Sunday, December 6, 2015

Winter Veg.

Mahonia now in full bloom.
It seems only a short time ago that we were enjoying the summer veg, well in the case of the tomatoes we were enjoying them right up to last Thursday, but now it's time to start enjoying the winter veg. Lovely heart warming as well as body warming stews,
Veg for veggie crumble.
veggie crumbles, veggie soups plus roast veg.
Heritage carrots, I think they look pretty.
Most of what we have planted has grown well although the leeks are rather slim compared to other years, maybe we planted them later, but they are still good enough to eat. The big problem is planning for the hungry gap, March until May, things that we had planted to cover us for this period came on so quickly because of the very warm Autumn. The Purple Sprouting came on months earlier than it should, that has all been eaten now, but we still have curly kale and perpetual spinach to fall back on, there is plenty of carrots,
Don't think Morrisons would allow this one.
parsnips and swede,  the turnips are now coming on and of course there are plenty of potatoes and onions in store, even the Brussels sprouts are looking good, we have had the first helping of them. There is also broad beans, French beans, peas,    cauliflower and calabrese in the freezer,  I don't think we will go short of veggies this winter despite the weather's best attempt to bring crops on early  due to the warm temperatures.
With the mild weather comes the rain, or rather 'storm Desmond', why have the 'powers that be' decided that storms now need to be given a name? It doesn't make them any friendlier  or less damaging.
No, not a lake, a field which had cattle in it just three days ago.
The rivers and streams have all burst their banks, roads are closed,
A flooded Lough Flynn.
the local lough is 40 m higher than normal.  Cattle have had to be brought in, this makes for more work for the farmers, plus more expense in feeding the animals.
In spite of the appalling weather yesterday the craft fair was well attended, there were only a dozen tables but I think everyone sold well.
Some lovely wood craft.
My table.
I did well and have covered the cost of our Christmas turkey, it's interesting to see what does sell and what doesn't, marmalade with whisky has proved popular and I have another batch on the go, and we also have to make more vegetarian mince meat, I have two more fairs to do and it does seem that people who attend these fairs are more aware of what is in commercially produce foods, in particular people seem keen to avoid palm oil which is not easy in this day and age. One out of every two products sold in supermarkets contains palm oil, what will the manufacturers do when all the rain forests have been destroyed and no more palm oil plantations can be planted?
Zara likes buckets.
Our cats are far from impressed with this weather and are doing their best to hibernate,
She also likes baskets.
the baskets in the window is one of their favourite spots as it catches the late sun, yes, we still see the sun sometimes,
and we are getting some beautiful sunsets.


  1. I've heard quite a few people mention their leeks being a bit on the skinny side this year. Treat them as a delicacy, the supermarkets would probably call them baby leeks and charge you a fortune for them. The flooding is terrible, isn't it? I do feel for the poor souls who have only just got over the last lot of flooding for it just to happen to them again, it's terrrible. Your cats look lovely and snug, they certainly know how to find the best spots in the house.

  2. Hi Jo, just been watching the floods in Cumbria, I wonder how the Somerset levels are faring this time round. The first lots of leaks got smothered by the sweet peas, the one in the picture is one of those, the other ones were planted late as a backup in case the sweet pea ones didn't do anything so I guess there's still time for the second lot to put on weight.

  3. If it's any consolation, my leeks are very skinny this year too, so it's probably something to do with the weather. The flooding looks awful, and it's only December so the worst is still to come, I expect. I sincerely hope your lough is not 40 metres higher than usual!

    1. Hi Mark, I should have said 40m closer to the road! In fact the road where this lough is was closed on Saturday, not because of the lough though, the surrounding bog had reached saturation point and the water level was five feet above the road level. The photo of the totally flooded field is today back to normal but I doubt the cattle will go back onto it until spring.
      I suspect the skinny leek syndrome was caused by the cool summer.

  4. Robinsons Mammoth leeks and onions seeds and plug plants are well worth trying Anne. They win prizes at Chelsea every year. We use to buy veg plants from them in Forton near Lancaster when went to the lake district. They are on the web.

    1. Problem there Dave they wouldn't be using organic seed or compost, we only use organic seed, this is the first year we have had skinny leeks, but it does seem a lot of other people have the same proble.

  5. Perhaps you should advertise the fact that none of your products contain palm oil. Oh, and that they are made with love. Everyone wants to buy love. LOL So weird you are talking of winter veg when our spring veg are frying and going to seed too early. Such a waste. Since im going to have a scorcher summer will i have fat leek syndrome? I grew up in the river districts that experienced periodic flooding. So destructive.

    1. I list all the ingredients that my products contain plus highlight those that are known allergens which is now the law in the EU. Do things in Oz have to be listed and allergens marked as such?
      I'm thinking of selling bunched herbs for the last two fairs what with Christmas and all that, don't know how well they will sell but worth a try.

    2. If you are selling to the public then, yes you do. Its crazy at schools. Your own children have a list of things they cant bring for lunch in case another child touches it. Gone are the days of peanut butter sandwiches. I was pretty sure that you would have to list ingredients but i though a funny sign listing all the things you dont have in your food might be an amusing advertising sign. Something to talk about while they buy all your goodies.

  6. Every year now, there is more flooding in more areas of Britain and, I fear that it will continue thus.
    Although summer and its salads are wonderfully cleansing to the system, winter with its root veggies is comfort.
    Our cats are comfort sleeping and eating now, mostly only venturing our for the necessary. It is not cold out just miserable.
    Hope that you enjoy the rest of this years fairs and make some dosh into the bargain.

    1. Yes, I know what you mean about the cats, we have two that will go out come what may, they spend their time in the barns with their friends, the mice! We had never seen rain like we had at the weekend here in Ireland, we did witness it once in Spain where it washed a road away and a twenty foot bank, this was all in the space of a couple of hours.

  7. Hahaha, love the caption "don't think Morrisons would allow this one"! Good work at the craft fair and great to here it was well-attended, despite the weather. The snap of the cats in the baskets is cute, glad to see they are being appreciated!

  8. I love our wonky veg and it tastes just the same a perfect shaped veg.