Courgette glut?

It’s that time in the allotment year when, if you are lucky, you have a glut of courgettes.   These summer squash are incredibly versatile and can be used in savory and sweet dishes.

Here’s a few of my favourite courgette recipes:

If you want to try something a bit different, below is my favourite courgette loaf cake recipe.

Courgette cake (cuts into 10-12 slices).

60g raisins (or pecans/walnuts)

180g golden caster sugar

185ml light olive oil

3 eggs

280g plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of ground nutmeg

380g courgettes coarsely grated

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Gas 4). Butter a 12 x 4 inch loaf tin.


Beat the sugar with the oil and vanilla until smooth and then add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Keep on beating until you have a thick, yet light and fluffy batter. Sift in the flower, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt and the courgettes, several good grinds of black pepper and the lemon zest and fold together well. Gently stir the raisins into the the batter.

Scrape the batter into the tin and bake for 55-60 mins (it took me 75 mins) until a skewer poked into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Leave the tin on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto the rack to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature, buttered if you like. Well wrapped up, this stays moist and soft for days and it toasts well even after it’s lost its moistness.

Note: If using walnuts or pecans toast them in the oven first by spreading them on a baking tray and heating them in the oven until they are just crisp and lightly roasted then remove them and allow to cool. Then coarsely chop them before stirring into the batter.

Elderflower cordial

Elderflower close up

At this time of year woods and hedgerows are brightened by masses of tiny white flowers hanging in sprays which develop into purple elderberries later in the summer.

The fragrant elderflowers have many different culinary uses from drinks to desserts with perhaps the most well known being elderflower cordial.

One of our members, has kindly sent through details of how to make elderflower coridal using flowers harvested from the hedgerows on site and a  recipe on BBC Good Food.  They suggested making a half quantity as the recipe produces 3 litres of cordial.


  • 2½ kg white sugar
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
  • 85g citric acid (from chemists)
  • 1.5L water


Step 1:  Dissolve the sugar in 1.5l water on low heat. Do not boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Step 2: Add rest of ingredients and cover. Set aside for 24 hours.
Step 3: Strain through a clean cloth or tea towel and bottle.
Step 4: Will keep in fridge for the whole summer.
A really simple recipe.  For the next batch our member is going to try infusing ginger and/or lemongrass.

New apiary is approved!

bee inspector approves new apiary

The Defra bee inspector, Stuart Westfield, visited the site on 1 May 2020 to inspect the new apiary.  After examining all the bees Stuart declared they are in good health. As a result the apiary is now officially registered with Defra.

Stuart also said he loved the new signs made by children on nearby plots.

Well done to Beekeeper Sharon who has worked hard (with her assistant Will) to set up the new apiary.   Their efforts have paid off and the bees have a good, healthy home.