Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Indian Summer continues.

It might be October but the days are still warm, the last few days it has been too warm to wear a cardigan working out in the garden, with this warmth the weeds and grass continues to grow, not time to put away the mower yet.
The tomatoes keep on coming.
Being warm the tomatoes are continuing to ripen, I have lost count just how many pounds we have picked this year, even more tomatoes soup will be made to put in the freezer.
 We had hoped that by now the tunnel would have been ready for clearing and the garlic and onions planted but I don't want to waste the tomatoes and I'm hoping for some green ones to make more chutney, we don't want to run out which is what we have done with the marmalade, we thought I had made plenty to last until the Seville oranges arrive, but suddenly we found we were on the last jar, ordinary fruit jams are not the same for breakfast, nice, but they don't wake you up like marmalade does in the morning.
First of the late cauliflowers.
The winter cauliflowers are now ready for picking, we  picked the first one today, I am hoping that we can leave the rest growing without them spoiling rather than picking and freezing them, we will keep an eye on them and hope that they stay firm and don't blow.
Roses continue to bloom.
Flowers are continuing to bloom including the roses, they give a lovely splash of colour plus perfume as we move towards winter, this is not that unusual for Ireland, I have several times picked the odd rose on Christmas day, just as the first spring bulbs are blooming.
Today being Sunday we decided to have an unusual treat, a fry up,
Eggs tomatoes and home cured bacon, brunch fit for a lord.
eggs, bacon and fried tomatoes all produced by ourselves, delicious, and no food miles.
Yesterday whilst we were out and about we spotted half a dozen crab apple trees on some waste land, the trees were still laden and although clearly people walk on the bit of land, apples were trampled into the ground,  it seems no one had bother to collect any and make something from them, I guess it's easier to pop to the supermarket and buy jars of stuff full of additives than to collect fruit and make your own.
More foraged fruit.
We picked over eight pounds in a couple of minutes, tomorrow I will start turning the free gift into more crab apple jelly. It seems that so few people bother to forage, when we lived in Catalonia Mulberries were ignored by the locals as were Quince, yet they bought Membrillo in the shops, Pomegranates also grew wild but never picked. Mushrooms on the other hand were fought over, there was a large cash value to these, especially the Ceps and the wonderful Chanterelles.
The plaster is slowly drying out.

At last the straw bale building is nearly completed, the external lime  plastering is done,
Lime plaster needs touching up around the windows.
         the glass painted windows are in,
Wiring needs to be tidied up, but it's almost done.
the roof has been modified, it still needs  more compost on it and then seeding but that wont take long, and the outside  needs lime washing, a few more days and then we can move on to other things, such as connecting up the new water containers.
 We have bought four more 1000 L  plastic cubes, these will take the water from the barn roof, two of the containers will be for irrigation of the tunnel when we have found the right type of irrigation pipes for the job, it will beat lugging buckets of grey water from the kitchen to keep everything watered. These new containers will bring out water storage capacity to over 10.000 L of water, a bit of effort, and a few hours work, no water bills and water that does not contain fluoride or chlorine in it.
 Finally, a very undignified picture of  Suzy, our lovely ginger boy.


  1. Well done on the straw-bale house. I love it!

  2. Not too much more work needed now, it will be great when it's finished it has a lovely feel inside it, rather too nice to keep livestock in.

  3. Love the straw bale building, I would love to live in one. I would imagine it would be well insulated with such thick walls. Our old cob cottage was cool in the summer and maintained the warmth in the winter, unlike our new house!

    Pose worthy of a model from Suzy :)

    1. On our last farm in Ireland we built a straw bale house , we both agree that it was the best house that we have ever lived in, very warm in winter and cool in summer, heating costs very low, and such a lovely feel to the place, we still miss it which is why we have built the straw bale building, just to remind ourselves.

  4. Harvest times are wonderful as is the straw bale build. Smiled when I read your words about locals ignoring qunice but buying membrillo - so common here as you know. Walnuts everywhere but people buy them in the shop, same for plums, pears, apples, chestnuts, avocados...and so on.

    1. I think it goes back to what I have said many times Ian, food is just too cheap, I know people complain about the price of food but in truth it does not reflect the true cost of production. Like ourselves you and Luis know how much work goes into producing and saving your own food. If food was truly expensive people and shops would not waste so much.