Archive for April, 2007

Scottish Executive takes hands off approach to allotments

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

I wrote a post on Feb 2 regarding a response by Tom McCabe to a question on allotments tabled by Susan Deacon. Since then a member of the SAGS committee has been carrying on a correspondence with Tom McCabe’s office, which has been collected together and which you can see by clicking here. The correspondence appears to confirm that the Executive believe that because allotments are a local matter, they have no intention to create a mechanism to support them centrally . This is a sad contrast to the supportive, if only advisory, approach exemplified by the web site maintained for England by the department for Communities and Local Government

Purple Sprouting Broccoli – vegetable of the month recipes

Thursday, April 12th, 2007
Picture of Purple Sprouting Broccoli Purple sprouting broccoli is one of my very favourite vegetables. It is definitely worth growing if you have space because it is hard to buy in a good state – even at my local farmer’s market the stalks were thick and the purple flowers were few and far between in a mass of coarse and slightly bitter leaves. The down side to purple sprouting broccoli plants is the amount of space they take up – and since you plant them out in May and then wait till next March/April for the harvest, they are taking up this space for a long time so they are definitely an allotment or large garden vegetable. Purple sprouting broccoli has a great advantage over summer broccoli (calabrese) in that it comes before the caterpillars arrive. I never grow caterpillar free summer broccoli and I seriously hate finding stiff dead caterpillars in my cooking water! However Spring is a hungry time for birds and the pigeons like broccoli at least as much as I do. They get up a lot earlier than me and sit in the trees overlooking the allotment waiting and watching for the flowers to get to exactly the right delicious state before swooping down. So I surround my plants with a barricade of netting and old computer CD’s (the light flashing from the CD’s when the sun shines is supposed to scare the birds). If you can pick young shoots then the simplest way to cook them is probably the nicest. Throw the shoots into slightly salted boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Then you can serve them hot with melted butter and lemon juice, or toss them in a vinaigrette sauce and serve cold as a salad.

Red Hot Broccoli: This is a good vegetarian dish to serve with pasta – tagliatelli go nicely.

You need about 1kg of broccoli sprouts, 2 dried red chillies chopped and seeded, half a sweet red pepper chopped finely and olive or walnut oil for cooking.

Cook the broccoli sprouts in water. Stir fry the chillies and red pepper in the oil. When the broccoli sprouts are cooked add them to the pepper mixture and stir till well coated with oil and peppers. Serve immediately.

If your family are dubious about hot food then you can cut down on the amount of dried chilli.