Saturday, 31 October 2009

Blessed Samhain

This is just a sort note to say: Blessed Samhain.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The last in the garden series for now *probably*

Well, I think the season is coming to a close for me, I've harvested my carrots now and there is no produce left in the garden other than some mustard plants. I think its a bit late for any more salad stuff, so its time to have a tidy up.

Here are some pics of the weird shaped carrots that I got out of the pots.

As bugs bunny would say "Tha...thats all folks".

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Garden update

Well, a little update.

The potatoes, well the dry period seemed to kill off the leaves and as such I worried about the potatoes so much I dug them up. I probably got about 4lbs of potatoes in total for planting 3. So not too bad for my first effort. After reading the instructions again, they were about ready. They are quite nice too. I will do some again next year, will try a different method and see if I get better results.

The tomatoes had a severe attack of aphids and not amount of spending the evening squishing them, squirting them with soapy water seems to help the plants. They have survived but I think its a bit late for them to produce flowers to give me some little tomatoes. Maybe next year.

As for the carrots, they are currently being eaten by slugs. Its seems to have been a fantastic year for our dear slimy garden pest. I keep going out and challenging them with vinegar which they really don't like but there are just too many of them. Will buy some slug beer traps next year.

The lettuce on the other hand was another story, I had tons of its, enough for me and the slugs.

Plum Jam

Well its that time of year when I remove what seems to be 3 ton of plums from the tree. This year my darling hubby has been helping me gather the fruit in whilst dodging those pesky little waspies. I do hate those creatures, they are just a menace. I wish they'd go hang around someone elses garden. Or maybe I should be honoured that my fruit is so attractive? Hmmm I think not.

Anyway, I've slogged my way through making a lot of Plum jam, more jam and a bit more.

I've also been experimenting with fruit leather, which is basically dried fruit puree (a bit like beef jerky only with fruit). After the first batch which took a week to dry and I ended up putting it in the oven for a while to stop it from going mouldy, the second attempt was a bit quicker to dry as I stuck it the oven for a few days. I don't think I did too bad for my first effort and it did use up some of the glut of plums along with my glut of apples which are rapidly falling from the tree.
I know its a bit early for Apples but they are refusing to stay on the tree for the duration, so they are being picked and cooked, but my priority has been the plums.
I've made a fabulous batch of Plum chutney which will be ready around December, it makes the house smell of boiled vinegar for a few days but the end product (after maturing) is lovely.

I recently came to the conclusion that I was never going to manage to get all the fruit processed. I contacted a friendly farm shop and asked if they would be able to sell some of them before they start going off. So 10kg were bagged up and delivered. I do hope that they will be able to sell them, as I hate to see food going to waste.
Well I now have plenty of preserved food for the coming year and the family may get some of it as pressies. ;-)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Pullover finished!

After several months of picking up, putting down, getting frustrated and some pulling out, I've finally finished my autumn pullover only 5months late. This one was quite a tricky one, I've never attempted knitting with 4 colours and not on this scale. There were a few moments in the pattern where I was stumped for a while but I've figured them out.

Isn't it lovely! I'm so pleased how its turned out and will hopefully be able to wear it as part of my WWII reenactment events I go to with the hubby. Wore it to work on Tuesday and a lady in Subway asked me where I'd got it from as she thought it was lovely, she was very impressed when I told her I'd made it. Proud moment! :)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Progress report

Time for a little update. Everything seems to be going well. I finally have a tomato plant and a bean plant growing. Here's a few pictures to show the progress my little plants are making. I'll soon be able to start cropping at the salady bits.

Here's a picture of my potatoes, they are coming along nicely, though I am a bit worried that I've not quite done it right after seeing some tips on the dreaded flashing box in the corner of the room. If I don't get many potatoes I'll put it down to experience and try the suggestion off the telly.

The single little tomato plant is still a little tiny to photograph properly. I've been offered some plants by a friend at work who have ended up with too many seedlings so my little plant will have company soon. :)

The following pics are provide a general update on how everything is coming along.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

A sign of spring

Here's my favourite time of year. The time of year when the sun is warming but not too hot to be uncomfortable.

So in celebration here's a few pictures that I've taken today.

Brightest Blessings to you all

Sunday, 29 March 2009

I have more little seedlings!

