Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What happened to winter?

False sunset, reflection of the sun on the sea.
I shut my eyes, I blinked, suddenly it's the middle of March, what happened to winter? We both had so many projects lined up to pass away the dark winter nights, very few got started, and we find ourselves back to the growing season.
The Broad Bean plants are now in their bed, with a sowing of Broad Beans to  provide a successional crop,  Parsnips, Perpetual Spinach, Swede and Turnip seeds are in the ground, and the early potatoes are planted. main crop potatoes are  normally planted at Easter, Good Friday according to folk law, but as Easter is so late this year we will aim for the first week in April, the soil should have warmed up well by then.
 In the propagator we have Leeks,Tomatoes, Savoy Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts. We will try the Tomatoes outside this year in pots, they are supposed to have an even better flavour when grown outside, I will probably hedge my bets though and keep one plant in the tunnel, just in case!
 Three Potato bags have been planted with Ratte potatoes, kindly donated to us by a friend. This is a variety that we should have been growing last year and although the order arrived with them included, they disappeared. After having been given a taster of these lovely potatoes by the same friend that has donated the seed to us we had hoped to find a seed catalog stocking them, but we drew a blank, fortunately our friend had saved seed, so the ones that we have will be nurtured in the hope that next year we will have sufficient to grow as a real crop.
The Garlic is looking very good in the tunnel, we have never had much success growing it outside,
despite the strawberries being totally neglected they are still managing to bloom. Sorting out the Strawberry beds is this weeks main project, they are a total jungle. One bed will be removed, Strawberries have occupied this bed for three seasons now, a new bed has been made to take the new plantlets, and the second bed will have to have every other plant removed, a mammoth task.
We are now picking plenty of Mushrooms, a second crop from the bags of compost we got a few weeks back.
The Smoke house has been completed in readiness to smoke our side of bacon tomorrow,
A little Heath Robinson maybe, but it works.
it seems to work fine with the smoke going where it should and not too hot, after all we don't want to cook the bacon, until we fry it, just to impart an oak flavour to it.
I had a sudden urge to make a coffee sponge cake yesterday, this meant we had to buy a jar of instant coffee, something we have never bought, I know that neither of us like instant coffee to drink but I thought that the jar of Organic might be better than the normal stuff and that maybe it would be drinkable. Well it's not, but it is good for a cake, so I guess I will be making a lot of coffee flavoured cakes and icecream until the jar is used.
We still continue to get the most wonderful coloured sunsets, we were seldom aware of them when we lived in Sligo, maybe we were just too busy to notice,
here it seems to be a regular sight, unless it's raining. There is something totally magic about the evening sky.
                  Nature's paint pallet.
At last the incubator is in action, we have set quail eggs, we are not too sure how good a hatch we will get, we are not that happy with the parent stock. If we don't get a good rate we will have to look at replacing the parent birds with fresh stock.
The ducks are all coming back into lay, the Indian Runners are such comical birds, although we have several drakes they don't fight as Muscovys would.


  1. Love your sunset pics! Smoker looks very interesting.

  2. The sunset photos were taken on the eve of the last full moon. The smoker works fine but does not like too much wind, it needs feeding every hour.

  3. Gorgeous sunset pics and the coffee cake looks lovely. Comical is the perfect word to describe those ducks! x

  4. So coffee cake on the menu for Easter then?

  5. The Easter menu is growing and growing...every time I look at the blog! Did you get my email? x