Preserving the Passion, How Neil Brought His Love of Gardening Indoors
Following Neil and Caroline’s summer of horticulture; growing produce from the bottom of their kitchen fridge, they have gone on to bring their gardening pursuits in from the blustery outdoors into the comfort of their own kitchen.
From the spoils of their gardening efforts, Neil has made plum and strawberry jams, most of which have already been spread on toast or given away to friends and family. All neatly stored in Nutley’s 8oz Hexagonal jam jars, and Nutley’s straight clip preserve jars, the kitchen is bustling with homemade delights.
Straight clip glass jars cover the shelves in their kitchen dresser, and the windowsill is a jungle of basil plants and other edible herbs. Pots of germinating seeds are stacked in the utility room, and the garden is abundant with flowers and the last of this year’s pickings, ready to harvest. It truly is a gardener’s paradise, and it is clear that this has become a new way of life for Neil and Caroline.
But the most popular of all Neil’s efforts, are his varieties of chutney. Mild, hot, and extra hot chutneys are carefully labelled to avoid any mix-ups. Although Neil warned that extra hot is not for the faint hearted, and comes with a health-warning, due to a happy (for Neil) mix-up between a teaspoon and tablespoon of chilli powder.
The chutneys are flying out the door, as family and friends via Zoom and Facebook nab the jars for their Christmas presents.
Much like gardening, Neil had never so much as thought about making pickles or preserves, and yet he is now the proud owner of over 60 jars of home-made chutney, pickles and jams.
Once again, YouTube has been the main source of information, providing the nifty tip of using a slow cooker rather than the usual cumbersome preserving pots. The slow-cooker recipe takes twelve and a half hours, but does not need tending to, so is a very convenient method.
Neil and Caroline’s plans for next year are already taking form, with raised beds and planters being the main topic of conversation. Plans for a new concrete path are beginning to take shape, with Haxnicks grow bags and patio planters being added into the plans as main features.
Nutley’s propagators also ensure that Neil and Caroline’s seeds for next season are given the very best chance of survival, providing them with a stable growing environment and kick-starting the germination process.