Well time for a little progress update. I have little carrot and purple sprouting broccoli seedlings. Last week I planted out my infant salad bits into the plastic greenhouse and they seem to have survived the cold snap during this last week. So a little bit of success this week. I'm so happy. The cats did behave and didn't trash my salad seedlings whilst they were in the lean-to.

My potato seedlings are beginning to poke their heads through the soil (about 3-5mm at most). The rest of the garden is looking pretty with daffi's and forsythia in bloom. Even my apple and plum trees have nice little buds which will hopefully open out soon.

Alas, not so lucky with the tomato or bean seeds, haven't seen even a whisper of a seedling. Will plant some more this next week so see if I have better luck. Thankfully its not too late to be planting them so here's fingers and toes crossed.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

A Gardening update

I thought it time to provide a little update. I've now planted a couple of tomato seeds, carrot seeds (in the tubs in the piccy), potato seedlings, purple sprouting broccoli and broad beans. I'm hoping they'll take, I guess I'll know in the next couple of weeks if they are going to be successful.

My little lettuce seedlings are coming along nicely. I've moved them to the lean-to to start hardening them off for going outside. My cats have shown a little interest in them up but a quick finger point and a firm "No", they've shrugged and gone outside. They have no doubt suitably ignored me and I'll find the whole lot trashed on the floor in the morning. Fingers cross my cats behave, but I think I'm going to be disappointed. Another week in the lean-to and I'll try transplanting them into the plastic greenhouse to mature. Will have to get another batch going so I can try keep in lettuce through the summer.
More updates soon. :)

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Pot Seasoning

I decided today that due to the lovely weather it was time to season my cooking pot/cauldron, so I got out the old BBQ, filled it with charcoal and set it going. I've had a great time, heating up some water in it, emptying that out and then liberally oiling it to stop it going rusty.
After all of this I decided to try make singin hinny on outside on the girdle pan. Yay! So nice and didn't taste as smoky as I thought it might. Final cooking exploit was the usual baked potatoes.

Next time I think I'm going to have to try actually cooking in my pot :)
What a way to spend a Sunday.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

My garden

Whilst I'm waiting for my seedlings to get a little bigger and also for the frost to end, I've been doing little bits round the garden in preparation for growing some of my own food. Here's a few piccies of its current state.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Itty bitty seedlings!

I have some itty bitty seedlings... It consists of a range of lettuces, so far I've got 8 seedlings, I've planted some more and some of them look like they've germinated.

Soon I should be able to plant the tomato seeds and the seed potatoes which are sprouting nicely in the cupboard under the stairs :)

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Self Sufficient Gardening 31/1/09

Not only am I writing about my craft projects I've decided to blog about my attempts at growing some of my own veg and salady stuff this year, in the hope of saving a little money (and getting a little more exercise) during this difficult financial time. I've bought a small plastic greenhouse with 4 shelves, some grow bags, buckets, compost and the likes. I've also bought a second water butt in the hope that it will provide my garden with the water required.

I'm still in the planning period at the moment as its a bit too early to be planting anything outside but I'd thought I'd provide you with a start with a list of what I'm planning to grow.

Tomatoes - Some freeby ones from a magazine, the variety is called Gardeners Delight, last time I tried tomotoes, I over did the planting and ended up with 30+ plants which were dutifully given to friends and family.

Potatoes - I'm taking on the no-dig suggestion and also planting these in a compost bag. Worth a go!

Courgettes, Peppers (hmmm not sure how successful these will be), Lettuce, Cucumber (maybe, if I have room), Carrots (in pots) and a few herbs of which I'm still deciding.

I already have 2 apple trees and a plum tree and I'm going to try a suggestion I read in a book to see if I can get a better quality of crop from the apple trees and also I'm looking forward to trying to make a thing called fruit leather with the plums (along with my usual Plum jam) as a way of storing the fruit longer. I also have some brambles growing freely down one side of the garden so will be staking these up in the hope of a good crop for bramble jelly (yum). Will get some piccies added in time as I blog through the seasons.

The front garden, I'm hoping to turn into a wild garden area, just need to cut back the current greenery (not grass), rake it over and then sow some wildflower seeds. I know I'm going to have to be patient with this one as I probably won't see a result to this one for a year of so.