Tuesday 31 August 2010

Bean at the plot

School holidays, holidays, w*rk and family have all combined to make the visits to the plot less frequent than ever this month. Tonight, after returning from the annual bank holiday camping trip we all mucked in to try to get some winter crops in the ground and see what there was to harvest.
The harvest was beans, beans and beans (oh and courgettes) and then some more beans. So now I am of to chop blanch and freeze, leave carrier bags for the neighbour, Mum and Aunty and work out how much of the remainder I can realistically get through and how much needs to be gifted.

We did manage to plant leeks and winter caulis and a few sprouting broc plants but I need to do some land clearance before we can finish the rest of the winter planting. I am trying enviromesh this year in an attempt to foil the butterflies/pigeons/ everything else that made last years brassicas a near write off - the cost made my eyes water but I'm hoping it will last for several years (it had better!).

Soon YS will be off to school and I may be able to sneak an extra lottie session in each week which should make next season a lot more comfortable/ productive/ planned but the best laid plans... We shall see and in the meantime we shall eat beans.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Visit to Tyntesfield

On the way to the French ferry a couple of weeks ago we stopped off at Tyntesfield Estate near Bristol.
We had a game of football (obligatory OS's choice), climbed the scaffold tower to the roof (YS), visited the tea room (OH) and finally visited the kitchen garden (Me!).
They were selling homegrown fruit and veg but we weren't impressed with the prices!

The cutting garden was spectacular - this in no way does it justice.

They have more staff than I do.
Up the tower
Cute box in the shop

Where are the photos of the veg?
This was as close as I got - there is a fan pruned cherry in the background...
I think I was so busy admiring the straight rows and lack of weeds I must have forgotten to take one. My, but their onions were big - you'll just have to take my word for it!

We had a lovely time there is a lot of walking involved in the visit, the gardens are a long way from the car park etc but well worth it.  The guide even took the trouble to show the boys where the 10yo gardeners boy would have slept in a cupboard above the benches in the potting shed when it was his turn to keep the boiler going during the night. OS pronounced this "cool". If you are looking for a stop of the M5 this summer it's well worth a look.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

I've got a red one!

Tomato that is. The reason that this deserves it's own special post?
Last year I got not one. The dreaded blight swept through whilst they were all still green.
I watched Alys Fowler's programme and she said that this year she wasn't even going to try, and I felt the same, but then...
Isn't gardening always like that? A series of disappointments and small victories.
Today was a victory.  I hope Alys changed her mind too.

Sunday 1 August 2010


Today we had courgettes for lunch.
Today we had courgettes for tea.
Today we had courgettes for pudding too.

I guess the courgette season is here?

Lunch : Pasta with ribbons of courgette fried in olive oil with a cream sauce, chilli flakes and black pepper. Served with a green salad, smoked salmon and a wedge of lemon.
Pudding: Chocolate courgette cake, raspberries, cream.
Tea BBQ sausages, courgette marinated in olive oil and a little lemon, salad, potatoes. And ketchup.
Pudding BBQ chocolate bananas, toasted marshmallows.

Today I am liking courgettes.

(camera is broken again - but I guess by this point in the season you all know what a courgette looks like...)