Friday, 24 February 2017

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017.

I know it's only February but I've already had enough garden excitement to last me the whole year! 

Firstly I enlisted the help of the husband and we emptied the compost bin.  There's really nothing as satisfying and glee-making as homemade compost, it worked perfectly and made beautiful compost! 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

We spread the compost over most of the main garden raised bed, with really thin layers of autumn leaves and hay underneath, to create a bit of a mulchy, nutrient and structure adding, and protective layer. 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

But the excitement didn't stop there!  I weeded and refilled my front garden lasagna raised beds, scattering the veg plant leaves over the soil, then autumn leaves, hay, compost and finally a layer of some topsoil I had left over from when I first made the beds.  They're all ready for planting up now. 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden
 
And then Joe decided to demolish a funny little walled area at the back end of the garden.  There was a tree stump in it and a double layer of bricks in a square round the edge, and then some big chunks of mortar to chip away too.  I'm pleased he did this, because once we've got the paths sorted out I want my little tool shed to go in that space.  I don't have a before photo, but this is the space now. 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

We also dismantled the compost bin, it was too big for us, and a bit rickety around the joints.  Mum passed on this round compost bin to us, I remember it coming from my Gran's garden, and she died when I was in my early teens, so it's obviously a quality, long lasting item!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

And even more excitement - we rented a skip and Joe dismantled the old green shed.  It was about to fall over and looked disgusting.  I'm so glad to be rid of it.  We'll save up for a new studio shed (which may take some time!), Joe did a jewellery degree and he wants to get back into it and have the space to do it.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden


Behind the old shed was about 2 feet of rubbish (4 children's bikes, bags of rubble, buckets, boxes, bags of junk, a wheelbarrow!) and a bank of soil mixed in with rubble.  We think the rubble is from the old coal shed.  Once Joe's dug through and removed the rubble we can hopefully take the bank way back, prune the hedge and give ourselves some extra garden.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

I planted some bulbs, allium and oxalis, and some bargain echinacea - 3 plants for 99p from Aldi.

I planted my first veggie seeds too, in cut down loo rolls in this fabulous cupcake box I nicked from work to use as a propagator.  I've done a bit of everything I'm most excited to grow, just to get started, and I'll plant more over the coming weeks.  Here we have kale, pink chard, yellow mange tout, lazy housewife beans and minipops sweetcorn.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

All my seedlings live in the conservatory for now.  In the terracotta pots are peppers, tomatoes, giant bulgarian leeks and a couple of lipstick peppers that have hung on since last year.

I've planted some pretty polyanthus too.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, February 2017. From uk garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #polyculture #ediblegarden #suburbangarden

How are your gardens this month?  I hope they're as Exciting as mine! 





Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Make one small change - use vegan dental floss.

Making one small change at a time can make becoming eco friendly loads easier.  Lots of small changes add up to a big difference.

Make one small change - use vegan dental floss. From uk vegan and eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #ecofriendly #vegandentalfloss

Buying this vegan dental floss is the result of wanting to find eco friendly floss, but not quite being able to find any.  All the biodegradable options are made from silk, which isn't vegan (they kill the silk worms when they remove their silky cocoons).  

So this is a better choice than standard dental floss, but it's still not the best choice.  It comes in a plastic box, with a metal cutter and the floss is synthetic.  But it's made with a lot less chemicals than the floss I used to use.  There's no petrochemical coatings, or teflon, or dodgy antibacterials, parabens or other nasty chemicals, which are bad for your body and the planet.  This vegan dental floss just has natural mint and tea tree, xylitol and vegan wax.  The outer packaging is a recyclable card box, but as I bought the floss online it came in a padded envelope and had to be transported. 

I'll keep looking out for a better option, but sometimes it's just a case of waiting for the market to catch up with what you're looking to buy.  I'm unwilling to give up flossing, after 10+ years of orthodontial treatment I'm really into looking after my teeth!  This is an imperfect small eco friendly change, but it's a small step in the right direction at least.


