Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Seasonal Confusion.

The art of relaxation/
It has been a very confused season temperature wise this year, just as things got growing we had late frosts which set everything back, the summer months remained cooler with a lot of overcast days, despite that it has been a very good year for the vegetables with the exception of runner beans, we managed just three meals from them. Now as we head towards winter it is mild, in fact on Sunday it was hot, 25c in the afternoon, probably the highest temperature we have had all year. Plants are confused,
Todays harvest.
we are still picking tomatoes, and the Physalis shows no sign of slowing down,
Second picking of the late French beans.

Irish grown grapes, a gift from a friend.
the second sowing of French beans paid off and we are now picking beans again as well as late peas.
Flowers are also confused,
the first of the Hellebores are in bloom, which is about right for this time of year
Wrong season.
but there is also Aquilegia in bloom, and that's not right.
Somewhat early for spring.
Better late than never.
The pampas grass has also decided to put up flower spikes, a few months later than it should.
We also have nasturtiums still happily flowering away,
I love this rose and the perfume is great.
the roses will keep on flowering until we get a heavy frost.
Love the colour of this sedum and the bees will love it as well.
It is amazing how much is still in bloom this late in the year,
Spindle, such a pretty bush and a native.
Lime. ( Tilia)
Red stemmed dogwood.
there is also a lot of colour from the trees and hedges that we planted,
Young red oaks, we have planted five of them.
we are very pleased with the colour on the red oaks, they have grown well this year and have given a wonderful flash of red with their leaves.
I wonder how long these will take to compost?
We have collected several large bags of fallen leaves from a local woodland, these are being composted on their own, hopefully to become our seed compost for next years sowings.
Sligo coast.
We have taken advantage of the mild weather and took another trip to the coast for yet more seaweed,
the day has started out dull but by the time we reached the coast is was sunny and warm,
Even on a very calm day you can still find big waves.
we explored several small bays that we had not seen previously and met just one person, he was busy collecting mussels.
We didn't collect any this time as I'm the only one who eats them and I couldn't be bothered to prepare them just for myself, maybe on our next visit, when I'm not thinking about knitting or completing O.U courses. The courses that I'm doing are all interconnected to the Global Food Crisis, which in reality doesn't exist, and Global food Security, which is an oxymoron.
 There was a good program on BBC One last night, Hugh's War on Waste, in which he highlighted the criminal waste of food  in the UK, although it applies to all developed nations.
 It is often highlighted that the average home wastes one third of all the food that they buy, but for some reason what is not often mentioned is the part the supermarkets play in the waste of food with their unrealistic demands for produce to conform to their dictated size and or colour. The program clearly demonstrated just how much control the supermarkets have over their producers, and how they manipulate their consumers.
 I can't see that people are going to change their wasteful habits until they have to pay the real cost of food production, and supermarkets won't change until government steps in, which it won't, the lobbyists have far too much control over governments.
We will continue to grow our own fruit and veg plus poultry, what little we buy in the way of meat comes from the producer. Supermarkets can have our business for utility items, there we have no choice, but we do have choice over what we eat.


  1. Awww, lovely photo of your puss, he knows how to make himself comfy. The seasons are definitely confused, I've got cowslips flowering at the moment. I read about the food waste programme on another blog, I missed it but I shall see if I can catch up on it somewhere.

    1. You should be able to watch it though Iplayer, as you are in the UK Jo, it is well worth watching, he is following up next week on clothing being dumped. The puss is our youngest, Freddy he is just over a year old and the sweetest cat you could ever meet.. Some one else that we know also has a cowslip out, very strange.

  2. Lovely blog post and photographs. Amazing how much colour there still is around at this time of year.

    1. Thanks Ian, I am missing your blog, I will have to follow one of your other ones, I miss all your beautiful photography.

  3. Hi there. I think plants are confused the world over. Plants here are going to seed too early before cropping which is a waste of effort and time. We never know whether its going to be in the 30's or in the teens from one day to the next so how do the poor plants know.

    Food wastage is a huge 1st world issue. I doubt that few in the 3rd world would be throwing anything away. You have certainly got the best situation in providing your own. You know how hard it is to grow so every bit get used.

    1. I suspect that anyone who has ever grown their own are the people who are far less likely to throw away food, even if they are not still growing they know what effort goes into growing your own.
      If food bought from supermarkets reflected the true cost of growing that food prices would go up, higher prices= less waste. Food is just far too cheap.

