planed some Red Basil into a yoghurt pot, and transferred some Siam Queen Thai Basil and Genovese Basil into water bottles till they get a bit larger.

Red Basil

Siam Queen Seedlings

Genovese Basil

Things I Can’t Get To Grow

Lovage- I can’t even get these seeds to germinate! I am not sure if its the climate here or my seeds

Lemon Grass from seed- I can’t germinate this either, the only way I get Lemon Grass is leaving a stalk in water till it forms roots & then planting into a pot. Apparently it likes to be root bound, I just gave this one a hair cut as now its cooling down the temperature is lower at night & the ends were turning brown.

Lemon Grass Hair Cut

Borage- I can get it to grow into a tiny plant but then it yellows & dies or gets eaten by the Leaf Miners!

Sheep’s Sorrel- Seedlings pop up, then disappear

Thai Holy Basil- I had some seedlings which withered & died and I have had no luck germinating any since!

To be Continued (need pictures of my other plants!)