Don't forget to check out my other small changes to help you live a greener life!


Friday, 17 February 2017

What I ate in a day, a day of vegan meals.

This is what I ate on a lazy Sunday.  All vegan and all yummy,

What I ate in a day. A day of vegan meals from vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatIateinaday

Breakfast was a 'bacon' sandwich.  These Vbites Cheatin' rashers are OK, but better if you sprinkle some smoked paprika on while they're cooking. In a toasted pitta with lots of ketchup and a glass of OJ.

What I ate in a day. A day of vegan meals from vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatIateinaday

My only real plan for the day was to pop round the supermarket with mum, which I did, then treated myself to a little crispy snack and a sit on the sofa when I got back.  Paprika Pringles are my downfall.

What I ate in a day. A day of vegan meals from vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatIateinaday

Lunch was organic rice with sautéed mushroom, onion, garlic, spinach and cashews.  I was even organised enough to make two portions, one to take to work for lunch the next day.

What I ate in a day. A day of vegan meals from vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatIateinaday

I had great plans to cook potato and leek bake for tea, but I just didn't get round to it and Joe was late back home from work, so I whipped up a quick and easy baked potato, beans and a little side salad instead.  I know there's a lettuce shortage at the moment, but all winter I've been able to pick up English grown lettuce for 75p from my local market and it's nice to have a salad occasionally! 

What I ate in a day. A day of vegan meals from vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #whatIateinaday

I bought a little vegan chocolate bar as a treat when I was in the supermarket earlier in the day.  I love these Moo Free Bunnycomb bars - they're just like vegan crunchies! 

Don't forget to check out my other vegan blog posts for more vegan meal inspiration! 


 
 
 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Eco friendly articles and actions.


Happy valentines day!  Show some love for the planet with these easy online actions and inspiring articles, 

photo via scathingly.brilliant.blogspot.com

I love Kate from Scathingly Brilliant's introverts guide to activism.

Sign Friends of the Earth's petition to stop fracking in Sherwood Forest.

The Green Party are asking Theresa May to keep freedom of movement between the UK and the EU.

Climate change is an ever more urgent threat. 2016 was the hottest year on record.
But Donald Trump has threatened to pull the US out of global climate agreements and has packed his team with fossil fuel executives and climate change sceptics.
It’s going to be tough, but let this be a turning point...we can keep the world on track to stop climate change. Millions of people around the world are with us.
quote via foe.co.uk

Pledge to do what you can to fight against climate change in the face of the Trump administration. 

Read about how Costa Rica modernised and saved itself from poverty, without hurting the environment.  


photo via The Guardian

As a Brownie and Rainbow guide leader I loved this little documentary about Radical Brownies.   

Ideally I think plastic packaging should be banned altogether, but until that happens sign this petition asking for a deposit scheme for plastic bottles

A billion black plastic food trays go to landfill every year, use Friends of the Earth's action to tweet supermarkets asking them to change to recyclable plastic.  

I post these kinds of things on twitter all month, so find me there if this is your kind of thing too!

 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

No 'poo, homemade sea salt and lemon hair and head scrub.

So it's been about 3 years since I stopped washing my hair and went no 'poo (no 'poo is short for no shampoo!).  I don't really miss anything from my shampooing days, except for a salty, scrubby shampoo from Lush that made my hair soft and amazing.  

Lush's Big Shampoo contains sodium laureth sulphate which makes it unsuitable for no 'poo haircare routines.  SLS is a know skin irritant, pollutant and can permeate your body and stay in there (urgh!) so I avoid it.  Lush's shampoo also starts a nearly £7 for a little pot - my DIY version is cheap, vegan and natural.  And it smells amazing! 

