Chitting Potatoes

This month, we have been chitting potatoes in preparation for gardening workshops with school pupils. These first early Charlotte seed potatoes will be planted in raised beds with compost and organic chicken manure during March 2018 at the Healthy Heart Garden in Paisley.

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Further information on chitting of potatoes is available at:  https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/potatoes























During the last month, volunteers and a sessional worker have produced a recipe book showcasing potatoes as the main ingredient. Details of the recipes are provided below or can be downloaded as a pdf ; RET Spuds for Buddies Recipe Book

Potato Mushroom Cakes from Christine

500g/1lb flourly (mealy) potatoes diced
25g/1oz/2 tablespoons butter
175g/6oz mixed mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed.
1 small egg, beaten.
1 tablespoon chopped chives.
Flour for dusting.
Oil for frying.
Salt and pepper.

Cook potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Drain and mash.Melt butter and fry mushrooms, garlic and cook for 5 minutes, drain well.Stir in mushrooms, garlic into potato mixture with beaten egg and chives.Divide mixture into 4 portions and shape into round cakes, toss in flour until coated.
Heated oil and fry in a medium heat for 10 minutes and turn.
Serve and enjoy.


Creamy Leek Potato Soup from Martha

2 leeks, thinly sliced
1lb potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives, chopped for garnish (optional)

Put 3 cups of the vegetable stock in a soup pot on medium high heat and saute the leeks until soft and translucent tender; about five minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with chopped chives, fresh ground nutmeg, bread, and a garden salad.


Potato Scones from Jean

250g Potatoes
1 knob of Butter
50g Plain Flour
Salt to taste

Cook the potatoes in boiling water salted for 7-10 minutes until tender and drain. Make a batch of mashed potatoes. Mix in a knob of butter and a little salt and allow the mixture to cool.
Kneed in enough plain flour until you have a dough. Roll out and cut into shapes. Fry in a dry frying pan until lightly browned on both sides.


Oven Baked Rosti from Jean

500g waxy potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion
30g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to hot 229c/425f/gas mark 7
Cook the potatoes in boiling water salted for 7-10 minutes until tender and drain.Prepare a 12-hole muffin tin with a little of the melted butter. Grate the potatoes and onion and mix together in a bowl, and pour in the remaining melted butter over the mixture and season with salt.
Divide the mixture into the muffin tin, pressing it down as you go. Cook rosti in the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through and golden.Loosen carefully with a palette knife, lift out rosti and serve warm.


Potato and Leek Bake from Jean

650g potatoes
2 leeks
A vegetable stock cube
150ml double cream
2 teaspoons of dried herbs
100g grated cheese

Slice potatoes and leeks. Layer these in an ovenproof dish and pour in vegetable stock mixed with double cream and dried herbs. Sprinkle grated cheese then cover with foil.
Cook in the oven at 180c/160f/Gas mark 4 for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and cook for a further 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the cheese topping is golden.

Potato Puffles by Jean (serves 6)

4lb potatoes
2 eggs
2 oz butter
½ teaspoon of pepper & 1 level teaspoon of salt
½ pint of milk
2 oz of grated cheese

Boil, drain and mash the potatoes. Add all the other ingredients.
Whip until the mixture stands up stiffly. Drop spoonfuls of mixture into hot deep fat fryer and cook until crisp, for about 5-7 minutes or alternatively put the mixture into a pie dish and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 425f/gas mark 7.


Dolphin Potatoes by Martin

1 kg potatoes (not “new”), thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped
Knob of butter or 1 tablespoon oil
1 pint (600ml) milk
1 carton crème fraiche
¼ pint (150ml) cream


Melt butter and cook onion gently until soft.  Stir in garlic, cook for another minute and add creams and milk.   Season well with pepper and salt, then heat.  Add potatoes, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.   Transfer to a buttered dish and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour at 180oC/gas mark 4 or Bake 35-50 minutes, then sprinkle with 120g grated gruyere cheese and bake for a further 10mins.


Champ from Jean (serves 4)

750g potatoes, peeled.
A bunch of spring onions including green tops, chopped.
300ml milk.
50g butter, including extra for serving.
175g cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cut the potatoes into large even sized pieces and cook in boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
Put the spring onion in a pan with the milk, bring to the boil, then simmer 2-3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and infuse for 10 minutes.
Mash the potatoes well, beat in the milk and onion mixture then the salt and pepper.
Put in a clean pan to reheat then spoon into small bowls in mounds.
Make a hollow in the top of each mound and put in a little butter and cheese.

