Showing posts with label Beetroot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beetroot. Show all posts

Friday, 18 July 2014

More Bank Holiday Work

Looking back at my photos is seriously the only way I can remember what on earth happened just under a week ago! I have the worst memory out there, oh dear, I must be getting old....*sigh*

So here's what happened on the Sunday 13th July- a revelation to me just as much as it will be for you, haha. Though it must be said, it wasn't terribly exciting.

We visited a large DIY warehouse and bought another drip hose for the thirsty tea garden - it's got a beautiful birch tree, christmas box, bamboo and wisteria in it so it really loves to drink up the H2O :) The camellia of course prefers rainwater. I also got some really snazzy gardening gloves for only £3, they seemed to be out of fashion if you can get your head around that concept; I say this as there were newer, different patterned ones there for nearly twice the price. Wow, seems pink is not the colour to be gardening in! Haha, ridiculous.

Before going round to visit Mamma G we picked her out lettuce, peas, and the first beetroots. Andrew also quickly planted out the dwarf french beans and I sort of tackled 14b (more later on that). Good grief, we still haven't made our minds up about this plot; should we keep it or let it go??

I only had my half dead phone with me on this day so sadly these 2 photos is all you get....

Tuesday 15th July
We took Monday off from the Lottie but boy did we make it up on the Tuesday; we were there all day!
First I shall show you Andrew's work cos I'm nice like that and 24a is definitely less frightening to look at :)

* The cornflowers were taking over and making the whole plot look messy - it's what you see as you look at the plot and naturally allow your eye to flow down to the pergola. So they were all strung up and really look beautiful now on mass, not flopping all over the place.
* The 2 apple trees were also tied up to wire and the espalier training has begun. The bamboo canes are there to help start and keep those branches we want to grow up and out in place. I am always amazed at gardeners' ability to do this, it looks so good and gets air and sunlight around those fruit producing stems = happy plants and happy viewer.

* Lastly Andrew planted up the rest of the leeks into the now empty potatoes bed :) Leeks are super duper important to us, due to my intolerance to onions, as you'll remember.



My work on 14b? I'll share it soon..
Your Carrie xx

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Our little seedlings

I just don't know when to stop. Even after I wrote and hit 'publish' on my last blog post; I felt compelled to go outside and take photographs, put a load of washing on and make compote. Then in the afternoon I wrote rough drafts for the next 6 posts, and got some photos edited for them..... then 'had to read' yet ready for yoga and so......collapsed.

To be honest the rest of the day was a mystery, though I did love Forrest Gump being on. Today I have barely moved from the sofa - yay I got up out of bed though!! - and have 'just read' all day. Though my mind has been muddled and confused and I seriously look like a mad lady!

Why do I strive so vehemently when I'm obviously so ill?

Sorry. I needed to get that out, say it openly and publicly. Listen to your precious bodies and minds my friends.

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** The Gault nursery as it stood yesterday..
 Andrew's homemade cold frame - housing geraniums and broad beans at the moment

 Roses - Reine de Violettes and  Silver Jubilee
 Two Beetroot types (Chiogga) and  (Golden) Celeriac, Purple Sprouting Broccoli


 On the window sill - Sunflowers (this is 2 weeks after planting!), Zinna (Jazz)
 Tiny Rudbecki (dwarf mix), our clever light reflector ;)

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** The back garden in happy vignettes....
So much green and happy growth!

Hugs and love
Your Carrie

P.S. Almost all my Dahlias are sprouting now :) 'Golden Wonder', 'Bora Bora' and 'Pom Pom'

Monday, 16 December 2013

Working hard (November)

Thanks for your patience. I really appreciate the comments too, they really do add rays of hope and love to my life and give me a little more energy to fight - sort of like those video games where you get an extra life. I love you dear readers xx

These photos and developments are from a very cold and very very desolate day on the plots in November when EVERYONE else in the allotmenting world seemed to be more clever than us and had staid at home, warm and comfortable. Well, that was until we got started and then realised that no, we were the clever ones and we had the whole place to ourselves and the birds and if you work hard and steady you warm up soon enough and get stuff done :)

* So the top of 24a...and the tree fruit arch, humm, what's happened to the trees?! *
A24a rear in November - changes afoot - GOO

Yes the 6 trees at the arch (2 apples, 2 plums, 2 pears) all had to go; they were all sickly and the fruit wasn't ripening or even, in some cases looking at all normal. They were too crushed, there wasn't enough nutrients to go around and we were over ambitious and naive. But that is another true joy about gardening ~ you never, ever stop learning and the plot is a constantly changing, evolving place.

