Category: Food

Kale

This week I planted out 40 Kale plants in the Batty Langley vegetable garden that have been quietly growing along in the greenhouse since September. We are trying three varieties, ‘Red Russian’, ‘Cavolo Nero’ and ‘Borecole – Green Curled Dwarf’.

Kale does well over the colder months, so will hopefully add some interest in the garden over the following darker months. As pigeons take a fancy to stripping the foliage off plants in the Brassica family, the precaution of placing net over the kale plants has been necessary to stop them becoming just tattered stems!

I have used two beds to grow the kale in, with 20 plants in each one, and to create a neat formal look the use of a tape measure was implemented to ensure even spacing.

The botanical name for kale is Brassica oleracea var. acephala, ‘Brassica’ being the genus consisting of cabbages, ‘oleracea’ meaning that the plant can be used as a vegetable and ‘acephala’ meaning ‘without a head’, i.e that the plant is loose leafed rather than with a head as many cultivated cabbages have. Kale has a long history as a food crop, being one of the most important green vegetables in Europe up until the end of the Middle Ages.

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Harvest…

The Gardens are blessed with 2 apple and pear orchards and espaliered fruit fences all planted with over 60 heritage varieties dating back to the 1500s.

Like many fruit growers we’ve had a mixed year.

Normally we are able to produce a goodly number of single variety fruit juices for sale to our visitors. A radical pruning of the trees last year combined with the weather, has meant the crop this year is almost non-existent. (don’t worry it’s all to the good,we hope for an even bigger crop next year.

Undaunted, our annual Apple day this year will turn its focus to the urban harvest within our local community and the abundance of crab apples and other apple trees on the public land hereabouts. On 15th October it will be ‘Bring a Bottle’ and ‘juice your own’ – our three donated apple presses will be hard at work all day.

Our large veg plot – in 18th century ‘stylee’ the Batty Langley,usually provides a good crop of Cardoons, Artichokes, Squashes and Rhubarb. This year our younger visitors also planted up a runner bean tunnel …their effort have been rewarded with a great crop.

Earlier in the year visitors also helped us plant some special heritage potato varieties.

Early potato varieties, reputedly planted by local hero Sir Matthew Boulton, were re-introduced in the Garden but we have yet to test the taste of the tiny Yam and Congo varieties..

A good crop of Arran Victory, the potato named to celebrate the end of the 1914-18 war, has also been harvested – so we have plenty of seed potatoes for 2018 commemorations.

Together with Highland Burgundy red and Salad Blue, we’re hoping to produce red, white a blue mash!

Come along to our Harvest day Sunday 15th October 2017, 12.30 -4.30

(dont foget bring your apples, some clean bottles… and hopefully after a little elbow grease on the apple presser you’ll take home your very own juicy drink :_)

More details soon

 

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Year 6 Summer Leavers Special (New)

Transition to ‘Big School’ can be a nervy time for many pupils. The Gardens’ education department is offering a fun day out for Year 6 with a purpose.

A Taste of KS3 History gets the kids out of the classroom into the open in 10 acres of open space. Our historic garden gives us the opportunity to touch on topics across the KeyStage3 curriculum.

Sessions during the day include The Black Death and early medecine (our medicinal herb borders show the real plants), ‘Dig for Victory’ in our veg. plot and the opportunity to play like a Victorian on our Archery Lawn. They’ll also be the chance to taste ‘knot biscuits’ (shortcake based recipe) and carrot cookies (wartime recipe).

A day aimed at looking forward with confidence. £4 per pupil

Booking now  for weekdays (not Wednesday)

contact admin@cbhgt.org.uk, 0121 749 4100

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Beak Holiday Monday

The rain wasn’t much good for anything today ….but cakes were munched, masks were found, pompom flowers were made (and will be all week) … but this little family loved being fed all those lovely grubs that wet weather brings…

Bad photo with phone, but didn’t want to get too close and frighten them off. come and see them tomorrow, they’re growing fast.

More family activities all week – 12-3pm

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Pop in for pop-up food and music…

A new series of gentle, relaxed afternoons where you can take full advantage of the Gardens for some ‘me-time’.
We’ve asked some of the best local or artisan food businesses to run a one day pop-up cafe in the Orangery at the Gardens.
This month (May 21st) you can try some truly luscious cakes made by Bakes and Bits.
They currently operate in the city centre but hail originally from Castle Bromwich.

To put the ‘cherry on the cake’ of your afternoon experience we are also offering aspiring local musicians a chance to entertain our visitors while they chill and chomp on their cupcakes. We may not have a bandstand.. but we’ll have handpicked buskers to bathe your ears.
Good prices, good food and good company ..

Usual Garden entry prices
PS – We are still offering music slots – contact us if you are interested in knowing more
(Sun May 21st, Sat June 17th , Sat. July 8th & Sun July 23rd)

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