No 'poo, homemade sea salt and lemon hair and head scrub.  From uk blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #nopoo #lowpoo #hippyhair

You will need

Coarse sea salt
Lemon juice
Essential oils (optional) 

How to make no 'poo hair and head scrub

It's super simple, just mix the sea salt and lemon juice together.  I don't really measure it, but I'd say start with roughly a tablespoon of each then add more juice or salt as needed until the salt is soaked through but not dissolved.  If you want to add some essential oils add a couple of drops now and mix them in.  Essential oils are optional, but both lavender oil and tea tree oil have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so if you're head is a bit itchy it could be a good idea to add them.  You can also add lime juice, or swap the lemon juice for lime if you prefer a limey smell.   

Should I add a disclaimer here to say if you have any cuts or owchie bits on your scalp perhaps give this a miss, lemon and salt will be too stingy! 

How to use your salt and lemon hair and head scrub

Make the scrub in advance then jump in the shower and wet your hair.  Scoop up a handful of hair scrub and gently massage it into your scalp.  Repeat until your whole scalp is covered and smooth the rest through the lengths of your hair.  Leave the scrub in for a few minutes then rinse out thoroughly. 

I use it about once a month or so.  It will give you a happy scalp and the soft, floofy hair of your dreams.

Do you have any no 'poo hair tips?

Check out my other 'no poo posts too, 




No 'poo, homemade sea salt and lemon hair and head scrub.  From uk blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #nopoo #lowpoo #hippyhair







Friday, 27 January 2017

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan.

2017 marks 10 years since I went vegan.  It's my veganiversary! 

In February 2007 I was 22 and I went to live in Spain with my friend for a while.  She's vegan, so I ate the same food as her, found it was easy and yummy (despite the lack of convenient vegan alternatives in Valencia 10 years ago!) and cutting out dairy and eggs cleared up some health issues I was having (twice weekly migraines, tummy troubles and rashes).  Veganism was something I'd tried before but failed when I discovered soya made me super itchy and poorly, it was so good to go vegan with the support of my friend.  I'd been veggie since I was 12 and I knew veganism was the next step in helping myself, the environment and animals.  I'm so glad I took that step.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

I thought I'd treat you all to some photos of me eating vegan food for the last 10 years too!

IT IS SO MUCH EASIER TO BE VEGAN NOW!
You guys, we have everything vegan now, ice cream, cheese, yoghurt, marshmallows, cheese and onion crisps, it's so good!  When I was a new vegan in Spain requests for vegan meals or products were met with a 'Que?' or more usually a 'Por que?', now there's vegan convenience food in the corner shop!  It's amazing!

You can actually eat meals in restaurants!
I no longer have to order a side salad and chips, or baked potato with beans when I'm out.  Lots of my favourite places have special vegan menus, I love Las Iguanas, Novello Lounge, Pizza Express, and even Wetherspoons, they all have special separate vegan menus with lots of nice choices.  There are also loads more completely vegan or vegetarian cafes and eating places - yey!

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

You can avoid being or interacting with the 'vegan police'.
I try to be pretty chill with my veganism nowadays.  I'm sure in my animal rights demo days I was a bit pushy with my beliefs, and I've definitely been on the receiving end of shouty vegans which isn't pleasant (once when I was 'just' vegetarian a guy giving me a lift to a demo said I shouldn't even be there because my doc martens were leather, I was about 18 and mortified!).  It's easier to be nice and just live in the way you think is right, plenty of people will be curious and ask you about your lifestyle without you ramming it down their throats.

Vegan cheese!
I definitely appreciate vegan cheese.  I remember when Cheezly was the only choice, and that stuff makes me shudder!  Now I'm Violife for life.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

I don't wear my vegan jumper any more.
It still fits, I wear it to do the gardening, but it seems a bit to much to wander round in public proclaiming what I eat in such big lettering.  I have some awesome, slightly more discreet, vegan pin badges though!

Social media is a vegan's best friend.
As soon as a new, exciting vegan product hits the shelves you can guarantee a vegan somewhere will be Instagramming and Twittering it.  The vegan network is strong.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Vegan magazines are awesome.
Veganism can't be that much of a weird thing any more if you can wander into your local newsies and pick up a lovely, glossy vegan magazine full of recipes and articles.  I prefer Vegan Life Magazine for my monthly dose of vegan inspiration.  