Working on the fruit arch - GOO
They weren't easy to get out. Andrew naturally did the hard bit whilst I removed all the wine bottles that had edged our lovely little shaded path through and under the arch. Goodness, there were two rubble sacks full of glass - I think it would be least embarrassing if we took them to the recycling place in smaller batches!!
Way back in July..

Anyway, I left Andrew to his work - digging out and then digging over single digging/bastard trenching and adding loads of goodness as he went, just like the last post. Goodbye path! Hello 2 very exciting new trees...

****

I tackled this bed. It was a joy - loads for the compost and boy I love weeding. The soil was just perfect for getting those long tap roots from those blasted dandelions out ~ the whole thing in one go = *shudders of joy* Sadly, as with every single bed I didn't come across a single worm :( The New Zeland flatworm infestation we had a few years back has done terrible damage! Now I haven't seen one of those in a long time either which is great, but then, there isn't anything for them to eat...I am seriously considering a day were I guerrilla steal worms from roadside verges (hehehe). Don't worry I have a vis vest ;) ...

arrrgghhhhh, the horror! - GOO

This is where I got to before home time; all those parsnips are huge and gorgeous looking - roll on Chrimbo dinner! The turnips were tossed on the compost as they were tiny and weren't going to grow anymore this year...the beetroots were lifted a few days later and pickled but shhh... Christmas pressies ahoy! Looks yum.

now THAT is better - GOO

This is where Andrew got too before said hometime - see the way the whole field was becoming enveloped in a misty cloud? That cloud was cold and damp and rain was a-coming!

Oh but we went back since and there are more photos and stories to share - "hurrah!" I hear you exclaim. See you soon xxxx

Namaste

Friday, 8 November 2013

To err is to garden

Hello *shy wave* it's been a while and I feel very much out of practice. I haven't been a good allotmenteer this year at all, in fact I have been shameful to be honest and Andrew has done pretty much everything. I have shown you all my work but looking back it was pretty pathetic and as I watch Monty talk away about a new year to come, I have a new resolve - I will work harder. There I promise it, more than just said it, I wrote it down and published it for all the world to hold me to!
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We went to the lottie on Monday and picked some delicious crops as shown below...
Turnips, Mooli, Beetroot

But the big thing about 24a wasn't the usual great root veg (we are lucky or is it luck when Andrew works so very hard on improving the soil and I weed until I can't bare it anymore?) that we harvested and those which are still in the ground, just look at all these parsnips and leeks....yummy; no the big thing was the fruit tree arch.

There is still an arch but no trees, not a one. It was a mistake, a learning experience, it didn't work, okay! The pears didn't fruit, the apples had terrible scab and the plums were mutants. Basically the trees were too close together and there were beds right beside them too where those roots had been running to to try and find nourishment that wasn't there.

Sad yes but I choose to see it as a new start and new ideas are constantly bubbling away in Andrew's head. I have heard lots about step over fruit trees for example....I do hope you will hang around and share the adventure with us.

I shall return, I have 2 book reviews to talk about and of course I will tickle plans and drawings out of Andrew to share with you. As for now, beer is calling and my sewing awaits as we sit in front of the tv resting before a return to work on the lottie tomorrow. Wish me luck friends, the weeds, dear help us all, the weeds.....

Namaste

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Succulent Seedlings

As I mentioned in my last post we have some great looking seedlings all ready to go into the ground this weekend - finally!
Apart from the Sweet Peas which came from a lovely friend, everything shown here (or sown here, hehe) has come from vegetableseeds.net and I must say I am very  impressed with the germination rate of everything.

 * Pea 'Kelvendon Wonder'
A really popular pea variety that we have grown for the last years - oh it tastes so good and each plant gives loads of pods, each pod gives about 6 juicy peas each! It's main crop, dwarf  variety and we tend to plant some in succession through out the summer so we are never lacking :)
Maggie also likes to cheekily eat this straight off the plant - they hang at just the right height for her, gggrrrr, hahaha.


