I make bread out of the breadmaker fairly regularly but to be honest, it’s always been a bit stodgy. Still, I’ve been a bit afraid of making a complete disaster out of having a go at it by hand. But no longer…the cookbook The River Cottage Bread Handbook, has saved me! With its help I made my first loaf of bread today and it turned out WONDERFULLY! It was fantastic with a light Greek salad and we nearly polished it off completely in one go. Yummmmm! It doesn’t take much

How to make Elderflower Champagne Sometimes you’ll have the trickiest time finding an Elder tree and other times they’ll make an appearance just when you need them most – late spring when their clusters of flowers are blooming. Such was the case when I discovered an Elder tree while picnicking near the mountain course while watching the TT races. I picked about 15 of the creamy flower heads on the way back to the car and have already started making one of the most delicious summer beverages ever – Elderflower

I think I counted about ten earthworms at my allotment plot last year. Though strange, I figured that with all the digging and organic material I was adding to the soil that it wouldn’t be long before worms would be spilling out of my beds. But it’s now the beginning of June and I can honestly say that I haven’t seen a single worm on my plot this year. Others noticed the absence of worms on their plots too and one member even decided to delve further into this mystery.

Earlier this year I took a short course on beekeeping given by our local ‘Isle of Man Beekeepers Federation’. Meeting every other week for three months, it was an excellent way to meet local beekeepers, learn about bees, hives and honey and of course to prepare for starting up beekeeping for yourself. It’s been great but yesterday was even better…it was my very first practical lesson. Meeting at a federation member’s home, our group comprised of both experienced and beginner beekeepers. We beginners were shown the ropes by ‘Richard’, a

Being this far north it’s a little bit of a wait for most garden produce. Other than the few spears of asparagus I dared to take, the only other harvest has been of rhubarb, which so far has been prolific! I’ve made several delicious rhubarb crumbles and have even frozen a bag of it for a strawberry and rhubarb jam I’m planning on making next month and I still have tons left to use. So what to do with it? Make wine! Using a recipe I found online, I soaked

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