Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘birch trees’

On Spring work and planting by the Moon.

In Garden, sustainable living on March 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Everything is greening up again, the dull tones of Winter are slowly being replaced by fresh greenery. Trees are about to burst forth and change the tone of the landscape from Winter hibernation to Spring exuberance. We are 600 ft above sea level here in the valley so it will come a little later here. Anticipation!

As evening falls after a lovely sunny day it is cold. The Met Office say it will be frosty tonight.

Working outdoors is such a joy on days like today. I spent the afternoon bringing farmyard manure from the pile which has been rotting down nicely for over a year, into the polytunnel and digging it into the beds. We don’t dig very deeply here, the daub can be as much as only 6 inches below the topsoil. Deep digging would just be bringing up daub which just dries into really hard lumps, like stone. After being brought up on good Tipperary land I got a bit of a shock the first day I stuck a spade into heavy, wet Roscommon soil! Outdoors we have a large mulched area which is never dug, just mulched each year when the soil warms up. There are also raised beds which are topped up with garden compost or manure every year.

Through the Birch trees, though darkness has not yet fallen the waxing Moon is visible. Full Moon is on Wednesday so the coming days are busy with planting. Sowing and planting by the Moon is an old tradition from when people had more of an awareness of the planets and their affect on humans, animal and plant  life. It is adhered to by people who practise Bio Dynamic gardening. We do not use BD systems here as they are not compatible with a vegetarian lifestyle but we do use Moon planting. The days leading up to full Moon are when leaf crops are planted. Tomorrow I shall plant Spinach, Rocket and Lettuce. Wednesday is a fruit day. This is when plants that bear their seeds within the fruits. Tomatoes, Peas, Beans, Cucumber and Squashes come within this realm. After full Moon is the time to plant root crops, Carrots, Parsnips, Beetroot and Potatoes belong to those days. I have noticed on previous years that seeds sown according to this system do seem to germinate quicker. It is also said that they are less susceptible to disease. For us it is a good way to break up the work at this time. With so much to be planted it gives a bit of direction on what to plant on given days. So for the next few days its busy, busy, busy!

October @ Prospect Cottage.

In Cooking, Gardening on October 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Asters or Michaelmas Daisy as they are known are the real stars of the flower garden right now. Don’t know the individual varieties…the labels are long gone but that does’nt take from the enjoyment of these gorgeous Autumn flowers.

Asters can be propogated easily by division of clumps in Autumn or Spring. Usually the centre of clumps deteriorate so only the healthy outer sections are replanted. They thrive best in a well drained situation. I love the colour of this purple one.

Tomatoes are still ripening in the polytunnel. The small ones are Mexican Midget, the larger ones are Moneymaker and the yellow ones are Amber which self seeded from our own compost. A welcome bonus. Tomato soup from this lot I think.

Parsley is a plant we grow lots of, it is a nutrient powerhouse containing beta carotene, vitamin B12, chlorophyll, calcium and more vitamin C than citrus fruits. In addition to providing essential nutrients Parsley stimulates and balances the energy of our internal organs and improves their ability to assimilate and utilise nutrients. Because of its high enzyme content Parsley benifits digestive activity. We use Parsley raw in salads, add it to mashed potato and put it in at the end of cooking soups and stews. A tea made from Parsley is said to be useful against cystitis and urinary tract infections. A true superfood.

To the north of the house the Birch trees have already lost their leaves. I suspect Winter is coming early this year. The Met Office is forecasting snow at the end of October! We have lots of supplies in the larder so are fairly well prepared. Hay is also stored for the animals plus lots of fuel to keep the house toasty. The nights are quickly becoming much longer so more time will be spent indoors. It is the time when I use the fruits and veg stored throughout the Summer to make jams and chutneys. Today we can see blue sky through the trees so there is still Autumn days to be enjoyed.