Welcome to the Secret Garden South of Bobber's Mill Bridge in Nottingham

Welcome to Windmill Community Gardens, home of the Climate Friendly Gardeners Project.

We are a group of local people, who are nurturing a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us just South of Bobbersmill Bridge, on the allotment site at the South end of Ascot Road. The Gardens are a great place where anyone can come to find out more about growing their own food in a changing climate. We cater for all abilities and welcome any nationality or age group.

Why not come and join us?

Thursday 22 November 2012

Having a Souper Time at Windmill...

We've had a grand plan for today for quite a while. We had just started growing sweet potatoes when Rudi came to run our Jamaican cookery session in the Summer, and he promised us that he'd come back when we harvested them to share one of his favourite recipes for sweet potato soup. We invited our friends from Gateway to Nature to come along and help with the preparation, and they were also interesed in learning how to make chutney, so we planned a big cook session.

Unfortunately, Rudi wasn't able to be with us, so he helped Tracey work out the recipe and she agreed to give it a go (though with all her fingers crossed as some of the ingredients were new to her). Fortunately the Gateway to Nature group were happy to take a chance, so we went ahead.

Half of our sweet potato harvest

First we began by chopping scallions (onions or leeks also work) and coco yam which we began to cook in oil. Then we harvested the sweet potatoes, which had made a small but reasonable crop considering the poor weather. We only used the biggest one of them, as we are hoping to use the rest to grow our own sweet potato plants for next year. We'd bought spares just in case the there was no crop so we still had plenty. 

Starting the preparation - first dice scallions and coco-yam

Cook them in a little oil for around 10 minutes.

Preparing the sweet potatoes (+ the thing that looks like a
large green pear is chocho waiting to be prepared)

We also added diced pumpkin and then chocho at the end. The soup also had vegetable bouillon, coconut milk and thyme. Tracey added fresh ginger by mistake, so it wasn't completely authentic, but it still seemed to work! A final Jamaican touch was to add traditional Jamaican dumplings, or spinners. These are made from seasoned flour mixed with water to form a stiff dough, and then small blobs of the dough are rolled to make rolls like thick pencils which are cooked in the soup.

Making spinners (Jamaican style pencil-shaped dumplings)
to go in the soup.

So how's the soup?

It tastes pretty good...

Soup all round then!

The next stage of the day was to make green tomato chutney. This is essentially a "chop everything up and boil it" recipe, so very easy. You'll find the recipe below. Tracey was delighted, because everyone helping to chop meant that preparing the ingredients took very little time compared to when she has to do it at home.
Tracey explains the basics of making green tomato chutney

Starting the chutney on the rocket stove

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