Last order dates for xmas

Hi Everyone hope your in the festive mood. Here at Fire foods we are done with shows for 2014, our online orders are still available until the 22nd if the stocks last ok. We have added back on the fire horse mustard and fire onions, also the scratchings are back!

If i don’t speak to you before have a great festive period.

Woody & Zoe

Fire foods



Root Tower……

I have recently become friends with a guy named Andy Finch…….. nothing amazing about that, happens to people all the time. However, not only is Andy an amiable guy, he is also one of the top Hydroponic experts in the country, as well as the guy pulling the strings and levers at an established company in the West midlands, that has developed a revolutionary Hydroponic system, that allows you to grow food plants literally on the wall anywhere !

Along the way, he has also spent a lot of time and money developing a stand that allows plants to be grown from seed to fully mature plant, without any growing medium, except a One inch Rockwool cube….. no more clay balls, Perlite or Coco Fibre. The Root Tower, is made from laser cut Correx, and slots together to make a stand.There is a space on top, where the Rockwool cube sits on top of capillary ribbon and the space can also be used for a 3 inch cube, for those that want transplant the one inch. the design allows the roots to trail down as they grow, being separated by a couple of small shelves.

Root tower - 2 root tower 1

Of course, the benefits of this are huge, no more damage to tender roots, which can easily happen when they are growing through Clay balls, or the holes in net pots…..any damage, however minor, can lead to unwanted pathogens which can damage plants irreversibly.The Root Tower also separates the roots as they grow, allowing for full absorption of nutrients and oxygen.

Here is an extract from a scientific journal, and can also be read on his website:

“Any lowering of Oxygen concentration to below the normal, whether in root or soil, is detrimental to many plant processes, disturbing growth, nutrient & water uptake & hormonal balances.

Water is the major impedance to the flow of Oxygen, there are two reasons for this, firstly it slows the diffusion of Oxygen to 1/10,000 of that in the air, and secondly it reduces the Oxygen concentration to about 1/32 of that in the air. Giving a net result that means plant roots can utilise Oxygen at a rate of 320,000 times greater in air than in water, quite a difference.”

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why the Root Tower delivers fantastic results. Trials have been so successful, that highly respected Hydroponic company, are on board, and have sole sales rights, with the towers being on sale in shops very soon.

Andy has very kindly given me some Root Towers to try, and I’m going to be doing my own trials throughout next season, using the Root Towers in as many different ways I can think of, publishing the results here regularly with photos. I believe I can get some excellent results, using the towers in an Autopot system for instance, and will be trying some different ways of doing this.

Andy has also developed a fantastic propagation stand, again made from Correx, which comfortably holds  One inch Rockwell cubes, allowing you to germinate your seeds in it, and just lift the cube onto the Root Tower, once sufficient roots have grown. Again the use of thin capillary ribbon aides this. I have already started using the propagation stands, and can honestly say they are the best thing I’ve used for germination in a long time. A purpose-built propagator for the propagation stands, is being developed, and should be available soon.

I will write a separate article on the propagation stands, when I do my major sowing, probably some time in December.

Andy can be contacted via his website, or you can contact me here, and I’ll pass him your details.


chilli cheese straws

chilli cheese straws


Ingredients for Cheese Straws Recipe

  1. Butter – 14 tsp at room temperature
  2. All purpose flour – 2 cups
  3. Worcestershire sauce – 1 tsp
  4. Cheddar cheese – 3 cups
  5. hot chilli powder – a good helping!
  6. Salt – a little pinch, or to taste
  1. Take the butter and cheese in container of a food processor and a add flour, red chilli powder, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and blend thoroughly.
  2. If a food processor is not available, then put the flour, salt and the chilli powder in a bowl add cheese, butter, and Worcestershire sauce. Blend these thoroughly with the help of two knives or a pastry blender
  3. Wrap the above prepared dough in a waxed paper or a plastic sheet and let it chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. After one hour, take the chilled dough out of refrigerator and Sprinkle the flour on a flat surface and roll the dough on this flat surface to about 1 mm thickness.
  5. Cut into strips, and gently twist to make it look like straws. Arrange the strips on 1 or 2 ungreased baking sheets.
  6. Now preheat the oven to 300° and bake the straws in preheated 300° oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the straws are crisp and lightly browned.
  7. When done, take the cheese straws out of oven and let them cool.
  8. Your crispy cheese straws are ready, serve with your favorite sauce. It makes about 5 to 6 dozens of cheese straws.

