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Readers' Solutions

Carl Legge |
Thursday, 17th March 2011
I've added the bacon as a seasoning and the dried tomatoes for flavour and visual interest to Georgio Locatelli basic recipe but you can easily make a vegetarian version with smoked tofu. Ingredients: About 2.5l of young nettle tops loosely packed, washed 2.5l of home made vegetable or chicken stock (you 'could' use stock cubes) kept warm in a... more
 
Annette Stickler |
Tuesday, 15th March 2011
Take heart and leave a small area in the corner of your vegetable patch for this native 'weed', in doing so it will reward you back with its many useful delights. Full of iron and rich in vitamin C, it makes a tonic for anyone who needs a natural pick me up. Here is a simple nettle soup recipe that all the family will love: You will only need:1... more
 
Nigel Hadden-Paton |
Tuesday, 15th March 2011
All dogs can be trained to search for truffles, the most promising of which is the dachshund, who with their low-slung bodies and keen noses make very good pupils. Here's how you do it. 1. Training should begin soon after the puppy is born. I suggest applying truffle oil gently to its mother's teats while she is suckling in order to give the puppy... more
 
Dyfi Valley Seed Savers |
Tuesday, 8th March 2011
Dyfi Valley Seed Savers is a not-for-profit organisation, based in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, and run mainly by volunteers. They promote the saving and swapping of seed with the aim of: * preserving old or unusual vegetables;* nurturing our local knowledge and plant heritage;* promoting sustainable gardening and a flourishing local community.  Going... more
 
Brad Rowland |
Thursday, 3rd March 2011
A Worm Tower is basically a length of pipe buried halfway in the ground with holes drilled in the buried part for worms to get in and out. Food scraps are added directly to the tower instead of into your composting bin, and are eaten by worms already living in the target part of your yard. You can add Worm Towers to your full blown... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 24th February 2011
Take a barrel with a tap that's not connected to a downpipe. Add rainwater. Then add comfrey leaves (the deep tap root 'mines' the minerals from the soil), stinging nettles and any other weeds (before they have gone to seed) and a shovelful of manure. Leave to 'brew' for a few weeks. Be prepared for the pungent smell and avoid contact with your... more
 
Anne Vine |
Monday, 31st January 2011
On a recent foraging trip, beneath the brambles I found a rusting umbrella covered with clear plastic. It was almost undamaged and on opening it out I realised it would make an excellent protective cloche for my overwintering salads. I removed the handle to leave a long spike which acts as an effective ground anchor. If necessary some ventilation... more
 
Rick Brannan |
Friday, 1st October 2010
Place two 6 x 2in (150 x 50mm) boards cut to the size of the window, front and back. On the back board add a 4 x 2 (100 x 50mm) or another 6 x 2 if depending on the pitch you want. Nail them together with a short 4 x 2 on each end. Next nail on 6 x 2 end pieces flush with the ground. To get the angled piece, just set a 4 x 2 on the ends and draw... more
 
Jane Corrie |
Friday, 1st October 2010
I have tried unsuccessfully to grow carrots for many years. I have struggled with germination at 900 feet in Cumbria when the last frosts are often into June. I have also tried many approaches to trick the pesky carrot fly to no avail.However, finding an abandoned shopping trolley got me thinking: knowing that carrot fly cannot fly higher than... more
 
Patrick Whitefield |
Thursday, 1st July 2010
A fridge uses around a third of the electricity in the average kitchen. Although it doesn’t use much at a time it’s always on. Most things don’t actually need refrigerating, but milk and its substitutes do, and purchased vegetables last much longer when chilled.This simple design for a power-free fridge is much used in Africa. It works on the... more
 
Rachel Vallance |
Thursday, 1st July 2010
A builders bag makes a great growing container. When our neighbours had a loft conversion last year we rescued a builders bag with about 15cm of sand remaining in the bottom from the skip. We topped this up with the contents of the compost bin and a couple of spent grow bags previously used to grow squashes in. The sides are folded down so it’s... more
 
Tracy Chandler |
Saturday, 1st May 2010
The principle of the solar dehydrator is very simple: a box at the bottom heats up the air which then rises and flows through the second box. We bought some wood (having nothing suitable lying around) and some black paint, and a friend donated a sheet of perspex. Two boxes of similar size were then made. Making the Heat Box Holes were drilled in... more
 

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