Steve's Videos

Discussion in 'Allotments Discussion' started by Kristen, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Kristen

    Kristen Under gardener

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    Every time I see one of @Steve R veg videos I have discussion points, and I find YouTube chatter a useless place for discussion ... would it be an idea to post them here for discussion?

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=vK5VP_wZZ1s

    I'm glad you said you were growing Lettuce for give-aways, i was watching that bit thinking "That's a lot of Lettuce Soup" :)

    I've stopped growing Beetroot Boltardy, nothing wrong with it but 4 years ago I bought James Wong's "Grow for Flavour" and got hooked on his marketing pitch for his limited edition expensive Sutton seeds :) but then I shopped around the following year ...

    ... and since then I have replaced Boltardy with Detroit ... very very red ... and also, like you, grow a yellow one (Golden Burpees). And additional to that I also grow Chioggia which has concentric Red/White rings and looks great on the plate (although have to cut horizontally for that benefit) and a White one Albina Vereduna. That last one I particularly like, my BBQ guests are turning their noses up expecting a Turnip ... then put it in their mouth and can't quite make it out at all :)

    [​IMG]

    I use a variation on multi-sow a plug-cell, and I grow 3x per 9cm pot, and then plant out. The problem i find (might be my heavy clay soil) is that at harvest picking the "first, biggest, one that is ready" tends to pull the rest of the clump out of the ground; I stamp them back in, but must be disrupting them?. 9cm pot, with each pricked-out close to the edge, provides the best spacing that I can achieve, but it hasn't solved the problem. Do you have that problem? what am I doing wrong, or should be doing at harvest to mitigate that?

    We don't grow, or use, Spring Onions, but interesting that you prefer Ishikura. I wonder if we would like them, do they taste / used like Spring Onions, or do they have different flavour.

    Now you are definitely doing your Bedfordshire Champions wrong :) I carefully uncoil the root at the bottom of the cell and rearrange it vertically in the planting hole. Takes hours. I'm 100% sure you need to be doing that :wallbanging:
     
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      Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
    • Steve R

      Steve R Soil Furtler

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      Hi Kristen,

      I twist out veg that are growing together in multi sown veg areas, this disturbs the other remaining veg less, I am twisting to break the roots to remove without disturbing the soil. I do this with all veg grown "no dig" leaving roots in situ to rot down, adding to the soil life, I think Charles Dowding quotes that these create natural pathways for organisms to use.

      I grow the boltardy for pickling and checking the labels after planting in the video I planted mostly Chioggia then a few boltardy. I will be sowing some more very soon and the Burpees golden will shine through in that batch, I have never tried a white beet as yet.

      The Ishikura bunching onions are I feel a little milder that true spring onions but we are not shy in using lots of them when I can pick a good bunch from one clump to go in a salad, and they still shine through even when doused in Pommegranate Vinaigrette.

      As for the bedford champ onions, I just want some onions for through the winter and as long as they get to golf ball size I am happy enough with them. I have bunching onions till october, zebrunne shallots right upto and past Christmas when the Leeks and small onions take over and right through till May and the next crop of Ishikura. I have been trying to introduce a chinese green onion into the fray but without much success so far. I just like the look of them, hence I sourced some seed to try.

      [​IMG]

      Steve...:)
       
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      • Kristen

        Kristen Under gardener

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        Obvious now that you've said it, thanks :) I'll give it a try this year.

        PM me a snail-mail address if you want some to try (he says without checking if he has any left!)

        Ah, are you also using Ishikura instead of Bulb Onions in the cooking then? I have always assumed that Spring Onions were only useful chopped into small discs and hidden in salads to catch out the unwary. Not convinced that PomeTentiousGranate Vinaigrette :whistle: solves that problem. If they will replace Bulb Onions in cooking then "I'm in" :)

        Your leeks look good though :roflol:
         
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        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          Not pretentious at all, just a nice dressing I tried on a sheperds salad in Turkey 4 years ago. I'm an ex-chef, it is natural within me to replicate what I like and move my food knowledge forward.

          I do not cook with the ishikura so much, save for maybe the odd omellete or stirred into a rice dish with herbs and of course stir fries, shallots are ready from July onwards and I much prefer those to cook with.

          I have some of the chinese green onions (leeks) to plant out at the end of the month along with the shallots, we will see how they do.

          Steve...:)
           
        • Kristen

          Kristen Under gardener

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          I've not grown them much in the past. I did try the (proper :) ) French grey Eschalote Grise and their Longor Shallots a few years ago, but they rotted (much as expected) over winter. I'm trying again, more successfully, now that I have enough greenhouse space for them to be under cover. Supposedly they will be the Bee's Knees?

