In this fun and informal podcast, presenters Jez Rose and co-host Kathy Slack chat, mull and debate about gardening, nature and wildlife, often over a cup of tea or while munching on home-grown fruit or homemade cake.
Subjects covered range from gardening gadgets to the pros and cons of veg boxes, seeds versus plug plants and push vs electric mowers. Jez also discusses the complex issue of native plants, what really is native and why non-natives have their place helping to increase diversity into your garden.
Kathy, a keen vegetable grower, gives her tips on how to approach vegetable growing as a beginner by growing things you like, recommending peas and pea shoots – with peas tasting totally different when straight out of the pods, and lettuces, which can even be sown now.
Anyone with a glut might enjoy her tips on making crispy sweet and sour pickles. Start by making a pickling liquor by heating equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and sugar so that the sugar melts, and adding strips of root veg like carrots, beetroot or cucumber, rhubarb or broccoli – perfect with a cheese board or a ploughman’s. Kathy also has a great recipe for vegetable cottage pie with lentils, mushrooms, walnuts and bay leaves topped with either mash or cauliflower cheese.
Those wanting to hunker down with a good book will enjoy the recent episode where the pair recommend good reads such as Richard Louv’s book, ‘Last Child in the Woods’ about the importance of nature to our children and the concept of ‘nature deficit disorder’. They also recommend the book ‘Wintering’ by Katherine May, an exploration on the power of winter with chapters covering water, light, and the nature of hibernating and how restorative it can be. In another episode the pair discuss nature as healing and the effect gardening has had on their own mental health, with Kathy discussing nature retreats. They suggest embracing the colder weather by taking out a flask of hot chocolate or a hot soup and even cooking outside.