Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘peaches’

Rainy days and climate change.

In Garden, Ireland on July 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

What’s happened to the weather? Not just in Ireland, but all over the world,  this year has broken records everywhere. The wettest Summer in the UK since 1860. Same in Ireland. In USA there has been  record high temperatures  resulting  in serious problems for agriculture. The end result will of course be food shortages and higher prices for available supplies. Today, 17th July, is a wet mizzly day here in Arigna. It should be Summer!!

There’s definitely a change in the climate worldwide. The Irish Summer now seems to be March, April and May. Wet and dull through until September when we get another blast of good weather. I was reading earlier how the wet Summer has disrupted the cafe culture in Paris. Can’t blame people for not wanting to sit out in the rain sipping coffee. This then has a knock on effect on businesses and livelihoods. Here in Ireland agriculture is in serious trouble. Farmers can’t make hay or silage and the grass is starting to rot in the fields. Potatoes will be expensive this year as the crops have started to rot in the earth. A bit of a doomsday scenario but that’s how it is. How anyone can deny climate change now is beyond me.

 I’m amazed that flowers are blooming despite the lack of sunshine. Sunday was a fab day but that’s been the only good day for weeks. These Lilies were in bloom today but they won’t last long if the rain continues.

Shasta Daisies hang their heads low, weighed down with rain…

 Rosa Ragusa looking similarly droopy. Of course there’s few insects to be seen. I was to be involved in the Butterfly count this year but there’s been few opportunities. What happened to all the Bumble Bees and Butterflies there were about in May I wonder?

In the micro climate of the polytunnel a solitary Bumble Bee enjoys a newly emerged Dahlia. Glad I planted these in pots indoors as I don’t think they would have done any good outside.

I also spotted a Green Veined White Butterfly on a Rose. Can you see it? There were a few more of these Butterflies about but that was all the insect activity I could see today. Mid July, the air should be filled with the sound of buzzing insects! So sad!

On a more positive note the Peaches are almost ripe, in the polytunnel of course. I test them by cupping the fruit in my hand and gently pulling. If ripe the fruit will come away. Another way to test for ripeness is to see if the flesh around the stem is soft. Test carefully though as Peaches bruise so easily. Another day or two to wait for this one.

Monday Meanderings from Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, sustainable living on June 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

 

Despite the weather it looks like being a good year for fruit. This plum tree, it’s a Victoria, is already laden down. If a drop does’nt occur I shall have to thin out the fruits. Home grown plums are nothing like the horrible shop ones, these never ripen fully and have no great flavour. They are probably irradiated and full of chemicals too. A home grown plum, ripened by the Sun, is a different experience. They have a scent, beautiful flavour and are full of juice. Yum yum, anticipation building!

In the polytunnel Peaches have put on a lot of growth. They look inviting already even though they won’t be ripe for some time yet.

Lettuce just coming into flower, I really want to save seeds from this one. Don’t know the variety but it’s grown from seeds I got in Bulgaria. It is similar to Little Gem but a lot bigger. It can be hard to save Lettuce seeds in Ireland’s damp climate. The seeds are tiny and mould has been a problem in the past.

The Escallonia has just come into bloom. The flowers are small but there’s loads of them. This is a really hardy evergreen shrub which is easily grown from cuttings taken in Summer. The flowers last until early Autumn.

Lettuce, Peaches & Nettles @ Prospect Cottage.

In Cooking, Folklore, Gardening on May 4, 2011 at 11:31 am

Rossa di Trento lettuce.

Lots of salad crops at the moment, the Lettuces seem to have formed heads overnight. We eat salad every day at this time of year, the perfect accompaniment to any meal. With a good dressing and some nice brown bread it makes for a complete meal in itself. This Rossa de Trento is one of my fave looseleaf lettuces. The seed was sourced from Seed Savers in Clare. I am going to try and save seed from this one. Have never had any luck saving Lettuce seed, the weather always seems to turn wet at the crucial time when the seed is almost ready to harvest, seed then gets mould. Will keep on trying. Loose leaf lettuces are great, just keep on picking leaves from them all Summer long. This variety is originally from Italy but it has adapted well to Irish growing conditions. The leaves are redder if grown outdoors.

Fruits have set on the Peach tree in the big polytunnel. Not as many as last year but it did get a severe pruning as it was coming close to the polytunnel roof. There is nothing like the joy of eating a home grown peach. Checking each day to see if they are ripe yet, the scent of them, the anticapation, and then the day comes, yeah, BLISS.

The Stinging Nettle(Urtica dioica), an important plant for creating bio diversity in the garden. It is host to the larvae of many butterflies, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady and Comma. They can also be used to make liquid fertiliser, on their own or mixed with Comfrey. As they contain formic acid they also help to repel pests. There is an Irish tradition to eat Nettles 3 times in May to cleanse the blood, as the plant is high in vitamins and minerals this old tradition makes sense in the modern age. Nettles can be used to make a tea, not very nice but a teaspoon of honey makes it more palatable. They can also be cooked like Spinach or added to soups, they even make a good beer, have never tried this so I can’t vouch for it.