spring, start a garden, Uncategorized

Emergence

Spring has just made itself feel blatantly apparent – by having summer jump up today. You never know exactly what you’re in for during spring. So far we’ve had wind, sunshine, days of eternal optimism, moments of wondering how it all fits together and many many occasions of feeling so incredibly lucky to be right here right now.

Plenty of workshops on the grow…

Loads of lovely feedback from people just wanting to get the basics on how to get started on the edible garden adventure. We’re doing plenty of trials ourselves – seeing what works direct sown and what we can start indoors. Patience is key and a skill to be learnt !

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Thank you Kelly for this gorgeous shot – I’d like to think this is how gardening always is, there’s certainly a whole lot of just getting stuck in.

Look after your soil and it will look after you. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and the garden too – very tricky to grow with out water!

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Be Kind

So we’re a week away from Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year, before we start the slow amble to spring. The garden is growing so slowly, some of the top beds even have a little moss on them due to insuffient light. They’re pausing in their work, why shouldn’t we ?

Solstice is a good chance to catch up with friends around the campfire, celebrate and remember to cut yourself a little slack. Be kind to yourself and practice a little self care.

Continue reading “Be Kind”

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Cooling down now

…..its’ getting closer to winter by the day. Seeing sights of the basil bolting to seed, growth on many plants is slowing down, yet the lemons are ripening up beautiufully as are the limes. Air temperature is dropping (10oC this morning), as is the soil temperature.

Make sure to use mulch to act as an insulation layer to keep the residue heat trapped. Just like putting a blanket in the bed, keeps the heat in and the cold at bay. (And in summer the mulch protects the soil from the suns heating rays, keeping the temperature stable.)IMG_9012.JPG

Nature is remarkable. Just as we start to get a little snuffly, the lemon tree produces the goods. Citrus juice in water, lemon zest in cooking, eat the white pith from these thick skinned beauties and wonder why you’ve never tried this sweet sensation before.

Just because it’s cooling down outside, certainly doesn’t mean you should start slowing down. Plenty of jobs to take on…..

Feed you worms, the citrus trees, the soil, mulch everything that stands still long enough ! Rope some friends into a wander through a parkland and check out the turn of the season.

produce, Uncategorized

Diversity on the dinner plate

In this day and age many rush, rush, rush and stick with the familiar. Apparently approximately 100 plants supply 90 % of our diets ! So when harvesting for a customer, I was mindful to make sure they had a decent cross section of what’s currently available in our seasonal garden. Produce from 15 plants at a quick glance, and all (bar one) you could eat raw. (Edamame are bested boiled/ steamed for 5 minutes before popping the beans out of their pods and into the mouth).

Herbs are a wonderful way of enhancing a meal, bringing seasonality to the fore. Basil all through summer (you can freeze your surplus pesto), chilli for waking up the tastebuds. A combo lettuce and herby salad only needs the lightest of vinaigrettes so the flavours are not swamped. And texture ! Give your mouth a party and wake up those tastebuds.

Don’t forget the ‘marginal’. Once you’ve juiced your fruit, zest that lime. You can add the nutritious and flavoursome slivers of the outer to sauces, meals or dehydrated and used with a sugar or salt. Watermelon rind can be pickled and enjoyed in the next round of salads once the fruit has long ago been gobbled up.

Make sure you make the most of your chemical free produce and be inspired by variety.IMG_8832.jpg

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Never stop learning

 

 
Life and times in the garden. Plant watermelon seedlings (x 3), turn your back in high summer and watch the plant consume the garden. Check for flowers, be sorely tempted to rip plant out as you think it’s not going to give any fruit. See the occasional flower, check in several weeks to see fruit swelling, hiding under leaves. Epic production¬†wiht virtually no intervention (the occasional prune). Plants die off (exhausted !) to¬†reveal 3 garden beds. Freshly top exposed space with locally made compost. Fresh delivery of mulch (so fresh it was lovely & warm to walk on) in order to make hugelkultur beds on the far side for next spring/ summer. The plan is to let to let the cucurbits and melons have their way wiht space to go wild.

Feed the soil, feeds the plant. Feed the plant, happy plant (over time), patience plus happy plant = happy people. Sleep well after moving countless barrows of warm mulch and listen to the endless rain soak into everything.

Welcome autumn.