  4. I love the colour of the leaves this time of year. Our poppies are in full bloom here and so are the roses still. Enjoy the harvest you've picked and the grapes too

    1. Poppies? That is certainly not right. The grapes are delicious, they actually taste like grapes, something that's hard to get in a imported grape.

  5. I currently have a branch of an apple tree in bloom and the freesia leaves have emerged and are 6" long. Weather patterns do seem to be changing. I don't think I waste any food here as there always seem to be animals that will eat the left overs. Dogs are great waste bins. Your pictures are beautiful.

    1. We has plum blossom on one branch back in August even though there was also fruit on that branch, very strange. We also have Freesias with six inch leaves also irises in the garden are up nearly ten inches high and dwarf daffodils are up a couple of inches. Like you we have animals always ready to eat anything we don't use, veg trimmings go to the rabbits apart from that the recycling bin has just tea bags and egg shells which goes onto the compost so even that's not waste.
      Hope something comes up from Tim so he can join you instead of having to live in a different country, it must be hard for you both.

  6. I saw that HFW programme too. It made depressing viewing. As you say, we don't have a global food crisis. There is plenty of food, but much of it is wasted. I think the supermarkets have a lot to answer for. I hope Hugh manages to exercise the necessary influence on them and on the Government, to get them to change - though I somehow doubt he will succeed.

    1. I agree Mark, super markets have far too much power and I don't think there's a bats chance in hell of the UK or Irish government doing anything about it, unlike France who have introduced a law prohibiting supermarkets binning good food, it has to be given to the less fortunate. In Cameron's world there's only two type of people, those who have got millions or those who have nearly reached the million, the rest of the people don't matter especially if they have nothing, they're not megga consumers.

  7. Love the flopped cat pic and all the autumn leaves colour. I think spindle is one we don't have and I am sure we have no red oak.

  8. Freddy has the art of relaxation of to a fine art. Spindles are quit cheap to buy, I think ours came from Connaught Gold, in Ballaghadereen. Red oaks are expensive here, we brought the five that we have with us from Spain, they were slow to establish but are now 6-8 feet, they have grown a lot this year.

  9. Love the photo of Freddy, they know how to chill. The HFW certainly has got people talking but I doubt much will be done. I have just picked the last few tomatoes from my greenhouse, it has certainly been a long season for them.

    1. Hi Chickpea, yes they do know how to chill and they do it in style.
      I also doubt that anything will get done about the food waste or the dictatorship that comes from supermarkets, I agree with what Irene say's it up to us the consumer to bring about change 'cause the government are sure not going to do it, they get too much funding from big business.
      We are still picking tomatoes, but this might be the last week, meanwhile the cape gooseberries are still producing well.

  10. I have noticed throughout bloggyland that there are an awful lot of people patting themselves on the back because they apparently waste nothing. Yet still they are telling us of the bargains they have from the supermarkets. If one shops at supermarkets for meat, fish and other fresh produce, one is supporting waste and aiding those who put family producers out of business. People hope that Hugh will do something? It is us that should be doing something. Think of more than our own convenience and a few extra pennies in our pockets.

    I have a rose that is flowering again.

    1. I couldn't agree with you more Irene and I have also noticed that so many people who purport to live in an environmentally sustainable way do their shopping in supermarkets, Some things have to bought from supermarkets, they are just not available from the small shops, I'm thinking of Organic milk and butter in particular. We could buy butter from a health shop but that is imported from France, at least the butter from Tesco is British. We have an excellent fishmonger who is now serving the farmers market that we use and he knows where his fish has come from, likewise what little meat we buy comes from a newly set up Organic butcher/ farm shop, and we don't think they are expensive, for instance stewing beef is 16 euros per kg, we buy half a kg, divided that in half and make a pie with onions and mushrooms that gives us four serving per quarter kg. Total cost including mushrooms around 1.40 per serving. I don't know if you have read the book 'Waste' by Tristram Stewart he has been campaigning for years to get the government to rein in the supermarkets, to no effect. It only people, or rather consumers that can bring about change, but as you so rightly say most people think about convenience and a few extra cents saved, meanwhile farmers are going out of business at an alarming rate.

  11. I was becoming more hopeful but blogland has shown me that I am somewhat premature.
    Yes I have read Tristram Stewart. I believe that it was on your recommendation.

    Weather here is atrocious. Have put most of the garden to bed now.