Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tomorrow does come.

The weather did at last change, the last week we have had rain, sometimes quite heavy although compared to other parts of the country we had very little, the weather has now settled into a comfortable mode, some rain, some sunshine but also a couple of days of very high winds. It's nice and what I would describe as normal, long may it last.
The veg is growing far to fast to keep up and we are spoilt for choice, I ask myself WHY? Why do we grow so much, why do we grow so many varieties, why do we put such a work load on ourselves when we are supposed to be retired. One thing is sure, we will not go hungry.
We are now eating the first early potatoes from the garden, I can't remember what type they are but they are very heavy croppers and very good flavour, but one root is enough to feed us for a week.
The Calabrese keeps on coming, but the Cauliflowers' are now finished, I will plant half a dozen seeds to plant out later in the tunnel as we like cauliflower cheese as a side dish in the winter.
We had a bumper crop of broad beans, all of which are now frozen, it is one crop that is worth freezing, I could have dried some to use in stews but I always forget to prepare them beforehand and frozen ones also work. We did two plantings this year to see which did best, the over wintered ones gave us early pods some of which  we ate as mange tout, and they had slightly less greenfly than the spring planted ones and very slightly larger crop, but there was not much to chose between them so we will continue to do two plantings, that way, if one fails we have the other to fall back on. We have saved quite a few beans to dry for next years planting.
The fennel is now ready for harvesting, it has done very well and we are trying some for dinner this evening, the rest will be frozen. Next will be the garden peas which also promise a bumper crop. Long ago we had promised ourselves that we would no longer make wine, we broke that promise last year by making Elderflower Champagne, as we will have lots of pea pods we will make pea pod wine, ( I hate to waste anything) I made it years ago and it is a very pleasant country wine. maybe we should also make some tea and raisin wine give how much tea we drink in this house, again a very pleasant wine which does not take too long to mature, still tea does not get wasted here as we feed it to our worms in the wormery and they convert it into very good rich compost.
There are now lots of butterflies around and bees, I had not realised how many different types of bees there are, apparently two hundred and fifty live in the British Isles, but only the Honey Bee is affected by Varroa mite, yet all bees are in decline. As I was photographing some flowers in the garden I noticed that the bees were not visiting the
                                              St. Johns Wort, (Hypericum)
but were loving the Aconite (Monks Hood) This seems strange to us after all, all parts of the  Aconite are poisonous but St. Johns Wort is natures Prozac. They were also loving the Dianthus. I guess bees don't get depression.
           The Lucifer Montbretia is looking beautiful, the bees also like this plant.
We hatched four Muscovy ducklings this week in the incubator, they are so cute, but the eggs that Daffy duck was sitting on have disappeared, very strange. It was good that we had bought in some Chiltern ducklings other wise we would have been short of duck this year, six of these are now in the freezer, with three more to do.
All the Indian Runner ducklings are doing well, it was all a bit of a miracle with these ducklings, and they deserve  a  post of their own, which I will do later in the week when I have more time.


  1. Great to have so much of your own food on your own land. Hopefully by next year we will be back to similar production. Love the little ducklings. Montbretia Lucifer is such a great strong colour. In Tipperary last week and it seems there was much more rain there. It's a pattern I've noticed over the last year...much more rain in Southern Ireland now.

  2. Impressed by the huge bulb-fennel. I have never been able to do 'bulbs' that size in any garden. Not even tried it in this one yet. Feeling inspired now!