Friday, 14 June 2019

Re-use and re-purpose - Garden planters


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I will admit to buying this on a market new - so more of a re-purpose than a re-use as it had no lid, but with a lick of paint it now matches the garden, there are brush marks, but it is fine for the garden!

We have lots of plants suitable for pots, and they and a great splash of colour to your garden.


Thursday, 13 June 2019

Re-use and re-purpose - plastic bottles - mini cloches

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I completely forgot about this - so will post now, so that you can all be prepared for next year.

Did you want to plant out a few vegetable plants in the garden and it is a bit early as the nights are a little cold, you can put a cloche over the top and they should be fine from April onwards - you may even be OK in March too.

We will have a few plants soon, so start saving your bottles.  I would suggest that you make sure they don't get too hot during the day.  Leave the lids off as that will give them some air.

There are other plastic containers that will do the job just fine, just see what you are throwing away, just cut a hole for air circulation...and it didn't cost you a penny.

Just search for plastic bottle cloche - here is a little more reading

Plastic bottle cloche


25 ways to repurpose plastic bottles

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Carrot & Fruit cake with honey



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This was a recipe I found in a book, and decided to give it a go - it was fab, and I would definitely recommend making it, we have carrots and honey in the shop - it is lovely and moist.










Put all of this lot in a saucepan (or I did a bowl and pop in the microwave)

125g - 4oz soft brown sugar

6 tablespoons of clear honey (although I reckon set will do)

175g - 6oz of grated carrot

125g - 4oz seedless raisins
50g - 2oz chopped dates
3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
125g - 4oz butter
150ml - ¼ pint water

and bring to the boil - then simmer for 5 mins, leave to cool

then add:
1 beaten egg
and then mix together thoroughly:
125g - 4oz wholemeal flour
125g - 4oz plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

I used all plain flour this time as I had not got any wholemeal, and it still seem to work.

How simple is that!
put the mix in a 23cm (9inch) cake tin and bake for 55 - 60 mins - 180c/350f/gas mark 4

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Re-use and re-purpose - Garden planters


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We have a selection of plants for the summer, and here is an idea to put them to use.....

Have you got a tired old saucepan, that has a bit of character?  or a colander or something similar?  There are some interesting things in the shop that could fit the bill.

Well how about planting it up?  The colander here is perfect as it already has drainage holes, no worries about drilling them, but you will need to add them, or if that is not possible put a lot of stones/crocks in the bottom, and make sure you do not over water.

You may need to line it with something, if it is full of holes, like this, just some plastic from a compost sack, just make sure you can't see it through the holes, so black side out.  Or an old jumper could work or sacking.

and you will need to make some holes in the plastic lining for drainage.

Here is my effort - they will soon fill up when the plants got established...

...better get checking those kitchen drawers

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Barton Springs

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Barton le Clay is only a few miles away and has it very own natural spring, the hills are chalk and part of the Chilterns, and worth a discover if you are in the area.  Hexton Country Matters is only down the road, so pop in and visit us too..

Check out this leaflet prepared by http://www.bedfordshiregeologygroup.org.uk:
Barton Hills


A few other places that the spring is mentioned:
http://www.findaspring.com/locations/europe/england/barton-spring-bedfordshire-england/

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4508930

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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Nick Peace - Woodturner

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We have a lovely selection of woodturned items.  Nick Peace has been woodturning for 6 years, since he retired, and loves to keep himself busy with his new hobby.

Here is a selection of items that he has made and are available in Country Matters Hexton.



The pieces are so tactile, you just have to stroke them.

If there is something that you are specifically after, Nick loves a challenge so let him know.


Thursday, 21 March 2019

Hexton Chalk Pit and Pegsdon Hills

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As spring is here.....

Did you know that we have a very own small nature reserve?  It is managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and more information can be found here.

herts wildlife trust

and then right next to it is Pegsdon Hills this is managed by the Beds, Cambs and Northants Wildlife Trust as the border of Herts and Beds is just here!

wildlifebcn

Here is a map of the walk, the climb is very steep, so it will take longer than a walk on the flat, probably up to 3 hours:
Pegsdon Hill Walk

Here are a few places where they have published walks:
Walking Britain
View Ranger


This is a view from the lane at the end of Hexton:




Following a walk pop into the tea rooms and a wander around the shop, Country Matters at Hexton

#shoplocal