 * Broad Bean 'Aquadulce Claudia'
Okay so we really adore this bean variety and it is a must on our allotment;  haven't grown it?! you must. It is the easiest thing to grow ever, so hardy that you can sow the seeds in winter if you want (if your plot isn't swimming like ours does) so tasty you'll fall in love, so healthy and packed with goodness you will feel good just holding the packet :) You get lots of beans from these and we even get gluts so it's great that I can tell you from experience...these freeze really well :)


 * Rainbow Chard (sometimes called Swiss Chard)
Funny how colour can sometime affect how you feel about a vegetable - normal chard, blugh, it's okay. Rainbow Chard is fantabulous to look at with the sunlight streaming through it, I would have it in my garden as pretty plant :) It wilts fast but grab it take it home and cook it and all the goodness of a spinach is there on your plate but in yellows, pinks, purples - it makes me happy just thinking about it. 


 * Beetroot - 2 types 'Boltardy' and Yellow Cylindrical
Until I had real beetroot and not the vile stuff pickled and brought out at Christmas, I thought it was disgusting, evil stuff.  Now, I adore it. Roasted in the oven or on the barbecue you will find the Gault's eating beetroot all summer long. Hint - HP sauce is amazing on it!!! We always grow Boltardy and again in succession as these babies reach adulthood in 3 months so you can have loads and write Beetroot into a search engine and you will see why you want loads for yourself and your family - it's so incredibly good for you! (P.S. the clue is in the name - they don't bolt easily)

I can't remember if we grew Yellow ones last year or the year before but there isn't much difference in taste, even the striped white and purple ones taste the same; it simply makes that big plate of salad out on the patio look even better. 

 * Leek 'Musselburgh'
This had been our fail safe, go to choice for leeks since we started growing our own. They are really hardy and overwinter well even in our soil, they aren't too strong tasting and it gives you such joy to harvest something from the plot in the darkness of those winter days and they don't need lifted all at once either so not glut worries. Think soul warming soups, hearty and filling risotto - yummy. As someone intolerant to onions these have saved the day in our kitchen and we always have a load every year :)


And lastly the Sweet Pea 'Cupani'
These are my favourite sweet pea ever and I wish I could remember to plant in successions for even more throughout the summer but I never do. They are a fabulous red/pink and purple and are stunning. Butterflies like them and I generally have an arch way of them and an obelisk.

I realise that excited as I am you are probably really rather bored now; like looking at a million photos of someones new baby. Yes very cute, they look so healthy, you're happy for me, what adorable green leaves..... I shall leave it for now, but there are more seedlings and photos to be taken, so until next time....

Namasté

Friday, 19 October 2012

The worst, yet I get an award?!

I have been the worst blogger known to humankind of late. I do apologise, I really haven't been well. I know I told you a little about it last time but things are truly very bad and now I am in between two different zones of mental health teams and both are asking to work with me; I am still not sure what the do-lally is going on and as a result I am slowly (ironically) getting much more ill due to the upheaval.

So I have been finding it hard to talk, walk, read and write. I have tried to take a photo every now and then but to be honest even looking outside makes me nervous never mind going out there!

Here are a few little pics of some fabulous harvests we have had though -

Yummy beetroots, runner beans, parsnips and celeriac

The last of the tomatoes ('Gardener's Delight' ~ a truly apt name)

Our only big pumpkin - now ripe and the same size as Maggie :) This shall not be carved so don't tempt me, it's the only one we have and I swear everything shall be eaten, even the seeds shall be roasted and memory of it lingered over all winter. Oh, last year we had an attic full of Pumpkins - they got quite sickening in the end :(

Apart from that the rain has scuppered any plans for work at the lotties - they are a swamp.

But! I did receive an award from my lovely friend Annuk (a jeweller and blogger). I am to link back to her at Annuk Creations and tell you 7 things about myself....ummmmm.....
  1. I am allergic to peanuts, intolerant to onions and just plan rude to mushrooms.
  2. I stood on a snail last night - yuck, it makes such a gross crunching sound and you slide on your sole at the same time.
  3. I adore roses but hate, hate, hate the smell of them (there, good to get that off my chest)
  4. I love anything to do with cute (not realistic) drawings of Unicorns :) I believe!!! haha
  5. I have size 3 feet.
  6. I am an excellent baker but I don't bake anymore because I am so good - I eat it all.
  7. I will not answer the phone unless I know who is calling - weird I know but true all the same. Phone me on my mobile and all is well, I can see the number...
There you go, terribly interesting I'm sure. Again I am sorry for the lack of blogging content this week, times are hard and my head is not a nice place to be.