Stuffed peppers

As the nights are drawing in here is a great tasty stuffed pepper recipe to eat in front of the fire.
Stuffed peppers
  • 6-7 bell peppers of various colors, 1¾ to 2 pounds (I went ALL RED.
  • 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • chilli to taste, any will do
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound sweet or hot italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 cups cooked rice (Julia used basic white rice and it was fabulous. I used a rice blend of Texmati, brown and wild rice and it was soooo yummy.)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds and ribs. If your peppers don’t want to stand up nicely, cut off part of the bottom as well to level the base of the pepper. Try not to cut through to the inside, but if you do it’s not the end of the world. Brush outside of peppers with olive oil.
  3. In a medium frying pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-4 minutes, or until softened. Crumble sausage meat into pan and cook, stirring to break up lumps, until it begins to lose its pinkness, 5-7 minutes. Drain the fat (use a slotted spoon or pat with papertowels).
  4. Slightly beat egg in a large-ish mixing bowl. Add rice, parsley, cheese, chilli,salt, pepper and sausage/onion mixture. Mix well.
  5. Stuff the bell peppers with rice filling, mounding top slightly. Place peppers in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Mix tomato sauce with water and pour into dish around peppers. Bake 45 minutes.

Chatsworth Christmas market 13th – 23rd November

13 – 23 November 2014

Monday – Friday: open 10.30am – 5.00pm
Saturday & Sunday: open 10.00am – 5.00pm

Free event. Parking fees do apply.

Join in the festive spirit, with:

  • Live seasonal musical entertainment from brass bands to string quartets.
  • Enjoy mulled cider and German beers in our bavarian beer tent.
  • Find the perfect presents for all the family from our wide range of stalls including toiletries, clothes and things for your home.
  • Enjoy delicious food, with gourmet burgers, hotdogs, pancakes, churros, fudge and chocolate and treats galore.
  • See our own stunning ranges of items in the Chatsworth gift, interiors and garden shops, up in the Stables.

Chatsworth Christmas market 13th   23rd November

Finding Us

DE45 1PP

Chatsworth is in the middle of the country, in the Peak District. It is north of Derby, and South of Sheffield. If you are travelling using a sat nav system, please use the post code DE45 1PN.

View larger map

Arriving by car

  • From the M1 take Junction 29, Chesterfield, and follow the brown signs – 16 miles
  • From Matlock, take the A6, then the B6012 – 8 miles
  • We are 30 minutes drive from Chesterfield railway station and 40 minutes from Sheffield railway station

If travelling through Baslow, you will see the Golden Gates into Chatsworth. These are for authorised access only, except in the case of some special events. Please follow the brown signs for the public entrance to Chatsworth on the B6012.

Car parks

  • The house car park - open every day until 7pm, £3 per car or free with tickets booked online (blue badge holders also park for free). Please note parking on Christmas market weekends (November 15, 16, 22 & 23) is £10 per car (includes entry to the market and £5 redeemable against the price of entry to the house, garden and farmyard on these days)
  • Calton Lees car park - at the southern end of the park, open every day until 7pm, £2 per car

Arriving by bus

A number of buses to Chatsworth stop close to the house just a short walk from the house, garden and farmyard entrances.

Passengers arriving by bus into Baslow village are able to access the park via a public footpath. From the bus stop at Goose Green, walk over the bridge and follow the path to your right. It is then a pleasant 2km walk to the House and attractions from here.

For up to date bus information, please visit Derbyshire County Council’s journey planner.

If you travel on TM Travel bus to Chatsworth you will receive  £2 discount on house and garden admission. Visitors will receive the discount at the entrance on production of their TM Travel ticket and discount voucher – available in the bus timetable leaflet from tourism information centres, bus stations and the Chatsworth information room.

National public transport links

  • Service 440 National Express – London-Derby-Matlock-Bakewell-Buxton
  • Transpeak Service – Manchester-Stockport-Buxton-Bakewell-Matlock-Derby- Nottingham
  • National Express Coaches – Coach times and tickets

Arriving by train

The closest train station to Chatsworth is Chesterfield. However buses from Chesterfield do not come all the way into to Chatsworth, the closest bus stop is Baslow (2km by foot).

It is possible to take the train to Sheffield then take a bus from the Sheffield Interchange (across the road) directly to Chatsworth. Buses run approximately every hour.

East Midlands Trains operate regular trains to and from Chesterfield and Sheffield via Derby. Chesterfield station is approximately 2 hours journey from London St Pancras.

To plan your journey, please visit East Midlands Trains and National Rail.