Thursday, December 18, 2008

Veggie Explosion

I took these photos a little while ago...our squashes refuse to be contained!

Our corn is taller than all four of my my children! And it has started to form tassles!

And our beans are similar to the Jack and the Beanstalk! David wanted to see if he could get them to grow up the pergola and into the house on the burglar bars so he tied string on the top of the teepee...almost there!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back breaking work

On Sunday morning we were up with the sparrows and in the veggie patch by 6.30a.m. We were trying to beat the heat. We dug in loads of compost and Bounce Back.

We then planted the two blueberry bushes. In front of the berries we have a large block of sweetcorn planted.

My daughter planted patty pan seedlings we grew against the fence so theat they can trail up there.

My sons helped to plant the seed and sweet potatoes after we had made trenches for them.

It seems a bit strange to just be planting outside of a raised bed...but let's see what the increase is in a few months time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The thing about blueberries...

I popped into a nursery I used to go to when my daughter was tiny. I used to put her in the papoose and wander around there, HARTS nursery in Ottery.

I was delighted to find many varieties of berry I bought blueberries, black berries and booysenberries. But with blueberries you need to buy two plant of different varieties to cross pollinate!

In this picture you can also see a Cape Gooseberry with the blueberries, which a friend dug out for me.

Second area all ready

The area we cleaned out on Monday is ready for tomorrow's planting. We had to fence it again because of the dogs, but we are not doing raised beds. Instead we have dug in lots of compost and bounce back. At the end of summer I hope to grow some green manure into this area too. We are going to plant the berries along the fences to break the hardness.

View of the area from front gate


Monday, December 8, 2008

In for a for a pound!

Today we had the second section cleaned out. We are going to only grow corn and potatoes here this season.

We had been making a compost heap in the far corner which the chickens got stuck into and had a cut worm and earthworm feast! Yuck!

Tomorrow 2 cubes of compost is going to be added and I managed to get seed potatoes from a local nursery. I also purchased some berry canes to grow along the fence at the back!

What to do with rhubarb...?

My rhubarb is growing well in a pot and I had an excess of eggs and a friend had given me lots of her cow's I made rhubarb creme brulle with it using Jamie Oliver's recipe.


December Garden

Our garden is flourishing in the warmth of summer....

Who needs a flower garden?

Take a look at these gorgeous masterpieces...

Wehn we pulled up this section of garden for veggies, my younger daughter was sad that we would be loosing our flower garden! But she took these pictures of the flowers that we now have....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The end of November

I have been to busy to add daily entries so this is the last day in November and here's where we stand:

This is the left hand view from my kitchen door. It's where I grow my herbs in pots. Right at the door there is also a little bed with Sage, Thai Basil and Oreganum. In the pots are rosemary, borage, lavender and thyme. Behind the pots are chillies, tomatoes and our grapevine.

On the left hand side of the door we have a raised bed with tomatoes and beans. I planted Marigolds in between them for pest control and so far it has worked.

These are the beautiful cucumber flowers:

My courgettes are starting to make their fruits:

Along with strawberries, spinach, carrots, tomatoes we had some little onions which were ready which I harvested.

Our lettuce is also coming along beautifully.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

After 2 hours of back breaking work....

A few weeks ago my daughter sowed some seeds of lettuce. More than one to a section... in fact more like 5 to a section. They were struggling were to grow so I seperated them all. I used that lovely worm poo from my wormery as a seedling mix. I guess we are going to eat salad 3X a day for the next while.

I had to fence my courgettes in...I am waiting for my son to make a me a frame that I can lean up against the wall to get them to climb rather than spread.

And just take a look at how wonderful my corn looks!

I also weeded all the pathways and beds, removed spent peas, planted out some egg plant seedlings, cleaned the coup, watered the whole garden and planted out some fennel.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We have a chick

Meet "Mindstorm" born Friday. The other two eggs are still being sat on...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wanna see my rubbish?

Have you ever heard of nosey reporters going through celebrities garbage? Well I am FAAAAR from being a celeb and I am not even sure that anyone actually reads my lil' ol' blog...but if you ever wanted to see my garbage you will be sadly dissappointed!

This is due mainly to our fierce recycling habits that have now kicked in. Also our chickens eat all our veggie leaves and offcuts. We also compost everything we can. Then there is our wormery.

Our worms get everything that the chooks can't have: shredded soaked newspapers and pizza boxes, eggs shells, the fibre from our juicer etc.

We started our wormery in Feb this year and we have taken off on average 2 litres of worm juid (liquid fertilizer) ever weekend for the last 5 months. This pic below shows the top later where the new food is added.

Yesterday I took the bottom layer out, sent a few wayward worms to the top layer and this is the left over compost-humus which we are going to use for our new seeldings. It's really good stuff, odour free and steaming hot!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This weeks produce

In the post below I mentioned how good it is to be able to walk 10 steps into my veggie patch and come back a little while later with some fresh fresh fresh things to eat. It makes me appreciate all sorts of things like basic principles set in place by the God of Creation...Praise Him! Also I appreciate how much hard work it is to grow things without pesticides. How much hard work it is to weed, water and keep up consecutive plantings.

But this was this weeks pickings:

This cabbage was made into coleslaw to go with supper

The coriander went into a salsa

This is what I picked this morning...great isn't it! The broccoli went into a broccoli salad, the peas in a green salad, the potatoes into a potato bake and the spinach into omlettes.

What a thrill!

Today I worked really hard planting new seeds - beet, leeks, carrots, lettuce. Also planted out the sweet melon and watermelon seedlings.

We cleaned the hutch out and added that to the compost pile...Quicksilver is still nursing her 3 eggs...if they do hatch it will be on Friday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just a quick update on our veggies...the other night we were able to eat a meal almost exclusively from our garden...but with the increase in veggie growth there is also an icrease in weed growth :-(( so the work is set for spring and summer. It is truly suc a joy though to eat from our garden, even if only in part.

Our broccoli heads are forming

Strawberries ripening

And beans growing

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Morning inspiration

I love getting my newletter from Pathway to's re-energizers me n my garden...take a look!

Urban Homesteading - Tour from David Spancer on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today my younger daughter and I made lemonade...with a twist.

Take the juice and skin of 10 lemons (or like we like it 5 lemons and 5 oranges):

Add to this 500ml sugar, 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts and 1 Tablespoon of Tartaric Acid and 2 litres of boiling water. Stir til sugar is dissolved.

Allow the concentrate to cool and then strain into 2 large jugs. Pour a little over ice or pour cold water into it 1:1. Nothing to beat this flavour and with ice after a hot day in the garden...mmmmh!

Potatoes again

It is such a kick to be growing my own food. Each day I stand and look at my veggies as they grow while I drink my morning cuppa...

Anyway...on Friday night I dug out some potatoes which were washed, chopped and added to the stew. This was really a process that took 20 minutes...what a high! We also pulled some baby carrots to add.