It's September at Frogmary Green Farm and we are getting ready for lots more schools to visit us this term. The weather has begun to change as we enter Autumn, but we have still had some lovely warm days. Our vegetable garden is continuing to produce lots of lovely things to eat and we are very proud of the very large pumpkin we have managed to grow. I am looking forward to perhaps making soup and a pumpkin lantern with a school who are visiting us in October.
Even though the weather is changing, there are still jobs to be done in the garden. We are still harvesting runner beans and have been making runner bean chutney. I have planted some winter leeks and have some winter cabbages and lettuce seedlings that schools will be planting out in the next few weeks.
Some of the birds in the wildlife area are getting ready to migrate but there are many others that will be staying with us through the winter. South Petherton School made some lovely bird feeders from pine cones and seeds. They hung them in the trees around the classroom and they have already attracted a lot of bird to the garden. Last week Claire and I saw a green woodpecker in one of the classroom trees.
Tip of the Month - Harvest everything that you can before the frost comes and use any surplus to make Jams, chutneys and pickles.
Ingredients for Runner Bean Chutney:
2 lbs runner beans
4 or 5 onions
1 ½ lbs demerara sugar
1 ½ tablespoons turmeric powder
1 ½ tablespoons english mustard powder
1 ½ tablespoons cornflour
1 ½ pints malt vinegar
Peel onions and cut small.
Slice beans and boil together with onions in salted water until both are tender.
Strain and drain well then cut up small or put through mincer.
Add sugar and 1 ¼ pints vinegar and boil for 15 minutes.
Mix turmeric, mustard and cornflour with the remaining vinegar add to the bean & onions
Boil for another 15 minutes.
Allow to cool and put into sterilised jars.
Serve with cold meats or cheese. For the best flavour, allow to mature for at least 6 to 8 weeks before use.
Like most chutneys, kept in properly sterilized and sealed jars this will keep for at least a year in a cool dark place. Once opened, keep in the fridge and try to use within 4 weeks.