          The seed grown Shallots are a misnomer, although maybe no different / perfectly acceptable in the Kitchen?

          My recollection is that the USA banned import of French Shallots (can't remember - either disease or not a "ban" but a massive import duty in tit-for-tat retaliation) and the masterly Dutch growers "invented" the Shallot-from-seed and royally pissed off the French growers in the process. I'm not a cuisine-y person, but I'll pretentiously assume the French ones are better until you tell me otherwise :)

          So if I increase my efficiency / quantity of Shallot production that will keep me in "kitchen onions" from mid Summer until Winter ... mind you, "Allotment Diary" Dan raves about his Banana Shallots (from seed though ... but he's Up North ... but he does seem to be quite a Foodie) in particular how well they keep. He does grow a fair few bulb onions though

          [​IMG]

          :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

          and I don't suppose he needs to store many either:
          [​IMG]

          So perhaps the Banana shallots would be better than Bulb Onions ... the bit I am pondering is you saying you don't grow many Bulb Onions. I grow (have grown :) ) about 40-50 each of 3 or 4 different varieties. In common with others here (as well as I remember) I have years where they don't do well ... so probably I am just behind the curve and should follow your Shallot-migration example :)

          Hopefully you know me well enough to know that was in jest :) and your "Pommegranate Vinaigrette on shepherds salad in Turkey" sounds mouthwatering. But I'm not a good Foodie. I would deeply resent my artistic work being demolished in an instant. I like my creative stuff to mature over years into something more spectacular ... I worked as a waiter in a restaurant way-back-when; I can't think of a more antisocial-hours job. I didn't dislike it, at the time, but I'd run a mile and find something else to do now. Eating my meals at weird times because at all normal eating times I was helping other people eat theirs ... and Chef locked away being creative and never seeing, and often rarely hearing, his Punters reaction ... nope, its not for me.
          Mrs K dislikes cooking ... perhaps I should get her a Chef as a birthday present? :yes:



          "Allotment Diary" Dan Jumbo Banana "Zebrune" Shallots. Sowing in march, and his ones that have been in store for 7 months were still in good shape ... :)
           
        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          Have to agree, catering is a young person game, as the old saying goes, "You don't see many old chefs"

          When I was much younger all we could get or want was the eschalotte pure and simple as that. The Zebrunne shallot that I grow suits my needs although I feel it does not have quite the depth of flavour as the French ones, the sweetness also varies year on year depending on how warm our summer was, but all told and overall that is my preference. They can be difficult at times to germinate, this year being a good example, many growers I know have struggled with them and are trying multiple sowing's.

          I don't put all my eggs in one basket so I grow some shallots, some onions (bunch and slice) and leeks. I would of added some red onion sets too but they are difficult to source right now. Red onions are my preferred choice for French Onion soup or any dish that I require a slow sauteed deep brown caramelised onion base.

          I knew you where having some fun and did not think me pretentious, I just commented so others did not too.

          What for, you got her one as a wedding present ! :)

          Steve...:)
           
        • Kristen

          Kristen Under gardener

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          Helpful to have your opinion on Eschalotte / Zebrunne, thanks. Also the germination issue ... sounds much the same (year on year variation) as I seem to remember we have discussed on here about Bulb Onion germination. I wonder why that is, and whether anything can be done to improve the strike-rate?

          Longshot: I have some seed that germinates WAY better if I vary the temperature, rather than just put it in propagator at "ideal but constant temperature"). A couple that spring to mind are Bananas (Musa sikkimensis) for sure, they have lousy germination rates at the best of times which I can get up (HaHa) to nearly 10% with varied temperature, and also Cleome (ornamental spiky-flowers thing)

          Yet Another Pet Annoyance of mine : companies selling Banana Seed in packet of 10 seeds - or less :yikes: - where typical germination rates are below 10% !!

          I grow Kamal for my Red Onions ... and also Sweet Spanish, but that's just me being suckered by the Marketing name, I haven't actually thought about whether they really are, or if a Red Onion would be a better starting point in the first place? But we like both those.

          I don't do Onions sets, not enough choice of variety. That's since I've become fussy about my Objective being Best Flavour and "don't care if the Bugs eat half of the crop and the yield is hopeless". I'm lucky to have plenty of space, and fortunate being able to live-to-eat rather than having to eat-to-live.

          It turns out we both made that wrong assumption!
           
        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          Here is my latest video, thought you might be interested to see this here on GC. No Dig update.



          Steve...:)
           
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