In Gardening, sustainable living on August 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm
As Autumn makes it’s presence felt we await the ripening of Mother Nature’s offerings. A little more sunshine is needed to sweeten and ripen these Blackberries in the hedgerow. The shorter mornings and darker evenings seem to have descended quickly from the long days of the Summer that was barely evident. Maybe an Indian Summer is around the corner!!
In the garden there is an abundance of produce right now. The freezers are filled with fruits and vegetables which will be used to feed us and make preserves through the Winter. Onions and Garlic are drying in the polytunnel. I feel priviliged to have land that we use to produce so much of our food. Last week I read that Ireland imported 324million euros worth of fruit and veg from Britain last year. Sad that a country which proclaims independence is so dependent on imports from other countries to feed it’s people. True independence, in my opinion, is only plausible when a country can sustain it’s own food supply. With rising fuel prices affecting the price of groceries worldwide it would seem wise for us to grow, grow, grow.
Regardless of weather there is so much that grows well in Ireland. We had fantastic crops this year from berried fruits, alliums did great and beans were incredibly productive. These beans above are being left to produce seed for next year. So easy, just leave some large pods at the end of the season, don’t be too quick to tidy up, and in a few weeks they will have dried out and be ready for harvesting. Remove from pods and store in a dry place and you have next years crop ready to be germinated . With 10 companies now controlling up to 70% of the world’s seed supply I think seed saving is a sensible step to take.
“To see things in the seed, that is genius.–Lao Tzu
Tomatoes are another crop from which seeds can be easily saved. Just soak the seeds to wash off the jelly like coating then dry them out on a piece of kitchen paper and viola! you have next years seeds. Do save from plants of organic origin.
“Abundance is not something we acquire, it is something we tune into.–Wayne Dyer
I shall be away from here for awhile as I am having a break from blogging and visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs. Happy Autumn days to you all. I will be back in the not too distant future. Bridget xx.
In Animals, arigna, Foraging., Gardening on September 20, 2011 at 10:35 am
The changing colours of Autumn are upon us, much as we may not like it, changes are afoot. Human beings do not much like change, we like other inhabitants on this Planet are creatures of habit. Although when change is forced upon us we are quick to adapt. At this time the Autumn Equinox is upon us, hard to believe it’s 3 months since Summer Solstice. It’s said time flies when you’re having fun, well time is certainly flying!
The last of the wild berries can be harvested on nice dry days. All sorts of Fungi are to be found in woodland and pasture. Nature’s abundance is still there for the picking. Still to come are the almost ripe Hazlenuts of which there are lots this year. Sloes, which are best after the first frost has softened them. Elderberries will be fully ripe soon too. They are great for jams, chutneys, cordials and wine. A tincture can be made from them which is said to be a wonderful restorative and immune system enhancer.
The animals also benefit for the abundance of the season. Daphne loves apples, not too many together though as they can cause bloat. Peelings left over from making jams and crumbles are always a welcome treat. Last week I collected a big box of windfalls from our neighbour’s orchard. They will provide treats for a few weeks.
The Goats too are fond of Apples. They also watch for falling leaves at this time of year and really enjoy them. Soon their bodies will be preparing for Winter by growing their Winter coats.
For us at this time when day and night are equal we must also adjust our minds to the coming of Winter. Enjoy the first frosts and the sunny days they will surely bring. Gather the last offerings from Nature. The larder is filled with the abundance of Summer, all is well. Who knows, we may be snowed in again this year! Soon we will head to Tipperary for the day and bring back a trailer load of hay and straw to bed and feed the animals over Winter.
May you all enjoy this time of adjustment. Enjoy the longer nights, make it a time for enjoying each other’s company. The frantic activity of the garden is now winding down. Think of some craft projects to work on over the Winter. Walk in the woods and enjoy the Trees as they too make their seasonal changes. Happy Equinox to All!
In Gardening on September 17, 2011 at 10:28 am
Despite the wind and rain there are lots of flowers in the garden at the moment. It’s like they are putting in a final push before the seasonal race is over for this year. The last hurrah!
Japanese Anemones give a great splash of colour at this time. They still manage to look graceful despite the weather. The only caution with them is they are so hard to eradicate if you decide you don’t like them in a particular position. I’m talking from experience here!
Yellow Rambling Rose planted earlier in the Summer.
I’m hoping this rambler will be well established next year and will take off to be trained along the banister on this verandah.
The Phlox is very late flowering this year. I think it got tired of waiting for sunshine.
Anyone know the name of this one?
Coneflower or to give it it’s proper name Rudbeckia is a great Autumn standby. I really like it’s dark centre.
On the laneway this lovely stand of Devil’s-bit Scabious lifts my heart each time I walk by it. I will be collecting seeds of this later on for a small wildflower area we hope to do next year. That’s the gardener’s life for ya, always thinking and planning ahead.
In Gardening, sustainable living on September 13, 2011 at 7:07 am
Cosmos, one of my fave flowers is still doing well here in this tub despite the wind and rain which has been battering us for a few days now.
Sedums are reddening up, Autumn is here!
This purple Sedum which I got earlier in the Summer is already showing it’s dark red flowers. Not too many Butterflies though!
Onions are drying on the bench in the shed. They will be tied in bundles for use through the Winter months. Have you ever noticed how home-grown Onions are much stronger than shop bought?
Red Onions are also drying. These will make a lovely Onion Marmalade or decorate a Winter salad.
In the polytunnel Red Orach is setting seed. I shall plant this outdoors next year as it is very decorative, not so keen on it’s edible leaves.
The Grapes are starting to ripen at last, very late this year. They are surprisingly sweet given the lack of sunshine. I am going to leave some to get really ripe as I plan to make wine this year. The riper they are the higher the natural sugars.
In Gardening on August 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm
The Lilies are standing up well to the horrible weather. It’s more like Autumn here than high Summer.
This lovely velvet flowered Ivy Leaved Geranium is in a wall pot by the back door.
Montbretia just beginning to flower. This will have to be divided in the Autumn as it is spreading like crazy.
A late flowering Carnation among the Alyssum.
One of the little Fuschias that survived last Winter’s frosts with a Harebell in front.
In the hedgerow the wild Fuschia is flowering. Now growing wild in many areas it is the symbol used in Cork on quality artisan produce.