Colcannon (Ireland) – Kale or cabbage is used instead of spring onion and cheese. It is served in the same way as Champ, or formed into little cakes and fried butter to form a crunchy crust.

Clapshot (Scotland) – Follow the recipe for Champ omit cheese and add 750g mashed turnip. Chives or cooked bacon may be added at the end.


Corned Beef Hash by Jean (serves 4)

600-800g new potatoes
200g Peas
1 Tin Corned Beef
4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Scrub some baby new potatoes.
Boil for 12-15 minutes until tender, then drain and cut potatoes in half. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the potatoes to a golden brown. Add some cooked peas and diced canned corn beef to the pan, heat and mix gently being careful not to break up the corned beef. Season and serve with poached eggs,


Potato and Cheese Muffins by Jean

2 cups self-raising flour
2 ¾ cups peeled and grated potato
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180c, brush bases of deep ¼ cup patty tins with oil. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl, add the potatoes and cheese. Make a well in the centre and add the combined (do not over beat the mixture). Spoon level tablespoons of the mixture into the tins and bake 10 minutes or until well risen and golden. Leave 2 minutes in the tins before turning on to a wire rack to cool. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
Potato Blinis by Jean

350g potatoes
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Peel and cut potatoes into cubes, boil in water until tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, separate eggs.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Transfer the cooked and drained potatoes to a bowl along with the egg yolks.
Season and carefully fold in the egg whites to the mixture.
Spray a frying pan with oil. Add 3 or 4 separate tablespoons of the mixture to the pan.
Fry on both sides on a high heat until set and lightly browned.
Set aside and keep warm.
Repeat until all of the mixture has been used up.


Scottish Macaroon Bars by Sandy

2 potatoes
500g Icing sugar
2 bars plain chocolate
Desiccated coconut.

Boil and mash the potato, allow to cool.
Beat and mix with a wooden spoon until very smooth.
Add your icing sugar, with small amounts first and keep adding more, until the mixture is thick and doughy enough to handle.
As you start to mix the mixture will become liquefied, keep adding more icing sugar to form a thick fondant like substance.
Spread fondant out on to a tray and out in the freezer for around an hour.
Remove from freezer and cut it into the size of bars, put it back in the freezer for a good 2 – 3 hours.
After 3 hours, gently melt your chocolate.
Toast around half of your desiccated coconut for around 20 – 30 seconds, then mix it with the rest of the un-toasted coconut.
Once your chocolate is melted and the coconut is toasted, you can either mix the coconut with the chocolate or leave coconut in a bowl and put the chocolate covered fondant in to give a really good coating of coconut.
Once coated with chocolate and coconut, place the macaroons in the fridge for an hour before eating.


Potato Muffins by Martin (Can be gluten-free)

75g gluten-free flour or ordinary plain flour
175g floury potatoes, peeled
2tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoon brown sugar
100g sultanas/raisins/blueberries
4 eggs, separated

Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tin.  Chop the potatoes and boil until tender. Drain well and mash. Mix potato with flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, fruit and egg yolks.  In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into potato mixture using a metal spoon.  Divide the mixture between the muffin cups.  Bake in pre-heated oven at 200oC/gas mark 6 for 10 mins, then at 160oC/gas 3 for another 10 minutes.  Serve warm.



We have been working with the volunteers from the Healthy Heart Garden and staff and pupils from a local primary school to develop a project growing potatoes. There are 18 raised beds with potatoes growing in them at the moment. The seed potatoes were planted in March 2017 as part of gardening workshops held at the Healthy Heart Garden. This project is supported by People’s Postcode Lottery, Renfrewshire Council and the Hugh Fraser Foundation.

Provision of a new greenhouse and project activities based at the Healthy Heart Garden

A project providing a new greenhouse and project activities based at the Healthy Heart Garden, the Disability Resource Centre, Love Street, Paisley is underway. This is undertaken as a partnership between Renfrewshire Environmental Trust, Healthy Heart Garden and with in-kind manual labour from Community Service Unit of Renfrewshire Council.

