Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Winding down

The freezer will be defrosted once we've eaten our way through the remaining items. Hiding in its depths were some frozen grapes, spinach and blackcurrants. These, along with some strawberries and water went into a container and were blitzed to liquid …

Blood with black bits in plus green slime

… and poured into a suitable glass.

looks better in the glass

It was cold and delicious, apart from the blitzed grape pips which kept turning up unannounced! There was also some left over to add to my sherry and some ginger ale (found in the garage) and was very refreshing on this oh so hot day.

Hope everyone's not too hot and bothered today.


PS Note to Meanqueen - I went out today in my skirt which immediately blew up when the gust of wind blew. It's breezy by the seaside. Good job I was prepared!


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bought or grown?

Rachel's comment from yesterday has inspired this post which is basically a list of some of the vegetables we have grown and are growing,  comparing flavour and suitability for a small garden plot.

Hi Mum, … .. Those courgettes look mouthwatering and it's true that things taste amazing that you've grown yourself. The only one exception of mine was when I grew broccoli. The plants were MASSIVE. I was on caterpillar watch. The first harvest was plucked, raced down the garden into the kitchen and eaten lightly steamed within 10 minutes. It tasted EXACTLY the same as shop bought!! I was gutted!!

I'll start with broccoli.

Fruit or vegetable: Broccoli/ Calabrese

Taste: I agree with Rachel here. They taste the same as shop bought but are a little more tender.

Suitability for a small garden: Not really suitable in my small plot as the plants grow big and it's a faff harvesting the small shoots. If there's a large head then, once harvested, the rest of the plant doesn't produce much and is a waste of space. Butterfly watch is essential and if the eggs are missed then searching for the caterpillars is very off putting because they are exactly the same colour as the plant. I've cooked more than one!


Fruit or vegetable: Tomato

Taste: Absolutely wonderful, especially the first one and they taste nothing like shop bought.

Suitability for a small garden: A greenhouse is needed - out door tomatoes take up a lot of room and most need staking. Tumblers are good but I've found the skins tough.


Fruit or vegetable: Asparagus

Taste: Nothing like shop bought. Steamed with butter and water for 10 minutes or so and they are mouthwatering. I add a little bit of salt for extra taste.

Suitability for a small garden: They take up quite a bit of room and crop from April to June. I've found that full sun is advantageous. Beware slugs which eat the tops as they peek out from the soil. When we planted ours we had to wait 4 years before the first pick.


Fruit or vegetable: Cabbage

Taste: As shop bought

Suitability for a small garden: They are large plants and I don't grow them anymore. We don't eat loads and it's more cost effective to grow smaller plants.


Fruit or vegetable: Strawberries

Taste: Hmmm! Forget the ones from the shop.

Suitability for a small garden: I've just let ours grow in a separate bed from the main plot and give them a haircut at the end of the season. The runners plant themselves. Always cut them in half before eating. There may be a surprise inside.


Fruit or vegetable: Grapes

Taste: Fresh and sweet, totally different from shop bought

Suitability for a small garden: Ours grow in a greenhouse but certain vines can be grown outside.


I've not listed everything we grow, just a few for our small garden. I wonder if anyone else grows veg. that they have found taste the same as shop bought. One thing I have found is that home grown veg. does not keep as long as shop bought. I wonder what processes they have to go through in order to keep a long shelf life!?

Thanks Rachel again for the inspiration. You will note that I haven't mentioned your night time activities!!!!!



Welcome to my new follower.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

For my tea

grated courgette sauteed in butter,

home grown

new potatoes,

home grown


mange tout and lettuce home grown

and strawberries

home grown

Not many food miles here.


Friday, 26 June 2015

Some for C and G and me,
Saved the seed
So they're all for free.

Some for me
And none for thee.
The runners ran
So they're all for free.

Some for you
And some for me,
Saved the seed
So they're all for free.

Grapes a-comin'
Vine grew you see.
Ain't that great?
And it's all for free.


PS A very warm welcome to my new follower.
PPS I wish we had smelly blogging. The tomato plants and the strawberries smell wonderful. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Questions answered.

Dani asked if I had any tips on pruning grape vines. I have done a post here on my pruning this year. In previous years I only had one main lead and then let shoots grow from that. I have been told that when pruning do not use cutters just pinch the runners off by hand. This year with 2 main runners I've kept the off shoots quite short with only one bunch on each off shoot. I pinch the runner off after the next leaf. I've given it about 3 prunes this season as runners tend to grow very quickly.

Cheryl asked if a grapevine would only grow inside. The grapevine we have is for growing inside but its roots are planted outside. I wrote about the type of vine here. There are many varieties that can be grown outside. Here's a link.

It's been a glorious day here today. I've walked and danced, baked and cooked and now it's rest time.


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Midsummer check ...

… on how the edible garden is growing.

We've been eating the mange-tout for about a week now, picking every day.

I planted them around the other side of the frame aswell. Both sides are at the same stage of growth even though I planted the second side 2 weeks later than the first. So much for succession planting. The broad beans have now started to develop pods.

We are still eating our way through the potatoes and the onions are fattening up. I'm sure I could start eating them once my shop bought ones are finished.

At last the corn is starting to grow properly. In front is the garlic.

Sweet peas are taking off up the second frame along with the climbing beans.

I wouldn't go under there puss!

The asparagus is being allowed to grow but I still harvest one or two spears every now and then.

There must be over a hundred bunches of grapes on the vine. I've pruned it again today as it was escaping out of the roof window.

Come on the tomatoes. I'm afraid they are being over shadowed by the vine.

The chives are putting on a pretty show and poppies are springing up everywhere.

I must watch the strawberries now they have started to ripen.

Check done, weeding done. All is well on the home food front.


Monday, 22 June 2015

It's a first

My first strawberry of the year and I'm going to eat it for my tea. It smells of strawberry and it's big.

I shall enjoy!