Posts Tagged ‘oxalic acid’

Gifts from here and there…

In Garden, green living on March 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Gifts come in many ways.  From friends, family, husband or wife or even people you “know” through their blogs. One such gift was the Very Inspiring Blogger Award given recently by Kevin over at . Thanks Kevin, I do appreciate your kind words and the award. Kevin’s blog is often about gardening but not exclusively. Always entertaining though! To accept the award I must nominate other blogs to also receive the award. I always feel weird about doing this as each blog is that person’s effort…I do not wish to name individual blogs on this occasion. If I follow your blog that means I like it… so to every blog I follow do take the award and pass it on. Maybe someone who has a blog needs a lift or a bit of appreciation…nominate them and make their day.

Another condition is to reveal 7 random facts about oneself.

1. I love wool but it irritates my skin so I can’t wear it.

2. I have a strong sense of justice.

3. I don’t like people who lie…it is an insult to anyone’s intelligence.

4. My most recent discovery about myself is that I have ADD (attention deficit disorder).

5. I hated school.

6. I believe in Angels.

7. One of my fave meals is basmati rice topped with a good helping of mung bean dhal. Delicious!

Another unexpected gift came my way yesterday…this lovely little Japenese hoe. Isn’t it lovely?  I spent a few hours helping a friend in the garden and admired this lovely tool. Her reply was “I’m left handed so I can’t use it. Would you like it?” Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth I accepted the gift gratefully.

When visiting another friend last week I was offered a bunch of rooted Willow cuttings. I’m sure I can find homes for them in the hedgerows. Might even make a fedge with them. They will take off instantly at this time of year… decisions…decisions!

I love their bright yellow colour. It only comes on new growth though so they would have to be cut back each year to get this. A fedge is looking more likely!

The garden has started showering us with gifts too, not that it ever stopped! Rhubarb has shot up and is ready for picking. Crumble on the menu soon!

Rhubarb is a great crop in any garden. It requires very little attention apart from a mulch of manure each Winter. It can be used for jams, chutneys, crumbles and even cakes. Even if you don’t like it as a food the leaves contain oxalic acid and make a great natural pest repellant.

Finally a gift from nature…this beautiful Arum Lily…Arum maculatum…spotted in the woodland whilst walking on Sunday. Isn’t it fab!! There are many common names for this plant, cuckoopint, lords and ladies, willy lily and parsons lillycock to name but a few. In the Autumn it has poisonous red/orangey berries.

Even the weather has been generous this week. The weather has been beautiful! Sunny and dry all week. Life is good! I am thankful.

Making Jam & Eating Spinach @ Prospect Cottage.

In Cooking, Gardening, sustainable living on May 5, 2011 at 10:38 am

Thankfully the rain arrived yesterday, everything looks so fresh and green today. Even the Rhubarb which is heavily mulched was starting to go limp, it is looking all renewed again this morning. Have made a few batches of Rhubarb and Apricot jam recently. It is really nice, the addition of the Apricots helps to thicken the jam. Rhubarb itself is low in pectin.

Recipe for Rhubarb & Apricot Jam:

1kg Rhubarb.   1kg sugar.    250g dried Apricots.   150ml boiling water.

Layer the rhubarb in a basin with the sugar. Put the dried apricots in another bowl and cover with the water. Leave both mixtures for 24 hours. Put both mixtures into a preserving pan and bring to the boil, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Keep at a rolling boil for about 30 minutes, or until setting point is reached. Pour into warmed jars and seal immediately. Ginger, dried or crystallised can be added to the recipe.

In the polytunnel Spinach is ready to be harvested. It has grown quickly in the recent hot weather. It goes to seed quickly though. Will cook some this evening with Nettles, steamed to avoid losing the nutrients in the cooking water. Do be careful not to eat too much much Spinach as it is high in oxalic acid, same as Rhubarb leaves. Apparently Popeye was misinformed about the iron levels, they are not that high, similar to peas. Kale has a lot higher iron content.