Thursday, October 6, 2016

Autumn harvests.

A beautiful sunset.
The weather is being very kind at the moment, sunny dry days, making working outside very pleasant. The area where the potatoes were grown has been completely cleared along with the runner beans and a couple of raised beds in preparation for the installation of a second tunnel, this  is the same size as our other tunnel, 18X 20 ft and will be arranged with seven raised beds. Unlike all our previous tunnels this one we are having installed by the company supplying it, we are getting too old and suffering from creaky bones to go through the hard graft of tunnel installation. It will be pure heaven watching other people doing the graft for us. having the second tunnel will make it easier to rotate the beds. First to be planted will be garlic and onions, we have some cauliflower seedlings coming along so they will also go into the new tunnel. We have decided that we need a second peach tree, the fruit that we get from the existing tree are the best peaches we have ever tasted, that includes any that we had in Spain, we also have a fig tree which so far has only fruited once for us outside and we love fresh figs, hopefully this will produce some fruit for us.
Sulphur Tuft, not edible.
Last Sunday was the 'Fungi Hunt' organised by the Organic Gardens at Knockvicar, we had both hoped to go however I am suffering from sciatica so had to give it a miss.
Ripe puff balls, not edible.

Unripe puff balls, edible.
By all accounts it was a good day  out with around thirty different fungi found, three of which are worth eating, several others although not poisonous were edible but not particularly pleasant.
Birch bracket fungus, not edible.
 Simon had hoped that by going on a fungi hunt with someone 'who knows' about fungi might have brought out some hidden gems that we have been missing,
Cortinarius ? not edible.
however Simons knowledge of fungi was about the same as the 'one who knows' so apart from a lovely walk not much was gained.
Back to the centre to identify all the finds.
In total there were fifteen people on the walk, including several children.
 One thing we miss about Spain is the fungi, forests and fields are full of beautiful edible fungi especially at this time of year, and the Spanish are well into foraging, so much so that the law is that fungi must be cut, not pulled. Anyone found mushroom foraging without a knife is fined.
There is still lots of colour in the garden, several things have come back into bloom,
Aster amellus, Michaelmas daisy. 
Albertine having a second flush/

even the Albertine rose has given a second flush
as well as lupines, there's even a delphinium that will be in flower by the weekend.
Thalictrum still flowering.
We have several different types of Aconite one which comes into flower very late, it's  giving a lovely splash of colour now.
One big surprise is the Amaryllis, this has decided to flower yet again, the third time this year, the second bulb also looks as though it might also flower yet again, we have done nothing to these bulbs except give them a little water when we remember, the bulbs have grown and need larger pots, or do they? as they are doing so well on neglect maybe this is the way to treat them.
Still plenty of French beans.
The French beans are still producing well, and the cauliflowers are the best we've ever had, far better than the earlier ones,
3lb after trimming.
after trimming they are weighing around three pounds each, I think that's a pretty good size, one cauli. lasts us for five meals, there's even bigger ones waiting to be cut, the leaks are also looking very good, we have two beds of these,
the first two we picked are from one of the raised beds that has now been removed, this left twenty leeks so we took a chance and transplanted them, they had two chances, live or die, it appears that they have survived the transplanting no sign of wilting at all, we will have plenty of leeks this winter.
One job that was put on the long finger during the summer was decorating our bedroom. The last time we went up to the  North was to buy paint for the outside of the cottage, at the same time I spotted some beautiful wall paper which I thought would be ideal for our bedroom, just the one wall behind the bed. Wallpaper in the republic requires a second mortgage, heaven only knows why it's so expensive, so we bought a couple of rolls just to give a lift to the room, I am very pleased with how it turned out.
Makes a change from plain painted walls.
We have realised that the last time we did any wallpapering was twenty eight years ago, since then we have lived with painted walls, easy to keep clean and change when you want to but not quite so cosy as wallpaper.


  1. Love the fungi hunt and the fact you were able to find out which were edible, great idea

    1. We were hoping for more B.G we know most of the ones that grow in this part of Ireland, none are particulars good excepting the inkcaps, even they are thin on the ground.

  2. I'm going on a Fungi Walk this coming Sunday. I hope the guide is more knowledgeable than the one you mention! My motive is also to try to identify fungi I could forage for eating purposes - there are loads of them about, but I don't know enough about them.

    1. I think you misunderstood me mark, the guide was knowledgeable, but so is Simon. He had hoped that there might have been a fungi that we had overlooked as this part of Ireland has so few fungi unlike the UK and Spain.

  3. Hello Anne, i love foraging for anything but the idea of scrambling around a forest is particularly pleasing. Its not a common thing to do in Oz. On the farm growing up we had to pick musshies after school for dinner, everyday during the season. From memory Mum only knew one way to cook them and that was boiled to a pulp. A big gloopy mess and one which has put me off mushrooms for life.

    I love your wall paper. Im trying to convince Hubby to do the wall behind the bed as well.

    Promise ill do a post soon.

    1. We normally would fry wild mushrooms in a little butter, we do buy organic button mushrooms, these are great boiled for a couple of minutes then tossed in hot butter with black pepper, great on toast.
      We are both pleased with the wallpaper, it makes the room so much cosier.

  4. Such beautiful photos ♥

  5. Beautiful sunset pic. Happy to hear you've been having some nice weather, not so about the sciatica and I really hope it gets better soon. The fungi forage sounds interesting! And I didn't know about the knife law in Spain! Exciting news about the new tunnel. You two could supply enough food for four families! Loving the garden pics, so much colour still. The Amaryllis is beautiful. I like the wallpaper too, it's important to have a nice and cosy bedroom! xxx

  6. I wish I could have gone on the fungi forage but my back would not allow me to. The new tunnel should be arriving tomorrow, already planning what's going in there. We do have a lot of spare veg which we give to friends, had so much fruit this year that we were able to sell it.
    The bedroom feels so different now, I'm very please with it.

  7. A new tunnel should give you plenty of space for year round veggies. I'm fascinated by fungi but I'm rubbish when it comes to identifying it, I certainly wouldn't trust my own judgement as to what is edible and what isn't. Hope your sciatica is improving.

  8. The new tunnel arrived today, the two guys had it all done in four hours flat even though it was windy, it's the same size as our other one, 18X20 so plenty of covered space now.