Being vegan makes you a better cook.
It's true!  I cook so much more and have to cleverly substitute vegan ingredients.  In the last few years there's been loads of vegan cookbooks out too, with lots of lovely vegan recipes. 

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Vegan street food is a thing now.
And that's totally fine by me!  We go to an event in Digbeth quite regularly with street food trucks, and every single truck has a vegan option.  So good!

It's possible to marry a non-vegan!
Yes, if I'd have told teenage me I'd marry a meat eater I might not have believed it, but I have married a man who eats meat, and we don't even argue about it.  We don't cook meat in the house, anything he eats out of the house I don't comment on, and he cooks me yummy vegan meals and looks up if there's vegan options on the menu before we go out.  I think he's a keeper.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Most importantly, being vegan helps the environment and animals.
Climate change isn't getting any better and animals aren't being treated any nicer.  Not eating animals is one of the best and easiest ways to help the environment and ease suffering, and that's why I've been doing it for so long!

Finally, here are some of my bestest vegan food blog posts, 

Vegan Thai spiced noodle recipe.

Graze box - for vegans.

3 ways to eat vegan yoghurt. 

Vegan buckwheat flour and coconut milk pancakes. 

What do vegans eat in Birmingham? 

What do vegans eat in Rio de Janeiro?

3 easy vegan potato recipes.

DIY vegan cheese and onion crisps.

Make your own vegan cheese, from nutritional yeast and pine nuts. 

Vegan leek, lentil and potato bake. 

Disclosure - I get a digital subscription to Vegan Life Magazine in return for giving them a shout out every month.  I only work with brands I like and all opinions and ideas are my own.  Vegan Life Mag is ace, you can subscribe here.


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Charity shopping, with Sooty and Soo in a canoe.

I haven't found anything in the charity shops for ages, and then all of a sudden there was loads to buy! 

Charity shopping. With Sooty and Soo in a canoe, Hornsea Fauna and Hornsea Heirloom and more. From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #thrifting #opshopping

I picked up this cute vintage glass necklace, I think it looks like sweeties, which is of course everything I look for in my jewellery.  
Retro neckalce, £1, Oxfam.

Charity shopping. With Sooty and Soo in a canoe, Hornsea Fauna and Hornsea Heirloom and more. From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #thrifting #opshopping

I've got to show you these beautiful piece of Hornsea Fauna pottery, even though I didn't buy them myself, they were a Christmas present from my sister in law (and brother, and nieces, but I suspect my sis in law chose them!).  I love the bunny one, and the chipped bits are inside so I can mend it once I've found my superglue!  And ain't that tortoise so cute too!
Hornsea Fauna pottery, a lovely present.

Charity shopping. With Sooty and Soo in a canoe, Hornsea Fauna and Hornsea Heirloom and more. From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #thrifting #opshopping

Some more Hornsea, I found this little cute thing in the charity shop last week.  I think it's a spice pot without it's lid, I've no idea what I'm going to do with it but I can rarely walk past a piece of Hornsea Heirloom.
Hornsea Heirloom pot, 50p, Air Ambulance charity shop.

Charity shopping. With Sooty and Soo in a canoe, Hornsea Fauna and Hornsea Heirloom and more. From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #thrifting #opshopping

And some more brown, retro pottery!  I always need plant pots for the indoor jungle I'm cultivating!
Retro plant pot, £2.49, Severn Hospice charity shop.  

Charity shopping. With Sooty and Soo in a canoe, Hornsea Fauna and Hornsea Heirloom and more. From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #thrifting #opshopping

Charity shopping. With Sooty and Soo in a canoe, Hornsea Fauna and Hornsea Heirloom and more. From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #thrifting #opshopping

Ok, I'll admit I don't really know why I bought this.  Other than it was cheap, and kitsch and cute looking of course!  And I have used it (ie. put the jigsaw together!) so therefore it is a useful purchase.
Sooty and Soo in a canoe jigsaw, 50p, Air Ambulance charity shop.

