Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Summer's here and gone again.
We had summer, yesterday. Yes, we celebrate when we have a day of summer. To be fair, March and April were lovely, in the main, but July, although mild has been wet as opposed to soft! Soft here in the west means damp, but not cats and dogs. But with the rain come growth, grass, weeds and the veg, even the flowers are thriving. There is even a primrose in bloom, I think it has got a little confused with the seasons. We have had a bumper crop of broad beans,now in the freezer, our main crop potatoes are good, all the cabbages are looking good and the calabrese now has it's second flush, carrots and all the spinaches are thriving. It's hard to remember that we have only been back a year, our adventures in Spain just a distant memory, and despite the rain, we are still glad to be back. What was just two fields growing grass only is now providing us with our food, veg, meat and eggs.
Today's rain was a little too much for our older ducklings, it was a case of a quick bath, eat breakfast and then back into their house where they remained for most of the day, just popping outside for more food, we have half of the run covered in polythene, so they can reach their food dish without getting wet.
We realise how fortunate we are to have the knowledge to be able to grow our own food. Yesterday we watched a program on TV, where a farm in Wales gives holidays to children from city's, many of these children have never seen a field, one child remarked that she hadn't realised that the food they were eating had come from the ground that they were working on, she thought it came from shops.
We were the lucky ones, we both came from a time and area where there was farming, our parents grew their own and we helped, I had my first bit of garden when I was seven, a small plot allocated to me by my Grandfather, Simon and his sisters were brought up helping with the garden, goats and the hens. It seems such a shame that so many children now grow up with no idea of where their food comes from before it arrives in the supermarkets, many of these children will never learn how to prepare a meal from fresh ingredients. Many of these children will be watching the Olympics and will see the signs for 'MacDonald's' the official restaurant for the Olympics. What sort of message does that send to the young?
Besides the veg that we grow, we also have many herbs. Growing herbs is easy and very therapeutic, many of the culinary herbs also have medicinal properties which is just as well given my distrust of Doctors. Many also have beautiful flowers. It is lovely to brush against some of these herbs or just to run my fingers through them and to breath in the aroma. I have several types of Thyme, the bees love the flowers, Sage, Oregano,Parsley, two types of Mint, Bergamot , Echinacea, Lovage, Sweet Cicely, Rosemary,Fennel, Lemon Balm , Feverfew , Basil, Bay and Calendula to name some of them, throughout the year they will all be used in one way or another. Nature has a cure for most things, and she is a darned lot safer than Pharmaceuticals.