Posts Tagged ‘pumpkins’

Musings from a smallholding at Spring Equinox.

In Garden, sustainable living on March 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm

As the temperatures rise I like to have a fruit breakfast. I find it hard to eat cold food in the Winter but once Spring comes I change from my tea and toast or porridge to smoothies. May not have one every day but certainly a couple a week.

This morning I had a Banana and Avacado smoothie made with soya milk and a little honey for a bit of extra sweet. I did’nt use all those Bananas…just two. To make:  just put the peeled fruit in the blender. cover with soya milk and whizz. A couple of seconds and it’s done.

Forgot to say I also add Spirulina, hence the green colour. Spiriluna is a microscopic fresh water plant packed with goodness. It contains antioxidants, trace elements and all the essential amino acids. It is available in powdered form from good health food stores. I use half a teaspoon in a pint of smoothie.  That gives me energy for about 6 hours.

After my power breakfast I was ready for some hard work. This old residence in our back field has some lovely cut stone. All the old cottages would have been built from stone. This was inhabitated up to 60 years ago. Hard to believe isn’t it! These lovely stones are ideal for making raised beds. I can carry about 3 in the wheelbarrow…2 if they’re very big. Andy can carry more but he was away today. Thought I’d show off while he was out!


After some lighter garden work, pricking out seedlings and training Tayberries my thoughts once again turned to food. What to have for dinner? We still have a few Squashes left so I decided to use one of them to make a soup. These have been stored in the spare room over winter and are still perfectly sound. Last Summer was’nt  great for Pumpkins as it was cold and wet. Only the indoor ones produced anything. That fine Butternut in front was the only one from 5 plants. Don’t know what the grey skinned one is called, I saved seed from a Pumpkin we had in Bulgaria. Over there they grow to 3 times that size.


As you can see they are still perfectly sound. The skin does become very hard so a good sharp knife is needed to peel. Together with Carrots and Lentils this will make a delicious soup for our evening meal.

Hope you had a good Spring Equinox day!



Garden Musings from Prospect Cottage.

In Gardening, sustainable living on May 9, 2011 at 9:50 am

The Poached Egg Plant (Limnanthes douglasii) is an easy to grow annual that is useful in any garden. Apart from looking pretty it is a great companion plant, especially useful near Broad Beans as it is an attractant for Hoverflies and Ladybirds who both like to dine on Blackfly, the main pest affecting Broad Beans. You won’t find Broad Beans in our garden as they are about the only vegetable we both dislike but Poached Egg Plant is more than welcome! It is a native of California but succeeds well in the climate here. It self seeds easily and can take over but any unwanted plants pull out easily.

The Bulgarian Lettuce has come on really well, we have been harvesting it for a couple of weeks mow. It is really crisp, like Little Gem, my fave Lettuce, but the heads are much bigger. I would love to save seed from this one.

Don’t know what’s happened here, never saw anything like it! Pulled back the leaves on this plant the other day expecting to see a Cauliflower forming. Nothing except this leaf growing from the centre of the plant which had formed a perfect little cup. It was attached to the centre by a “string” about 6 inches long. Bizarre! The rest of the plants were normal and the seed was organic.

All the Pumpkins and Sunflowers have germinated, these won’t be planted out until June when the weather will be settled again, hopefully, and the plants will be a good size and less attractive to slugs. All the seeds are home saved by ourselves or other local gardeners. Turk’s Turban always does well here, have been growing from our own seeds for about 5 years now so they are acclimatised to the area.