The beneficiaries are adults with learning disabilities/physical disabilities living in Renfrewshire who lack social skills, self-confidence and work experience who volunteer at the Healthy Heart Garden. There are five regular volunteers. The project is open to local school pupils, and groups interested in gardening.

Two workshops willtake place with talks about gardening using a greenhouse and raised beds. Recipes for making chutneys and sauces will be produced and distributed to pupils and local groups. Access to a safe outdoor learning environment, providing social space to gain Gardening skills and increased physical activity for disabled people. The funds will provide a new fully, accessible greenhouse to enable the growing of vegetables which supports the developing confidence, as well as general health and wellbeing of disabled people accessing the Healthy Heart Garden for gardening and recreation.

See our photos for this project Flickr..

On Tuesday 7th February 10am – 12noon, we have organised a workshop on  “Choosing vegetables for your garden” at the Healthy Heart Garden, the Disability Resource Centre, Love Street, Paisley.

The workshop will provide advice and tips to help you decide on the different vegetables to plant in the Spring. Discussion will cover the suppliers of seeds/plants and what is involved in preparing to plant your vegetables.

This is a partnership project with Engage Renfrewshire and the Healthy Heart Garden.

To register for this free workshop, please email us at retpaisley@yahoo.com

In partnership with the Health Heart Garden in Paisley, we are supporting workshops for volunteers and community groups to share skills and knowledge about growing vegetables. During 2016, a series of workshops take place, as follows:
Tuesday 2nd February – Organising and preparing for spring planting.
An opportunity to learn about planting spring vegetables including potatoes and brassicus. As part of a group, you will be able able to share personal experiences of growing vegetables, ask questions, swap ideas and find out about the suppliers of seeds or plants.
Tuesday 3rd May – Learning how to grow different vegetables (onions, chives, leeks)
 As part of a group, you will be able able to learn about growing different types of onions, chives and leeks. Practical tips and hints will be passed on and there will be a chance to ask questions, swap ideas and find out about the benefits of onions, chives, and leeks.
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Tuesday 9th August – Harvesting and planning for winter vegetables
An opportunity to learn about harvesting vegetables including potatoes, onions, leeks, and braccalus. As part of a group, you will be able able to share personal experiences, ask questions, and swap ideas. the second part of the workshop will help participants to make plans for growing of winter vegetables.
Tuesday 1st November – Sharing gardening ideas and planning for next year.
This workshop will provide information about planning of the planting, growing and harvesting of vegetables. It will help participants to make preparations to improve their gardening skills and gain better results from growing vegetables.
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The maximum number of participants is 12 people. To register or find out more, please email us on retpaisley@yahoo.com.

Renfrewshire Environmental Trust has received a funding boost thanks to players of a charity lottery. The award of £8,579 by People’s Postcode Trust, a grant-giving charity is funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

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Renfrewshire Environmental Trust has used the moneyto assist adults with disabilities who are involved in work experience at the Healthy HeartGarden, which is based within the Disability Resource Centre, Paisley. This project provides access to a safe outdoor learning environment for participants to gain gardening skills and increased their physical activity .

The funds provide a new fully, accessible greenhouse to enable the growing of vegetables. This project is undertaken by a partnership between Renfrewshire Environmental Trust, Healthy Heart Garden and with in-kind manual labour from Community Payback at Renfrewshire Council.

Gordon Dickson, a volunteer at the Healthy Heart Garden said; “Thanks to funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, we have achieved a long-term aim of having a large bespoke greenhouse based at the Healthy Heart Garden. This will help to extend the gardening activities during the year, particularly in the winter months. We would also like to thank the Community Payback unit of Renfrewshire Council for their support in completing the preparation of the site and joinery work for the new greenhouse. Their unstinting support for the Healthy Heart Garden has been invaluable.”

People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery, where players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes while raising money for good causes. As a charity lottery, 50p from every £2 ticket goes to support charities and good causes across England, Scotland and Wales, including People’s Postcode Trust. People’s Postcode Lottery believes in supporting local communities so the money raised stays local to players.

Further information about the project is provided by a new video – go to www.moviemakers.org.uk where the film is entitled ‘Healthy Heart Garden: New Greenhouse’.

The website for the Renfrewshire Environmental Trust at www.retrust.org.uk