Allotment Smoothies

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Today’s video is in response to a viewer’s request. Apparently I’m always mentioning smoothie’s on the videos and so a video of making them was a good idea too.

Smoothie’s are particularly important at this time of year, because leaves for salads are a bit thin on the ground, whereas their’s an abundance of leaves for smoothies. Within a few days though I should be picking salads and so I will only have one smoothie a day then, for breakfast.

I credit smoothie’s with a big part of my full recovery from Adult onset Stills Disease, which is an autoimmune condition that resulted in arthritis in most of my major joints as well as associated muscles/tendons and the general effects of inflammation: exhaustion, headaches, poor memory etc. However I also think that much more movement, the outdoors, relaxation and all of the other fruit and veg that I eat played a part.

I use a very wide range of fruit and veg in smoothies, drawing from around 100 different ones that we grow, today I picked: radish tops, spinach beet, beetroot tops, rocket, pac choi, brocolli tops, sprout tops, chicory leaves, curly cake, kale Nero, winter miners lettuce, an allotment apple and half a green banana. The banana makes the mix much more palatable and green bananas are much healthier than yellow (especially in a smoothie).

If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and one of our daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot.

On Jennie’s plot, for example, we focus on potatoes, squash, alliums, and brassicas. This video provides an overview

I do a monthly tour of each allotment, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here

Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self-sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in summer, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family, and to have as much fun as possible.

My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work: like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.

I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease.

I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat the most organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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