Have you had any luck in the charity shops lately?

P.S. Check out my other charity shop posts for more!  


  

Friday, 20 January 2017

Garden plans and dreams for 2017.

It's the time of year when I start dreaming dreamy dreams about my garden.  It may look particularly brown and bedraggled at the moment, but I have great plans for it in 2017.

What's in my seed tin?

Garden plans and dreams for 2017.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #gardenblog #growyourown

I have a whole tin full up of lovely seeds, some new and some that have been lingering for a while.  This is what I'll be growing this year.

Beans
Some broad beans from seed I saved, not sure of the variety.
Lazy housewife climbing french bean (Real Seed)

Peas 
Golden sweet yellow mange tout (Read Seed)
Bijou giant sugar pea (Real Seed)

Leafy things
Pink passion chard (Read Seed)
Red baby leaf bulls beet (The Herbary)
Red russian kale (The Herbary)
Green salad bowl lettuce (The Herbary)
Erbette perpetual spinach beet (The Herbary)
Salad bowl mixed lettuce (Wilkos)
Black seeded simpson lettuce (Premier seeds direct)
Kale nero di toscana (Premier seeds direct)
Little gem lettuce (Premier seeds direct)
Spinach beet (Wilkos) 
Greyhound cabbage (Wilkos)
Dwarf green curled kale (Johnsons)
Bright lights chard (Johnsons)
Pink flamingo Swiss chard (J&L Gourmet vegetable seed)
Iceberg lettuce 2 (Johnsons)

Oniony things
Lilia purple spring onion (Premier seeds direct)
Tokyo long white bunching onion (Premier seeds direct)
Chives (Premier seeds direct)
Chinese/garlic chives (Premier seeds direct)
North Holland bloodred redmate spring onion (Premier seeds direct)
Ramsons/wild garlic (Just seed)
Musselburgh leek (Premier seeds direct)
Bulgarian giant leek (Real seeds)

Tomatoes
Mortgage lifter (Premier seeds direct)
Tiny Tim (Premier seeds direct)
San Marzano 2 (Premier seeds direct)

Courgettey things
Patisson blanc patty pan squash (Real Seed)
Verde di Milano courgette (Real Seed)

Sweetcorn
Minipop F1 (Unwins)

Carrots
Rainbow mix (Premier seeds direct)

Radish 
Rat's tail radish (Elfskin edibles)

I have lots of flower seeds too!  As you can see I have waaaaay too many leafy things seeds, I'm going to experiment with growing micro-greens this year and try to use up the surplus of seed.

I buy my seed online usually, and try to buy organic.  I like the Real Seed Company and I buy from Ebay too, I particularly like Premier Seeds Direct who sell lots of organic seed, but I've bought from The Herbary and Elfskin Edibles too.

New year, new compost bin?

I've decided the compost bin I bought when we moved here was an expensive mistake.  It's way too big and kind of hard to open, I'm waiting for a dry day to empty, disassemble and clean it, then I'll try to sell it or pass it on.  I have a slot together compost bin that I've inherited from my mum, so I'll use that, and my freecycled wormery, but what I really, really, really want and kind of NEED is a Hotbin.  Have you seen them?  They hot compost garden and food waste, get up to 60 degrees centigrade and there's a vent at the top to let out steam!  It's super duper expensive, £185, I'm dithering over buying one, if I save my Christmas money and put £20 a month away until April I'd be able to afford one pretty painlessly, I just hope it isn't an expensive gimmick.  

Garden plans and dreams for 2017.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #gardenblog #growyourown

Vegan fertilisers...

Oh maaan, I really need to do something about my soil.  I was looking back at old gardeny blog posts and my veggies grew so well when I had a little plot in Mum's garden.  Look at this photo, look at the lush, green, large leaves, nothing like what I get from my garden now.

