News from the Village of Essendine – Oct 2022

Thank you, Chantelle, for taking on the Dunlin Road delivery and continued thanks to all those who deliver elsewhere in Essendine 

Too many courgettes? Try this soup 

1 tbsp oil 400g leeks, sliced 450g courgettes, sliced 1 litre stock 

400g spinach 150g goat’s cheese 15g basil, plus a few leaves to serve 

8 tsp omega seed 

Heat oil in a large pan and fry the leeks gently until soft. Add courgettes, cover the pan and cook 5 mins more. Pour in stock, cover and cook until vegetables are soft 

Add spinach, cover and cook until it wilts. Take off the heat and blitz until really smooth with a hand blender. Add the goat’s cheese and basil, then blitz again. 

Scatter with some extra basil leaves sesame seeds, and eat with crusty bread 

Or try this easy courgette cake 

80ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing 150g light brown sugar 2 eggs 160g courgette, coarsely grated 180g plain flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp salt 2 tbsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling 

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Grease a 900gloaf tin and line with a long strip of baking paper. 

Mix together the oil, light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in grated courgette. 

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Tip the dry ingredients into the courgette mixture and stir until just combined. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle the top with demerara sugar. 

Bake for 45–55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before slicing 

JOBS FOR THE GARDEN IN OCTOBER: Taken from The English Garden 

1. Look after your lawn – Make sure you care for your lawn by raking or brushing leaves off the grass. Try collecting them in a leaf bag, which will turn them into leaf mould – a useful and versatile soil conditioner. You can also cut the grass for the final time of the year at the end of October. Make sure that the last cut is slightly higher than during the summer months – this will help to protect your lawn from winter frost damage. 

2. Give the garden a tidy up -greenhouses, ponds, gutters and water butts may all need cleaning out. Wooden garden furniture will need covering or storing for the winter and terracotta pots will need bringing inside, so that they don’t freeze and crack. If you don’t already have a compost heap or bin October is a great time to start one, with all the leaves and cuttings to be disposed of! 

3. Trim your hedges so that they are crisp and tidy for the winter months. Sharp edges will look very impressive when coated in frost in winter. 

4. Divide herbaceous perennials. It’s best to do this on a dry day when the soil is not too wet. Plant some of the newly divided plants back in the ground and take others to pot up and give away to friends! 

5. Plant spring-flowering bulbs in clumps of five or seven bulbs of the same variety through a border, for a really effective display. Plant them at a depth equal to twice the height of the bulb. 

7. Plant out spring bedding and biennials, such as wallflowers. Pots and hanging baskets can be planted with spring bedding and teamed with bulbs, grasses, cyclamen and violas for a colourful display, with lots of glorious texture. 

8. Protect plants and structures before frost, snow and high winds arrive. Check high structures such as fences, sheds and gates for signs of weakness and rot in October. Insulate any outdoor containers from frost using bubble wrap or fleece and where possible, move pots of tender or borderline hardy pots into a greenhouse.