Saturday, August 31, 2013

Another ruin and getting back to work

The final trip out with our friends was to Ballindoon Friary, on the shores of Lough Arrow, just a mile away from our old farm,
                           taking in Lough Key, just out side of Boyle on our way.
 Ballindoon  Friary  was built in 1509 but dissolved in 1585 it is now a very beautiful ruin.
 Once again the setting is perfect and I think it is one of the most photogenic ruins we know. Although  a place that I would have driven by and normally stopped at on a daily basis I never got tired of photographing it, it seems to change with the seasons and has a magic about it.
We then visited our old home, a straw bale house, now stood empty for ten years, still in near perfect condition just waiting for someone to move in. Unfortunately the people we had sold the farm to found it too much like hard work and left after fourteen months. Lauren and Jason loved the place, I however have not gone inside, too many good memories,  it makes me sad to think of it stood empty.
We then took them to the Knockvicar Organic community gardens, run by Laslo it is a real flag ship of organic growing. We had decided that we would not grow asparagus, however when Laslo offered us plants at a price we could not refuse we came away with six year old plants, now all we have to do is create the trench for them and we should be having our own crop in two years.
Now that our friends have left it's back to work, veg does not stop growing even when you have guests, we are picking and processing runner beans daily, this year we are salting them.
We have tried for years to freeze them but it is one crop that is not worth doing for the freezer, so it's back to the old ways,
 salting them as they would always have been done before freezers. We know it works although we have never done them this way ourselves, but our families always did and they always tasted nearly as good as fresh and they keep their firmness.
The second sowing of French beans are also cropping well but we can probably keep up with eating them. All the beetroot has now been lifted and stored, the carrots will stay in the ground. Celery is looking very good, for us well worth doing as we use a lot of it.
The Indian runner ducks are now nearly grown, four of them have pompoms on their heads, they look so funny, just like Tamo'shanters, one of them has just one feather sticking up from her head, she looks like an Indian Squaw.
The second brood of La Bresse are now a good weight, cleaning out at 4.5 lb at 126 days, last year they were slower , taking 140 days to come to that weight. We will find out tomorrow if the meat is as good as last years lot of birds.
It is now nearly Autumn and there is a night time chill in the air,
the garden flowers are looking wonderful, so much colour and I have never seen as many butterflies as there are now.
With the shorter evenings we are now planning next years garden, the bulb catalogues are already out, so much to choose from, but I must show some restraint as I have done a lot of seed saving and already have seedlings from this years seeds, all will need a place to be planted next spring.


  1. Must be sad for you to see your old place standing empty. maybe your visitors should just go and squat there. Wonder how long before they would be noticed!!

    1. I doubt they would be noticed but unfortunately the next four years are already planned by our friends, then they will settle down and have their smallholding.