Hoping you are all well and looking forward to sowing seeds, planting those bulbs, taking cuttings for next year. Yuck and *big raspberries* to Winter xxxx

Friday, 5 August 2011

Another catch up, this time, it's 14b

I have tried to write this post a few times now and the words just haven't been flowing. I know I'm not well yet again today but there is also a funny block when it comes to writing about this plot and I have only just realised that. It's so stupid, but then again so much about having mental health problems can feel stupid, so it's also very real. Plot 14b is still new to me (though we acquired it in May 2009), it's more open and I feel exposed, naked and a bit uncomfortable over there even though it's where my beautiful flower bed is. There isn't a proper wind break border between us and our neighbours or anywhere to hide, like under the pergola, in the shed or under the fruit arch as there is on 24a.

14b is right by good old 24a at a diagonal - here is a fabulous drawing by me to help you visualise. I drew this with my tongue sticking out so you know it's good, lol. Oh look, a ruler, now why didn't I use that and do it all to scale? Answer: I'm a free form artist, Andrew is the scientific one in this house.

Click to enlarge. I feel it is  now wonderfully clear, hahahaha


Anyway here's a little update as to what is going on. I didn't spend much time there for reasons I have explained but boy, it is productive and quite beautiful, if I may say so myself :)

These are our Purple Podded Peas send so kindly by Celia of..Purple Podded Peas :)
We haven't really got stuck in to them yet as the other peas are finishing up now and we don't want to waste anything but I reckon this weekend will be a PPP festival in the mouth :) Aren't the flowers that they have utterly gorgeous?? They remind me of the Sweet pea, 'Cupanii' that's my favourite but we forgot to plant this year.
 
 This is my flower bed - I am rather proud of this and it has supplied me with beautiful fragrant flowers in the house AND the bees and butterflies love them especially these -yellow Elecampane. This plant came up from Co. Kerry from my best friend Rosie - look at it now Rosie! (indulge me these photos Matron)
 
 Of course along with the flowers there are many other edible food stuffs. But ah haa - this allows me to throw in another flowery photo; the runner beans and climbing beans are there in the background scrambling up the home made wig-wams. The Runner Beans are lovely, not too long but oh so sweet and tender at the moment, the climbing beans are a little lackadaisical.  PLEASE ignore the weeds in this other bed, oh lord, the weeds are taking over in that plot . Here are our gorgeous Beetroot and Sorrel, we've been enjoying these so much, plus the Carrots and Parsnips which won't be ready for a while yet. This last photo is the Jerusalem Artichokes at the back of the plot - these make me happy as I love them and they are growing like crazy  beside 'The Trinty' of compost bins :)
 

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Food, glorious food

I should be having my nap right now whilst Andy is at the lottie. I have a walk later, a trip to Tesco and then a late night taxi service pick up scheduled for my neice and her boyfriend. I am going to be tired and maybe even grumpy - oops...BUT I have to share some more of the delightful harvests we are having at the minute. Oh boy this is good stuff.

Okay we shared a Chinese take-away last night and yes, you may all point your fingers at me and say 'shame, shame on you' and shake your heads, I deserve it. However that badness aside we have been eating like super healthy Kings (erm King and Queen, I mean).

Apart from the delicious strawberries we had that I showed you earlier we have been continuing to eat a lot of fresh lettuces, seriously peppery rocket, lovely new potatoes, mint, super citrusy sorrel, very dill-y dill and lots of sweet and delicious broad beans. Feast your eyes my friends...

Oh we've had some great salads and risottos and tonight we also had our first beetroot. Oh how I love the beetroot, the smell when I walked into the house got me all a flutter. The taste (with the much loved brown sauce on top) was divine - a little bite of heaven. I love Allotments!!!

The potatoes have been eaten boiled, bashed about a bit with dill and rocket and some sea salt - I heartily recommend this. Give a taste, you won't regret it (for legal reasons I must point out that you may find in fact that you do regret it but I can not take the blame - your taste buds are obviously just faulty).

Off for that walk now and the hayfever meds seem to be helping a bit - today saw the highest pollen count in the UK and I didn't die - so, erm, that's good :)

To those of you how may be visiting me via Meredith's recommendation I heartily welcome you. Isn't she the best?? Namaste x

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Beetroot and ginger chutney

I was sent this fabulous recipe by my friend Jo last year, just as we had finished all our beetroot! Well, this year I wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity to make this yummy sounding chutney (even though I personally can't eat it). I'm intolerant to onions and I just simply despise vinegar ~ not a great mix when your about to make chutney ;)

Beetroot and Ginger Chutney

Makes about 5-6 lb.

