Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Kale and Rainbows @ Prospect Cottage.

In Animals, sustainable living, Uncategorized on April 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm

A rainbow fading out over the hill in front of the house a few evening’s ago. I love rainbow’s…they always make me think about my Granny’s stories of how if you caught a Leprechaun, and could hold onto him,   you could force him to lead you to the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. The Leprechaun’s were very clever and would always think of some way to frighten you into letting go of them. They  would then run off laughing and leaping with joy at fooling a stupid human again.

 Back to present times and today we pulled the last Kale plants to make way for new plantings. Such a great plant, we were provided with green pickings all Winter, then the seed heads for the last few weeks. Today the Goats got to have a meal from them too. Value indeed! I don’t put the stalks in the compost as they take ages to break down.

Some of the plants were huge, this one was 5ft tall. Kale is a very hungry plant so ground where it has grown needs to be well fertilised before the next crop. It is also a very nutritious plant being high in calcium, iron, sodium, vitamin C, carotenes and chlorophyll. Carotenes have anti-cancer properties helping to guard against  the development of cancer if consumed regularly.

Even Daphne, our lovely donkey girlie, came to have some Kale. Smart girl, she knows what’s good for her.

The last of our Kale harvest went into a soup. Together with Leeks, Potatoes and a few Nettle tops it made a delicious nutritious meal.

 

In a shaded part of the garden is this Wild Garlic. I don’t know the proper name of it. I got a clump of it from a friend last year, she did’nt know the name either. Anyone out there know? It can be used in the same way as Ransoms, all parts edible.

Weekend musings from a country smallholding.

In Ireland, sustainable living on February 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Bella is looking rather rock-chick with her new studded collar, don’t ya think? The blond stripe down her back is natural, I did’nt bleach it!! Hmm, could gel it and give her a mohican!!

Agghhh! Enid tries to eat the camera strap as I’m taking the pics!

The Strawberries have been transplanted into their new bed in the small polytunnel. Dug in lots of manure so hoping for a good Strawberry harvest.

 In the garden the Blackcurrants are already budding. They always do well regardless of weather, they seem to like the heavy soil here . They are mulched with Comfrey a few times during the year.

There was several hours of sunshine today. I spent some time in the garden, it was bliss just listening to the birds singing in the big Sycamore tree that overlooks the garden.

There’s loads of seed heads on the Kale right now. Delicious raw or steamed. This evening we are having them steamed with Basmati rice and Red Lentil Dhal, accompanied by a good helping of Hot Plum Chutney.

 Walking by Lough Allen in the evening, the cloud is rolling in and everything is so quiet and still. Just how I like it! I never understood people who go about with headphones in. It’s like they can’t cope with their own thoughts, always got to have some distraction going on. Not for me!!

No “Hungry Gap” at Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, Off the beaten track. on March 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

The first Cauliflower of the season, small but perfectly formed.

The “hungry gap” is the gardener’s name for the period in Spring when there is little or no fresh produce available from the garden. With good planning it is possible to avoid this lull in production. The cauliflower pictured is a variety called Marzatico from Italy. Seeds were sown last August and plants planted around end of September. We plant a lot in August for Winter and Spring crops. Oriental salads, Winter Onion sets, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kale being the main ones. There is actually a variety of Kale called Hungry Gap which crops in Spring.

Ragged Jack Kale.

The Ragged Jack Kale is now going to seed but this is not the end of its production. The leaves can still be picked and the seed heads can be picked and steamed, they are quite like Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Do pick before flowers appear though. Removing the central shoot encourages the plant to send out lots of side shoots.

Sowing Peas.

Meanwhile seed sowing continues furiously here. Yesterday I sowed a bed of Parsnips, we have just finished the last of the current crop, germination can be slow so they need to go in early. Peas were also sown. The variety is Meteor which I got from Seed Savers in Co. Clare. The don’t grow too tall, about a metre, so support is easier. These modules are great as they are longer than the usual ones and made from stronger plastic. I have them about 10 years and they are still in perfect condition. The extra length means plants can stay in there a little longer. Apparently these modules are using for growing tree seedlings.