Week in review: 26 [2019]

Welcome back to week in review, our brief recap of what’s been going on in the Grow, Make, Mend garden (and household) over the last seven days.

This week there was a slight social media scheduling fail on Friday so only one photo went out instead of the now usual two. On Saturday we also did not post the usual garden tour photographs because I was out rebelling in order to raise awareness of the climate crisis. Garden tour photographs for last week will feature throughout Monday (tomorrow) instead.

On with the show.

Those who have been following for a while now know that we are against chemical weedkillers and I barely weed by hand at all. As a result we get lovely surprises like this purple poppy.


This week has been quite hot. The thistles are coming up to bloom, the wild zone is now nearly all as tall as I am. The Golden Wonder potatoes are trying their hardest to get that tall as well. Some of the Dunluce potatoes looked like they were about to flower but the whole flower head seems to have now vanished. I can’t help but wonder if the chickens are eating the flowers.

They certainly like the potato containers. They dust bathe in them, sun bathe in them too, scratch around looking for things to eat. Oh, and they lay their eggs in the potatoes too!

We love our chickens. When they free range they lay eggs anywhere they like.


In the background, I can assure you, I am knitting away on the second real sock. I just turned the heel but miscounted so I need to take the heel out and do it again.

But this week I wanted to highlight roast potatoes.

I love a nice roast potato.

When I’m in a hurry, in the past I’ve picked up potatoes ready to roast from the frozen aisle. It’s actually trying to reduce plastic packaging that brought me to phasing these out. With a cook time of usually 30 minutes and over, I’ve never been entirely sure they saved me cooking time. Although of course they definitely saved me preparation time.

Recently I’ve taken a bit of a look on the ingredients list too. You’ll know of course that I bang on a bit about trying to eat food that is pretty close to its source, that hasn’t been processed much.

Here’s an ingredient list from a popular kind of brand of frozen ready to roast potatoes coated in batter: Potatoes (92%), Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Dextrin, Potato Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Colour: Caramel, Natural Flavouring.

Baby potatoes roasted in their skins, with sunflower oil, garlic salt and dried rosemary.

Here are my baby potatoes roasted without peeling. With a sniff of sunflower oil, some garlic salt and some dried rosemary these went down a treat at dinner time. The skins didn’t crisp but that was ok for us. No plastic, no preparation time beyond cleaning them, no long ingredients list.


20 years of careful storage later, it’s time for new handle grip.

Finally, this week’s featured Mend project is a direct fix this time. These good quality badminton raquets (rackets?) were stored carefully in dry, temperate conditions for nearly 20 years all told. Fortunately we have now taken up badminton and so after the first session – when the old black felt handle covers fell apart – I’ve replaced the grips.


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