3 lb beetroot, roasted
1 lb onion, chopped
2 pints vinegar
1 lb dessert apples, peeled and chopped
1 lb seedless raisins, chopped
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 lb granulated sugar

  • Peel and cut the beetroot into cubes.
  • Place onion and a little of the vinegar in a large preserving pan and cook for a few minutes to soften the onion. Add apples and raisins and continue cooking until pulpy.
  • Add beetroot, ginger, salt and half the remaining vinegar.
  • Simmer gently until thick.
  • Stir in the sugar and remaining vinegar and continue cooking until thick again.
  • Pot into cooled, sterilised jars, seal with a vinegar proof lid and label.
  • Store for 6-8 weeks before using.

It takes a good few hours for the mixture to thicken up properly, but it is worth it!

So Andrew and I made it for the fun day, to sell on our own Eden Allotments Stall. We didn't have quite enough beetroot but it was easy to make the recipe work with some maths (which Andrew is good at ~ I suck at maths). We had bought a lovely new thick bottomed big pot in Ikea especially for preserve making and so we were rather excited to get going. Wow, the Gault household sounds so dull if that makes us excited!

It did take a while but nothing about is difficult and we were able to watch bits of tv and then go and stir the mixture; all made better by a glass of red wine in one hand, hehe. We got a lovely full Kilner jar (for ourselves) and 3 jam jars of the glorious food stuff out of our quantities. Okay, the house stank of vinegar for a couple of days afterwards but it feels great to make lovely things out of your own produce, and it will make money for the association on one hand and make Andrew happy on the other (me? ~ I happy to make money for the allotments, not so overjoyed with a stinky house and hubby ;) )

Just have to prettify (is that a word?) the jars with material over the lids tied with twine and they're ready to go. The chutney is the most beautiful deep red/purple colour and Andrew's labels look great, well done us!

Give it a go! Lovely pressie for a loved one, or for yourself x

Thursday, 2 July 2009

I'm a fricking domestic goddess!

I'm making jam!!! I rather excited, I don't cook as it makes me so anxious I hate it. Plus I don't bake anymore as I used to eat it all! Ooooppps. So, yep, me, I'm making Strawberry jam like the domestic goddess I knew I had inside me. Though I'm not wearing a fabulous 50s dress or even an apron, should I confess?....okay, I'm still in my pajamas.

I'm having fun ~ I have the 'Ultimate Carpenters Collection' on and singing very loudly ~ thank goodness the neighbours are out. I have to have music on, I have to watch this pot very slowly heating up for, oh about 45 mins, I think I'd fall asleep if Karen and Richard weren't filling my ears with groovy, chilled out tunes. ('So they sprinkled gold dust in your hair.....')



So as you my have gathered I needed a very easy recipe to use or this momentous occasion would not be happening. I got this super easy one from the Good Food channel, here. As I have half of the strawberries, am using half the lemon and sugar amounts. And I did some further research and discovered that using berries that are not ripe in the mixture adds the much need pectin, so throw the best juicy bright red ones in your mouth and use more the pale and red-one-side-green-the-other ones. (Oh, this is smelling so good)

Time to add the sugar ~ good grief, it never fails to shock me just how much you seem to need!



Okay, so do domestic goddesses curse?? I do. A lot, aow, hot jam spots jumping out of the pot to hurt me. I suppose most people don't have to take a phone call at the vital last moments and then it all gets stuck to the pan etc either. You know who you are!!!! Well there we are 2 sterilised tubs (I didn't have any jars) full to the brim with 'Carrie's not so secret special strawberry jam', damn it, I haven't any labels either, or bread for that matter. x


Later tonight, we'll be back at the Lottie and there will most likely be another load of fresh strawberries to begin home, it's just as well we like them. That's a very good point to rise - DO NOT grow things you don't want to eat lots of! Wow cooking and motherly advice, I've changed...
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Here's one of last night's 1st beetroots of the season - super yum!



UPDATE:

I have just made my lunch, a simple tasty stir-fry. Our very own chard, spinach and broccoli sprouts with some sesame seeds and honey. Happy days. Plus in the fridge we have our own broad beans and peas for tonight's risotto! Grow your own friends!

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