Garden plans and dreams for 2017.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #gardenblog #growyourown

What I get is all yellow-y, and tiny and inevitably gets eaten by slugs.  I'm going to add lots of compost, continue with no dig, polyculture gardening methods, make nettle tea, add worm compost and sow green manure in the autumn.  I hope that'll do some good. 

Garden inspiration for 2017

Garden plans and dreams for 2017.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #garden #gardenblog #growyourown

I've been leafing through my favourite gardening books - the James Wong and Alys Fowler ones are my favourite (Alys Fowler has a Hotbin, so I should definitely get one right?!).  I keep going back to Grow a Little Fruit Tree, I still haven't got round to giving my apple trees the chop, but I must do it soon!

I've been rewatching The Edible Garden on BBC i-player, and I like Big Dreams Small Spaces on the TV too.

There are some blogs and instagrams I love looking at for garden inspiration too,

Alys Fowler's Guardian column.
James Wong's Guardian column.  
Charles Dowding's Instagram.
Urban Veg Patch's Instagram.
You Grow Girl's Instagram. 
Bryony Willis' Instagram.
Tricia Eco's Instagram.


Do you have any garden plants for the coming year?





Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Make one small change - freeze your sauce to stop food waste.

Making one small change at a time can make becoming eco friendly loads easier.  Lots of small changes add up to a big difference.

Make one small change - freeze your sauce to stop food waste. By eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ecofriendly #smallchanges #foodwaste

There's this one jar of sauce we keep in our fridge, we open it up, use it once or twice and before we know it, it's gone mouldy.  Because it's super spicy (it's Thai red curry paste, btw) we only use a teaspoon each time and we can't seem to get through it before it goes green and fluffy.  But not any more, I've worked out the easiest method to freeze the sauce into invidual portions, so no more wasting perfectly good sauce!

You just pour the sauce into a container (I used a little roasting tray, but you could use a pyrex dish or something similar) and put it in the freezer overnight.  Take it out the next day and cut the frozen sauce into whatever size is the correct portion size for you.  Pop the sauce portions into jars and store in the freezer, ready to chip out a block or two when you need it.  

Don't forget to check out my other small changes to help you live a greener life!


 
 

Friday, 13 January 2017

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!

One of my local shops started stocking loads of the Eat Real cheese and cream flavour crisps, and they're vegan!  It seemed the right thing to do to buy one of every variety, and then try them out.  For the blog, of course.  I'm so selfless.  I also had a bag of Ten Acre vegan cheese and onion crisps, so I've included them too.

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Here we go...

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Eat Real Quinoa Puffs - White Cheddar
Firstly, these puffs are huge!  They're the same length as my fingers!  They're really crispy and have a yummy, salty, cheese flavour.

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Eat Real Quinoa Puffs - Jalapeño and Cheddar
Same puffs, different flavour.  I actually don't think these taste particularly cheesy, they're more jalapeño flavour, but husband has tried them and he thinks they taste of cheese.  These are my least favourite.

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Eat Real Quinoa Chips - Sour Cream and Chive
Vegan sour cream and chive is a dream come true for me!  These quinoa chips have a similar texture to wholegrain or sunbites style crisps and they taste tangy and chive-y.  I don't think you'd know these were vegan if you hadn't seen the bag!

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Eat Real Lentil Chips - Creamy Dill
The lentil chips are light and crunchy and the chips themselves really taste creamy and tangy, with a hint of  herby dill.  A packet of these doesn't last very long - these ones are my favourite. 

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Ten Acre - The Story of when the Cheese met the Onion
 If you want vegan crisps that taste like good old Walkers cheese and onion then these are your best bet.  Crunchy little potato crisps with a strong onion and tangy cheese flavour that definitely don't taste like they're vegan friendly.  But they are.  Woohoo!

I also really, really, really like my own homemade vegan cheese and onion crisps, just take some nooch, onion powder and plain crisps and mix them all together, you can find the recipe for DIY vegan cheese and onion crisps here.


Vegan review - all of the vegaVegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheesen cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese


Are there any more vegan cheesy crisps I should know about?